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Synosis Reviews Ion-Sturm 520[Last 50 Posts]

#Story Help #Discussion

Please note: this is not a standard review thread. It’s for synopses/descriptions rather than entire fics, and anyone may feel free to chime in. Previous thread at http: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/122131.html

The synopsis, while small, is in some ways the most important part of a story. A good one can score you more readers, while a bad one can stop readers in their tracks. So here’s a mini-review thread. Submissions should include a title and tags, in addition to the synopsis.

General advice:

-Proofread. Proofread the buck out of your synopsis. If I see spelling and grammar errors, that doesn’t bode well for the fic proper.
-Keep it relatively short. A paragraph or two, sure, but don’t try to fit a whole chapter in there.
-Don’t try to be fancy. Ellipses, semicolons, em dashes, and suchlike are generally unnecessary in such a short piece.
-Don’t be vague. Don’t be coy. Don’t be mysterious.

That last covers a lot of ground. See, your synopsis is your first chance (and, in many cases, your only chance) to get a reader interested. Don’t hint at something which might maybe be cool and if we start reading we can find it; just go ahead and give us the cool thing. If you’re writing an intentionally vague synopsis and thinking, “Oh, the reader will see me being all mysterious, and they’ll be so desperate to know my secrets,” then you’re wrong. Readers, by and large, do not care that much.

To quote Kurt Vonnegut, “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” Use your synopsis to find that one person. Your best chance to hook readers is by telling them what your story is about and why they, personally, want to read it.

A few specific points on this subject:
-Tell us your characters’ names, even (especially) if you’re using OCs. It’s tough to care about people whose names we don’t know.
-Describe the story’s conflicts, and be concrete.
-Describe those conflicts’ stakes. What is at risk? Why do we care?
-Don’t hedge your conflicts or their stakes. No “this might happen.” No “will this happen?” Your stakes should be important and irrevocable. Rhetorical questions in general should be avoided unless you are extremely confident in the effectiveness of their use.
This post was edited by its author on .

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 537

Hmm.

Your guidelines are making me think. It's tempting to say that synopses are too varied and abstract by nature to have rules like this, but there's also real value to advice like "make sure you give a concrete idea of the conflict and why we care." Even an single-sentence synopsis for dramatic effect should say something strong and concrete.

I once read a fantastic synopsis that made liberal use of rhetorical questions. Paraphrasing:

>What would you do if you found yourself in an unfamiliar world, in an unfamiliar body, with no idea how it all happened? How would you deal with being unable to ever tell a single soul about the fact that you don't belong in this world? What if your name was Princess Celestia?


I searched, but couldn't find the fic.

Personally, I think the main problem with rhetorical questions is just that they invoke a very terrible and very unamusing cliche.

Ion-Sturm 538

>>537
I admittedly just copy/pasted this from the thread on Ponychan. As with all things in writing, no rule is absolute in the face of progress. I'll tweak that bit.

543

File: 1351984031933.jpg (78.79 KB, 621x373, Keima+katsuragi.+one+of+the+gu…)

Might as well give this a shot …

>Recently graduated from high school, a young Ari Prose sets off for the Pegasi City of Haven to begin her studies at the prestigious Skylight University. But Fate has a different plan for her.


>The World of Skylight is out of control, and it's up to Ari to find out what's causing it.

Anonymous 544

File: 1351996006062.png (262.63 KB, 450x412, DD157.PNG)

>Cooped up in the university with mundane tasks and boring research, Daring Do just has to get out and adventure before she goes stir-crazy.

>Will an unplanned expedition be her undoing?

545

>>544

I wish I was better at writing synops.

That … rhetorical question … it burns …

Ion-Sturm 546

I'm thinking I should make a "Best of" document and link to it in the OP to act as a template. All those in favour?

>>544
As the OP mentions, a synopsis generally shouldn't have a rhetorical question.

To be honest, I'm having difficult making something better, though. I really want to tie something along the lines of "She's going to go on an adventure, even if it kills her" or "she's dying to go on an adventure", but can't figure out how to really make them pop, ya know?

>>543
First of all,
>Pegasi City of Haven
Is this the actual name? Unless it is, "Pegasi" and "City" shouldn't be capitalized.

>But Fate has a different plan for her.

Suggest "Fate, however, has different plans." Starting a sentence off with a conjunction is messy work.

>World of Skylight

Not sure about the capitalization on "World" here. Also, what is Skylight? This should be given a bit of its own, especially since the synopsis is rather thin at the hips.

>control, and

Try to avoid commas before conjunctions.

> it's up to Ari to find out what's causing it.

Give a hint. Maybe there's some mysterious presence, unexplained storms? Whet the reader's appetite but leave them asking for more.
This post was edited by its author on .

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 547

Just reading the advice here is really interesting—like imagining how a statement could be specific yet still open ended. Example:

>Maybe there's some mysterious presence, unexplained storms?


This is definitely giving me stuff to think about.

548

>>547
It's a gift.

Ion-Sturm 550

They said love was all that truly mattered, and they were right. Shining Armour and Cadance spread love, made love, felt love.


The only problem was that it was never with each other.
This post was edited by its author on .

Hello there! Crushric 1934

Hi there, remember me? Well, I'm back and am trying to test new synopsizes (is that even the correct plural?) for that very same story. Here goes, and critic the *yay* our of it, if'n ya don't mind:

I come from a land far to the east, a place called Preußen, a nation of proud stallions. Who I am doesn't matter. What does matter, however, is the cultural dissonance between our two peoples, those of Equestria and those of my homeland. What matters more is how I, by virtue of being at the wrong place at the right time, am now entirely at the mercy of these naked Equestrian savages. I am by no means the hero of this tale, and this is hardly even my story. I'm just a nopony thrust into the Equestrian world, with their strange customs and way of thinking. To them, I guess, I'm just as alien, with my so-called guttural language, my strange God, and my cultural need to wear pants. Oh, and let's not forget how the Prince of Darkness and the Biblical Kane are waging a war for the fate of the whole universe, and how I get forced along by sheer virtue of me being able to translate from my language into Equestrian. This is the story of culture, language, and the Mane Six and Princess Luna saving the world. Oh, and I guess I'm there, since I'm the narrator.

Thoughts on how I could improve this? Oh, and the lack of the narrator's name is on purpose, since the story goes out of its way to never describe him. The purposeful lack of his name here is to further point out that he is not the main character nor even a hero, just a first-person peripheral narrator (like Nick Caraway from "The Great Gatsby").

1939

I'd REALLY appreciate some help on this one. I'm about to get my "Update Complete" post on EqD, and I think my synopsis needs a lot of work:

Title: Under A Luminous Sky
Tags: Dark, Thriller, Mystery
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/40634/Under-A-Luminous-Sky

>Equestria is a land of peace. Violent crime is almost nonexistent. Ponyville in particular hasn't had a single case of equicide in all its years of existence. But nothing lasts forever.


>A body is discovered in the Everfree Forest. Shortly thereafter, an enigmatic stallion arrives at the local library, dispatched by Celestia herself. Faced with an obstinate police force, Twilight and this strange new pony must put the pieces together and catch a killer. But as the blood continues to spill, one thing becomes terrifyingly clear: in the dark of the Everfree, much more is at stake than mere lives.


I know it's kind of crap, so any advice or suggestions will be met with cookies.
This post was edited by its author on .

Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 1951

>>1939
I'd say cut the first two sentences from the synopsis altogether. They say things that we already know from the show, and they both say the same thing.

>an enigmatic stallion

consider trying to say his actual position somewhere in there. Hopefully in a way that doesn't sound pretentious and give the reader OC scare. "an enigmatic detective".
Secondly, you could just do "Celestia sends detective" rather than "detective arrives, sent by Celestia herself" Again, the phrase "sent by Celestia herself" may give OC scare.
"catch a killer" should be "catch the killer". "But as the blood" should be "But as blood"

Aside from that, I'd say try using what's left and maybe adding a bit more and posting a new synopsis for refining.

1954

>>1951
Hmm, several good points. Thanks!

Now, I thought of this, but I'm thinking it's way too cliche:

>Ponyville's peaceful existence is rocked when a body is discovered in the Everfree Forest.


As for the rest:

>As the townsponies grieve, a Special Agent from the Royal Investigative Service arrives at the Books and Branches library, and Twilight finds herself drawn into a world she didn't know existed: lies, corruption, suspicion, and murder. Faced with an obstinate police force, Twilight and this strange Agent must put the pieces together and catch the killer. But as blood continues to spill, one thing becomes terrifyingly clear: in the dark of the Everfree, much more is at stake than mere lives.


Any better?

Correction Crushric 1981

Ah, well, think I did it wrong; was under the assumption that the tags and title where assumed, being that the old one was posted in the ponychan thread. Silly me.

Title: Jericho
Tags: [Dark] [Comedy] [Adventure]
Actual synopsis: I come from a land far to the east, a place called Preußen, a nation of proud stallions. Who I am doesn't matter. What does matter, however, is the cultural dissonance between our two peoples, those of Equestria and those of my homeland. What matters more is how I, by virtue of being at the wrong place at the right time, am now entirely at the mercy of these naked Equestrian savages. I am by no means the hero of this tale, and this is hardly even my story. I'm just a nopony thrust into the Equestrian world, with their strange customs and way of thinking. To them, I guess, I'm just as alien, with my so-called guttural language, my strange God, and my cultural need to wear pants. Oh, and let's not forget how the Prince of Darkness and the Biblical Kane are waging a war for the fate of the whole universe, and how I get forced along by sheer virtue of me being able to translate from my language into Equestrian. This is the story of culture, language, and six annoying yet special girls and a lunatic princess saving the world. Oh, and I guess I'm there, since I'm the narrator.


Thoughts on how I could improve this? Oh, and the lack of the narrator's name is on purpose, since the story goes out of its way to never describe him. The purposeful lack of his name here is to further point out that he is not the main character nor even a hero, just a first-person peripheral narrator (like Nick Caraway from "The Great Gatsby").

Synopsis 1984

File: 1354766572541.jpg (288.99 KB, 900x900, Novell and Havoc copy.jpg)

Title: Unmarked

Tags: [Adventure]

Synopsis: Purpose. In Equestria, where purpose is defined by the mark on your flank, it is often taken for granted. Yet Novell has grown to adulthood without a single explanation of where he fits in. It's not until a chance meeting with a particular Professor that he gets the opportunity to explore the world and find out exactly where he belongs. Of course, adventuring has a host of its own problems, as this blank flank is about to find out!

Any suggestions? This is already an improved version from the previous, but I bet there's more improvements to be made. Take your time responding, my friend. Your help is welcome, regardless of when it comes.
This post was edited by its author on .

Ion-Sturm 2001

File: 1354781807356.gif (2.92 MB, 400x225, gy3Cdnpm6EGw1hhCNp2VWQ2.gif)

>>1981
Well, first thing I would recommend would be cutting out one of those tags, most likely the [Dark] or [Comedy]. General rule is to not exceed two tags.

>Preußen


Is this really necessary? Seems like you're trying a little too hard to be all exotic-y.

>so-called guttural language

I would suggest "barbaric". A sort of counter-point to calling the Equestrians "savages".

>with my so-called guttural language, my strange God, and my cultural need to wear pants.

You don't need the "my" after the first instance since it's obvious the focus is still on the narrator.
>with my so-called guttural language, strange God, and cultural need to wear pants.

>Biblical Kane

If you're planning on submitting this to EqD, I believe they have a strict no-(real)religion policy to avoid clashes between ideologies. This may be toeing the line.

>six annoying yet special girls

I'm inclined to suggest "annoying-yet-special", but I would get a second opinion on that first.

>and six annoying yet special girls and a lunatic princess saving the world.

Just because I hate having two "and"s in a sentence like this, I'm going to suggest
>and six-annoying-yet special girls with their lunatic princess saving the world.

>Oh, and I guess I'm there

Might I suggest a turn-of-phrase like "along for the ride" here?
>Oh, and I guess I'm along for the ride, too, since I'm the narrator.

As a closer, I would suggest:
>Oh, and I guess I'm there, since I'm the narrator.

>May the gods help me.


This would further emphasize his feelings of being swept away by the unfolding events. Bonus points since the gods themselves appear to be the reason for his despair, which is so deep that he has to turn right back to them for help.

>>1984
I'll get to you tomorrow, hopefully.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 2006

File: 1354803902328.jpg (10.38 KB, 217x232, mhm.jpg)

>>1954
>Ponyville's peaceful existence is rocked when a body is discovered in the Everfree Forest.
>As the townsponies grieve, a Special Agent from the Royal Investigative Service arrives at the Books and Branches library, and Twilight finds herself drawn into a world she didn't know existed: lies, corruption, suspicion, and murder. Faced with an obstinate police force, Twilight and this strange Agent must put the pieces together and catch the killer. But as blood continues to spill, one thing becomes terrifyingly clear: in the dark of the Everfree, much more is at stake than mere lives.
Hmmm. Kinda vague on the Agent, which from what I remember was a pretty decent selling point of your story.

Had I not read your story before, I'd think that this was merely run-of-the-mill, on account of being desensitized to death. Could be just me, but "when a body is discovered" has me automatically reaching for "meh, again?". Once again, this could be just me, but I think I'd bolster it with some tongue-in-cheek contrast, maybe:

>Ponyville, heart of the land of harmony, sunshine and rainbows, is rocked when a body…


Or that could just be me being cheeky. But at least cheeky gets attention.

Which is a greater challenge: the police force being obstinate, or the Agent's many quirks? Because I'd actually rearrange it to become:

>Faced with an obstinate police force and the strange Agent's not-so-amusing quirks, Twilight must gird up and put the pieces…


I mean, what you have currently (revised) is what I'd call solid. Solid, yes, shows that you know what you're doing, but perhaps a bit more personality into it would give you the hook you need.

>>550
>They said love was all that truly mattered, and they were right. Shining Armour and Cadance spread love, made love, felt love.
>The only problem was that it was never with each other.
I'd go for maybe "Love was ever all that truly mattered, and this was right" myself. The phrase "They said" feels… cushiony with a fact that feels like it was meant to be delivered straight and blunt.

But the synopsis is certainly attention-grabbing, I'll give it that.
This post was edited by its author on .

2012

>>2006

How's about this:

>Ponyville, the humble village known for its peaceful tranquility, is shaken to its core when a body is discovered in the Everfree Forest. As the townsponies grieve, the strange, pale Special Agent Bentgrass, from Their Majesties' Royal Investigative Service, arrives at the Books and Branches library and drags Twilight into a world she's only read about: lies, corruption, suspicion, and murder. Faced with an indifferent police force, and Agent Bentgrass's infuriating methods, Twilight must put the pieces together and catch the killer. But as blood continues to spill and questions pile up, one thing is terrifyingly clear: in the dark of the Everfree, much more is at play than mere murder.


Did it in five minutes. Don't kill me.

Still me, again. Crushric 2020

>>2001

Okay, so I made the changes, but there are points I'd like to wonder aloud here upon.

Since the story involves a lot of [Comedy] (using sarcasm, wit, and cultural misunderstandings), [Adventure] (Luna and the Mane Six literally travel across five continents, though mostly for brief periods as their aboard a Preußischer ship, the K.M.S. Jericho), and gets [Dark] (non-grimdark references to the horror of war; a German-based state that is really an army that owns a state; daemons; an in-depth look at how religion can reflect a culture, and how affects religion can have on a population; a close-up look of patriarchy and how it effects every culture, especially that of Preußen and even Equestria; OCs [and only OCs] getting seriously hurt; the OC narrator is and honest-to-God sociopath, and said trope is deconstructed; and all occupying a moral gray-area where there is no good or evil, no true right or wrong, where there is only who wins and loses) – and they all happen about evenly, often within the same chapter. (And it's not grimdark, I swear.) What am I supposed to tag it, then, since these three tags work with it as well as can be?

The Ezsett "ß" isn't about me being exotic so much as that's how the word it spelt, because I could Anglicize it as eighty "Preuszen" or "Preussen", by the would fundamentally change how the word is pronounced, to the point of being unrecognizable in verbal communication. Is it still okay to include the ß when it's the only way to ensure the Latin-spelling version of it is pronounced correctly?

The religion used here is notably based on Judeo-Christian ones, even using the same terminology ( a purposeful choice), but in practice is deeply different, with their Bible (as it's called) being more akin to a list of scientific theories and applications, rather than a holy book (at least in places). Or, for that matter, this "Biblical Kane" is seen as a great hero who *blah blah blah world-building*. Is it still okay, since the Judeo-Christian terminology is purposeful, but it's highly different than most any real-world faith. This is also a major point of the story, like how the Preußen faith is monotheistic, following an old God that was abandoned in ancient Equestria because this God was simply impractical for their culture. Is this still okay?

[Sorry if I'm being annoying; I'm trying to create the best darn summary that I can make, since I have unrealistic dreams of being on the EQD]

Title: Jericho
Tags: [Dark][Comedy][Adventure]
New summary:
I come from a land far to the east, a place called Preußen, a nation of proud stallions. Who I am doesn't matter. What does matter, however, is the cultural dissonance between our two peoples, those of Equestria and those of my homeland. What matters more is how I, by virtue of being at the wrong place at the right time, am now entirely at the mercy of these naked Equestrian savages. I am by no means the hero of this tale, and this is hardly even my story. I'm just a nopony thrust into the Equestrian world, with their strange customs and way of thinking. To them, I guess, I'm just as alien, with my so-called barbaric language, strange God, and cultural need to wear pants. Oh, and let's not forget how the Prince of Darkness and the Biblical Kane are waging a war for the fate of the whole universe, and how I get forced along by sheer virtue of me being able to translate from my language into Equestrian. This is the story of culture, language, and six annoying yet special girls with their lunatic princess saving the world. Oh, and I guess I'm along for the ride, too, since I'm the narrator.

Any of your thoughts are welcome. And I thank you countless times your your help, what you have provided and what you might offer (and for reading this far in the comment.)

Review request. 2547

Okay, so, FimFic has seen some changes lately, design-wise. Not a problem. I'm a fan of most of the changes. What I don't like, however, is that the short synopsis has overtaken the long one in most cases. On the front page, profile pages—all of them feature the short ones. Which frustrates me because they rarely make the stories they're presenting justice, IMO, but also because mine sucks!

So, I went here hoping for some help. Here's what I've come up with so far:

In an Equestria without Princess Celestia, Twilight Sparkle gets lost in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration. Unbeknownst to her, she will set a series of events into motion that will change the fates of both the nation and her life, forever.

In comparison, here's the long(er) version:

In an Equestria where Discord never was, and the Pony Princesses never came to power, a young Twilight Sparkle loses her family in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration. Little does she know that her very existence is about to set a series of events into motion that will take her far beyond the borders of Equestria itself—and change the fates of both her nation and her life, forever.

So, what do you think? Any advice (keeping in mind that I can't use more than 150 characters)?

Legion 2554

File: 1355874846237.jpg (4.57 KB, 159x159, 1352518757244.jpg)

Okay. I have this story idea, right?

It's not a traditional fiction in the sense that it's actually a Choose Your Own Adventure fic. Not sure if anybody knows what those are, but they're hella cool imo. Also, it's not going to be this:

Do you want to go down the hallway?
>yes
>no

Yeah, instead of that, you're not going to directly control the character. Rather, you're a voice inside of the character's head that coaxes him in the direction you want to go. Your conversations with him will affect how he reacts to your advice, as well as how he treats those around him, and will ultimately determine the outcome of the story.

Title: Tinker (May change as needed)

Synopsis: A full decade has passed since the defeat of Nightmare Moon and Discord at the hands of the Bearers of the Elements. The subsequent celebrity of the six heroes helped tourism and trade explode in Ponyville. The increased income helped the town expand and grow. In this flourishing Ponyville is a young stallion named Tinker. Having finally finished his studies, this engineering pony goes out to become a productive member of society. A strange device he discovers in the Everfree forest however, prevents him from becoming a small-town fix-it pony. This otherwordly device helps him develop a machine that allows all ponies to fly, and without magic! Development of his wondrous machine moves quickly, and after a few short years, many ponies are able to fly faster than any Pegasus normally could. There are Pegasi (namely Cloudsdalians Cloudsdalites?), however, who view such machinery as un-natural, and see the sudden influx of Earth Ponies and Unicorns as threats to their race. Tensions rise, and it seems as if Cloudsdale is going to secede from the Equestrian Empire. The Bearers, along with Tinker, are called into action to defuse the situation before it develops into full-scale war. Will you assist Tinker in this goal, or will you plunge Equestria into one of the worst wars in pony history?

Legion 2555

File: 1355874995245.png (166.06 KB, 500x500, 1352517529571.png)

>>2554
Ack, I didn't explain what a CYOA is.

A choose your own adventure story is a text-based adventure where the author allows you to choose what path the story takes. These can either be very choosy (i.e., you choose everything that happens, with only a couple sentences in between choices), or very spaced out, where you determine the direction the story goes without fully controlling it (think Katawa Shoujo). This story is going to be the latter.

Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 2557

File: 1355878652519.jpg (78.05 KB, 594x348, 183773__UNOPT__safe_rainbow-da…)

>>2547
" she will set a series of events into motion that will change the fates of both the nation and her life, forever."

"Change the fate, forever" is a tad cliche, and on top of that you want a synopsis to give information. Here you're just saying 'events'. Well, sure, every story has events. What kind of events does yours have?

!Loaf.oaJ9k 2558

>>2554
*influx of Earth Ponies and Unicorns into Cloudsdale*

!Loaf.oaJ9k 2560

>>2020
I'm not the best advice-giver I suppose, so feel free to disregard, but I kind of agree with Sturm on the use of the esset. Perhaps it might be better to make up your own Germanic name than using the actual name for Prussia? Or simply fully aglicizidies (lol) it and just call it Prussia.

2571

>>2020

All right, I've got a crit.

>>Since the story involves a lot of [Comedy] (using sarcasm, wit, and cultural misunderstandings), [Adventure] (Luna and the Mane Six literally travel across five continents, though mostly for brief periods as their aboard a Preußischer ship, the K.M.S. Jericho), and gets [Dark] (non-grimdark references to the horror of war; a German-based state that is really an army that owns a state; daemons; an in-depth look at how religion can reflect a culture, and how affects religion can have on a population; a close-up look of patriarchy and how it effects every culture, especially that of Preußen and even Equestria; OCs [and only OCs] getting seriously hurt; the OC narrator is and honest-to-God sociopath, and said trope is deconstructed; and all occupying a moral gray-area where there is no good or evil, no true right or wrong, where there is only who wins and loses) – and they all happen about evenly, often within the same chapter. (And it's not grimdark, I swear.) What am I supposed to tag it, then, since these three tags work with it as well as can be?


Just because a story contains some comedy and some dark aspects doesn't mean is actually needs those tags. Many stories contain some humor, but that doesn't make them true comedies. I went and saw the Hobbit and there were plenty of jokes in it, but would I ever call it a comedy? Sarcasm and wit do not a comedy make. Think about it like this: if someone walked up to you and said they were looking for comedy MLP fics because they needed a good laugh, would you recommend this fic? It doesn't sound like it. And if the level of comedy really is high enough to make this fic worthy of being called a comedy, I would be very concerned that all of the dark elements would cause mood whiplash in the reader.

This fic looks like it will be fine with just the [Adventure][Dark].

>The Ezsett "ß" isn't about me being exotic so much as that's how the word it spelt, because I could Anglicize it as eighty "Preuszen" or "Preussen", by the would fundamentally change how the word is pronounced, to the point of being unrecognizable in verbal communication. Is it still okay to include the ß when it's the only way to ensure the Latin-spelling version of it is pronounced correctly?


The ß will ensure it will be pronounced correctly? Maybe for people who know the original language, but for anyone else it's just going to be an incomprehensible symbol. If this fic is for English speakers, then the name should be pronounceable in English. I'm sure readers would rather have a technically incorrect Anglicized name they can pronounce than a correct one they can't pronounce at all.



>Title: Jericho

Tags: [Dark][Comedy][Adventure]
New summary:
I come from a land far to the east, a place called Preußen, a nation of proud stallions. Who I am doesn't matter. What does matter, however, is the cultural dissonance between our two peoples, those of Equestria and those of my homeland. What matters more is how I, by virtue of being at the wrong place at the right time, am now entirely at the mercy of these naked Equestrian savages. I am by no means the hero of this tale, and this is hardly even my story. I'm just a nopony thrust into the Equestrian world, with their strange customs and way of thinking. To them, I guess, I'm just as alien, with my so-called barbaric language, strange God, and cultural need to wear pants. Oh, and let's not forget how the Prince of Darkness and the Biblical Kane are waging a war for the fate of the whole universe, and how I get forced along by sheer virtue of me being able to translate from my language into Equestrian. This is the story of culture, language, and six annoying yet special girls with their lunatic princess saving the world. Oh, and I guess I'm along for the ride, too, since I'm the narrator.


The first issue I see with this is that it's too long. Shorter is better for summaries.

Second, the narrator. You write that this character isn't that important, and that it isn't his story even though he is narrating it, but the main characters aren't mentioned until the second to last sentence. Luna isn't even named. Most of this summary consists of his thoughts and feelings, without revealing much of the plot. If I were skimming over this, I would assume this was a story about the narrator stallion dealing with Equestrians, with the stallion himself as the main character. The main character in the story is the one with the problem to confront and solve. Right now, it looks like this stallion is that guy.

The stallion can still narrate the summary, but the focus needs to be on the main characters and their mission. Speaking of which, what is their mission? Apparently there's a Prince of Darkness and a Biblical Kane, and they have to save the world. We know that the narrator feels compelled to wear pants, but we have no idea what the actual problem the heroes are solving is.

Here's an example summary to give a sense of what I mean. I just made up details for purposes of example.

'I have nothing but disgust for the ponies of Equestria and their strange ways, but when demons plague my homeland and signal the coming of the legendary Prince of Darkness, the Bearers of the Elements and their pagan Princess of the Moon are our only hope. With me as a translator, they journey to the nation Preußen to destroy the hidden temple and prevent the Prince's ascent. But seven Equestrian mares must overcome more than black magic in a land ruled by clothes-wearing stallions who worship very different gods.'

Obviously I filled in a lot of random details which probably are totally inappropriate for your story. However, it might be useful to look at this as an example of cutting down the word count and getting to the meat of the story. Note how this was shorter than your original summary but contained more specific information. Also, even though the narrator is a distinct presence, the quest of the main characters is front and center.

Here is what you should try to get into your synopsis:

1. Who are the main characters of this fic? In this case, it would be the Mane 6, Luna, and the narrator. The narrator can be introdu
ced though the overall tone of the summary.
2. What is the problem they are trying to solve? They're off to save the world or universe or whatever, but why is the world threatened?

3.How are they going to solve it? You don't need to go into every detail of the plot, but give us some sense of what they're specifically trying to accomplish.

4. The culture clash is obviously a very important plot thread, so you need to get that in there. You didn't have trouble putting it in your original summary, but you could probably have implied the culture clash in less words to save room for other important plot points.

Hope this is useful. It looks like you have a very creative premise on your hands.

2572

>>2547

>In an Equestria without Princess Celestia, Twilight Sparkle gets lost in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration. Unbeknownst to her, she will set a series of events into motion that will change the fates of both the nation and her life, forever.


>In comparison, here's the long(er) version:


>In an Equestria where Discord never was, and the Pony Princesses never came to power, a young Twilight Sparkle loses her family in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration. Little does she know that her very existence is about to set a series of events into motion that will take her far beyond the borders of Equestria itself—and change the fates of both her nation and her life, forever.




This synopsis has vagueness problems, which, alas, are very common. This of it like this: how many pony fics can you name that could have this in the summary"a series of events [go] into motion that will take her far beyond the borders of Equestria itself—and change the fates of both her nation and her life, forever"? Almost any MLP adventure fic falls into that category. You need to get specific to show why your fic is unique.

The most compelling line is from the second synopsis: "In an Equestria where Discord never was, and the Pony Princesses never came to power, a young Twilight Sparkle loses her family in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration."

An alternate Equestria without Discord or the Princesses? Intriguing! Now that you've got us with the hook, reel us in. It can be understandably frustrating to have to reveal events that happen after the first or second chapter, but you have to give us something to chew on. A taste of the main conflict, if you will. This story isn't about Twilight Sparkle getting lost in a crowd. What's her quest? You don't need much; just a sentence or two.

>>2554


>Title: Tinker (May change as needed)


>Synopsis: A full decade has passed since the defeat of Nightmare Moon and Discord at the hands of the Bearers of the Elements. The subsequent celebrity of the six heroes helped tourism and trade explode in Ponyville. The increased income helped the town expand and grow. In this flourishing Ponyville is a young stallion named Tinker. Having finally finished his studies, this engineering pony goes out to become a productive member of society. A strange device he discovers in the Everfree forest however, prevents him from becoming a small-town fix-it pony. This otherwordly device helps him develop a machine that allows all ponies to fly, and without magic! Development of his wondrous machine moves quickly, and after a few short years, many ponies are able to fly faster than any Pegasus normally could. There are Pegasi (namely Cloudsdalians Cloudsdalites?), however, who view such machinery as un-natural, and see the sudden influx of Earth Ponies and Unicorns as threats to their race. Tensions rise, and it seems as if Cloudsdale is going to secede from the Equestrian Empire. The Bearers, along with Tinker, are called into action to defuse the situation before it develops into full-scale war. Will you assist Tinker in this goal, or will you plunge Equestria into one of the worst wars in pony history?


You've got the opposite problem: too much information. Luckily, this is an easier problem to fix. It looks like you've got what's most important in there, so you just need to cut some backstory out.

We dont' really need to know the specifics of how long its been since Discord's defeat or that the tourism trade exploded in Ponyville. All the backstory we really need to know is that Tinker found a device that allows unicorns and earth ponies to fly faster than pegasi, and distressed pegasi are threatening to secede.

Rhetorical questions are often looked down upon, but because this is a choose your own adventure story, it works fine. It's not even a rhetorical question: it's an actual question!

The synopsis should start with Tinker finding the machine and the consequences, then lead into the fears of the pegasi, the threat of secession, the mission to prevent war. I'd try to aim for around four sentences in the summary, if possible.
This post was edited by its author on .

2576

>>2572
>>2557

Okay, how about this:

"In an Equestria where Discord never was, and the Pony Princesses never came to power, a young Twilight Sparkle loses her family in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration. Soon after, circumstances beyond her control pushes her into a conflict where nefarious forces threatens both her and the nation at large. Struggling to survive, Twilight has to find a way not just to protect those around her, but to also keep the nation from consuming itself."

What do you think of that?

P. S. Yay! The long synopses are back!

Hamilton 2581

>>2576

This is still pretty vague. Thus, I shall try to be as specific as possible with this crit of it. :)

>"In an Equestria where Discord never was, and the Pony Princesses never came to power, a young Twilight Sparkle loses her family in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration. Soon after, circumstances beyond her control pushes her into a conflict where nefarious forces threatens both her and the nation at large. Struggling to survive, Twilight has to find a way not just to protect those around her, but to also keep the nation from consuming itself."


So, let's take a look at this sentence…

>Soon after, circumstances beyond her control pushes her into a conflict where nefarious forces threatens both her and the nation at large.


Let's replace some of those vague words.

Soon after, a freak hurricane pushes her into a gladiatorial arena where a power-hungry windigo threatens both her and the nation at large.

Soon after, a compulsive magic force pushes her into an game of wits where a secret society of extremist unicorns threatens both her and the nation at large.

Soon after, her parents' poverty pushes her into a world of black market artifact trading where a gang's cursed crystal ball threatens both her and the nation at large.

Soon after, a calcium deficiency pushes her into a quest for milk where Black Friday crowds threaten both her and the nation at large.

See what I mean about specificity? :) "Circumstances" can be anything. "Nefarious forces" can be anything. Tell us what kind of story this is going to be. A fic where the nefarious forces are invisible psychic demons that destroy sanity is going to be different from one where the nefarious forces are a sinister faction of of politicians ready and willing to utilize a new mystic tool used for assassination.

Forgot to add: It looks like you're having a problem with subject-verb agreement. It's "circumstances beyond her control push her", not "pushes her". It's "nefarious forces threaten" not "threatens". If the subject is plural, the verb should not have an s. If the subject is singular, add the s. Thus, a force threatens, but forces threaten. Circumstances push, a circumstance pushes.
This post was edited by its author on .

2583

>>2581

Hmm. The thing is that if I lay out that many cards on the table in the synopsis alone, I might as well just pack up and go home. No, really, there wouldn't be much to keep the reader interested through the first act of the story.

Remember, this is an AU story, and the conflict is dependent on that, so the first part of the story will be setting up the world and stage in which the conflict takes place. Thus, I need the reader to wonder where it's all heading as I'm leading them up to the main conflict. If I revealed as much as you seem to be suggesting, they would already know where it's heading, and a lot of the mystery is lost—and the excitement along with it.

I hate how this makes it sound like the first few chapters are a hugh drag when they're really not (or, at least, I hope they're not).

For example: here I sit with the back-cover of the first Harry Potter book, and it makes no mention of, or even allusion to, Voldemort. It pretty much just says that Harry's an orphan, his adoptive family is abusive, but it's okay since his life becomes a whole lot better after it's revealed that he's a wizard and that he's going to attend Hogwarts.

That's because the author needs enough time to build it up. She couldn't come out and state on the cover that an evil wizard is after him because of events that happened when he was a one-year-old, or that he's the one that murdered Harry's parents, or that something secret has been hidden somewhere in his new school…

If she did, nobody would bother to read through the first few chapters she spends establishing Harry's life and how quirky the wizarding world is, since the reader already knows the nature of the main conflict, and they want to rush to the meat of the story!

I appreciate your advice however, but I don't think it's the right thing for this fic.

I hope I got my point across…

>Forgot to add…


Argh! Grammar, thou hast failed me! No, but I sort of wrote this in a hurry and it must've slipped by me as I made corrections. Oh well.

Hamilton 2585

>>2583

I'm not buying these excuses. You mentioned the fact that Harry Potter synopsis was vague, but guess what? It had more than what you have here. Going to a wizard school is a great inciting incident, filled with potential. When someone reads that, they know they're in for some fun. It conjures of plenty of images in the readers' mind: what are the classes like? The teachers? What exciting secrets will he learn and what magic will he perform?

Then look at your synopsis. Twilight gets lost at the Summer Sun Celebration. Also there are forces. What kind of forces? Nefarious ones. Truly a unique and original concept for a story! Nothing drags in the readers like the remarkably fascinating creativity of 'nefarious forces'! What kind of images do these conjure up for the reader, in comparison to the ones the Harry Potter synopsis conjures up? Twilight getting lost at the Summer Sun Celebration. That's it.

Trust me: your story isn't so mind-boggling amazing that even giving us the slightest hint about what the story actually is will ruin us for the exciting revelations to come.

Is your synopsis the worst ever? No. Will people still read your fic? Probably. But trust me: it is absolutely possible to make a compelling synopsis to a story with a long setup like the one you described. Your synopsis isn't vague because that was the only way to conceal the exciting reveals of your fic. It's vague because you didn't put in the effort to craft a synopsis that's specific enough to entice without giving too much away. Is it easy? No. The fact that a synopsis is so short means you have to spend extra time figuring how you can use the smallest amount of words to achieve exactly the right effect. But it sure as hell s possible, I've seen others do it, and you're not doing yourself or your fic any favors by acting like your hands are tied by circumstance.

2586

>>2585

Hey, I didn't say the concern of vagueness wasn't a real one, just that I think the particular way you suggested of adressing it wouldn't work for my fic. The idea of putting more imagery into the (potential) reader's mind is a sound one, however. I think I've already got an example I could use for inspiration.

Also, I don't appreciate you essentially calling me lazy for not taking your advice to heart. I don't make excuses, I come here because I genuinely seek help and advice, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with every suggestion thrown my way. I said I don't think the way you suggested would work in my case—at least not to the effect I wanted—explained why, but thanked you anyway. We might disagree, but to infer that I just choose to do so because I'm lazy or unimaginative is uncalled for. I don't know if you meant to come across as rude and condescending (I hope not) but you've certainly done it.

But, hey, maybe I'm wrong! I could PM you a rough outline of my story, if you want, we could go over it, and you could explain exactly how far into the dephts of my story you would suggest my synopsis go?

!Loaf.oaJ9k 2592

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>>2572
Hmm. Alright then.

Tinker, a young engineer pony in Ponyville, discovers an otherworldly device which helps him develop a machine that allows all ponies to fly, and without magic! After a few years, many ponies are able to fly faster than any Pegasus normally could. Though, there are Pegasi who view such machinery as unnatural, and see the sudden influx of Earth Ponies and Unicorns into Cloudsdale as threats to their race. Tensions rise, and it seems as if Cloudsdale is going to secede from the Equestrian Empire. Will you assist Tinker and the Bearers of the Elements in defusing the situation? Or will you plunge Equestria into one of it's worst wars?
This post was edited by its author on .

4394

> In a desperate attempt to thwart the nefarious scheme of a power-crazed sorceror, Twilight Sparkle ends up displaced into the future, where no evil ruler has taken control, all of her friends are alive and well, and everything seems to be just fine.



After a lot of struggling with my inner demons, posted nearly without comment. (The inner demons and I have settled on a draw.)

4396

File: 1361905122387.gif (879.47 KB, 229x188, 136.gif)

>>4394
>Pic
Honestly, just been trying to find a reason to use this pic.



Stupid idea, go!
aLL sHALL lOVE
"We shall befriend you. Opposition is inadvisable."

Such is the call of those claimed by the insidious B-Virus as they hunt down and inflict their curse upon those who still bear the title of "human". With equine forms that grant super speed and strength, the power of flight, or devious magic, they are nearly unstoppable. For each one of us that falls, one more joins their ranks. Only pockets of mankind are left, composed of those who would fight until the last digit is gone from their hand and replaced by calcified hoof.

We are the resistance.

And we are doomed.

4399

>>4396

Suspected as much. Back to the drawing board.

Snarkle(at)Office 4402

File: 1361916666272.jpg (16.68 KB, 305x398, whoopass.jpg)

Snowdrop loves her daddy more than anything. In fact, it seems that everyone who meets him likes him. Snowdrop's daddy is always welcomed wherever he goes in town, and he always stops to help someone in need.
Lately, though, something's different. Ever since a stranger scared him and ran into the woods, Snowdrop's daddy seems worried. Maybe even sick. He hurries here and there, and sometimes doesn't even hear people who shout 'hello'.
This won't do. Daddies, especially Snowdrop's daddy, are supposed to be kind, and gentle, and loving.
She's going to find out what this is all about. And then, she's going to fix it up right.
This post was edited by its author on .

4403

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>>4402
Is this for that animation project that's been going for the last several months?

>>4399
Well, it could be a dumb-fun one-shot, as long as you lampshade and poke everything.

4407

>>4403

Well, that's more proof I missed the target. I'm actually gunning for serious!

We all know what to do if we get displaced in time and the future sucks: We try to find the way back, to fix everything. We hardly even have to think about it, because we can't allow a terrible future to exist. It's not the future we deserve, it's not the future anyone deserves. We HAVE to fix it. All that remains to be seen (the central conflict) is how we're going to pull it off.

But what if the future turned out pretty good? What if going back would give the villain another chance to win? Would you still want to fix the past if the future isn't broken? Would it be right to do so? Essentially, all the questions you get to skip if the future sucks are the questions Twilight has to answer, together with the future versions of her friends, who have spent the last ten years waiting desperately for her to come back.

That's, I think, the main failure of the synopsis as it is now; it lists all the facts that make up the central conflict, but doesn't actually say outright what it is. Would you say that's an accurate assessment?

4410

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>>4407
Ion & Glimmer:

How does this sound?

In a desperate attempt to thwart the plans of a nefarious sorcerer, Twilight ends up in the future, ten years from the day of her departure.
She finds herself not a world conquered by the enemy, but a world of happiness, and peace, and friendship. As wondrous as the world she left, and filled with friends who had missed her dearly for a decade.
Now she must decide: go back to fight the foe she left behind, or stay here and let him be, knowing that somehow it all worked out in the end.

4416

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>>4410
Much better.

>>4407
The problem with yours was that it sounded like a tongue-in-cheek subversion of the "Alternate Universes Suck" thing. Snarkle's version clearly establishes Twilight's moral conundrum.

Bonus points if Twilight learns that to save her universe, she must sacrifice the new one (or something to that effect).

4417

>>4410
>>4416

Thanks! Assuming I'm not beyond help, that was very helpful! I think it was using words like "nefarious" and "scheme" that helped trigger the tongue-in-cheek. Same for references to evil rulers taking over (no reflection in the plot itself). Too much winking, not enough serious. Here's what I'd go with right now:



In a desperate attempt to thwart the plans of a power-hungry sorceror, Twilight Sparkle ends up displaced in time.

She finds herself in a world untouched by catastrophe of any kind. Everything turned out well in her absence, and her friends, who have missed her dearly for the last decade, are overjoyed to have her back.

Now she has a decision to make. Go to fight the foe she left behind, restoring time as it should have been, or stay and leave him be. All is well that ends well, after all. Right?



(As it so happens, yes, in my version of things, there's only one time stream. She does have to sacrifice the new timeline to go back. It is an issue, but it turns out not to be the central one, because Twilight relatively quickly figures out that none of the two timelines have a right to exist over the other, and it's up to her to decide between them, which is why I don't want to draw too much attention to it in the synopsis. Though she IS in danger of forgetting that as time goes on and she gets more and more comfortable with the future. Aaand now I'm rambling.)

Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4418

I've been looking to replace the old blurb on a story titled: Time Turner's Discordian Detective Agency: The Missing Kitten of Inspiration.

Illogical, dishonest and audacious are all descriptions of the many methodologies that Detective Time Turner will use to solve a client's problems. Following a trail of chaos to the source he works to solve the whole problem, all for a reasonable daily rate (plus expenses).

When a young mare asks Turner to find her lost kitten he’ll find himself hunted by gangsters, chased by a lonely mare, accused of stalking fillyfooling musicians and risking his life to save a kitten that may be the source of Inspiration itself.

Thoughts?
This post was edited by its author on .

4419

>>4418

Seems a bit overly convoluted ("descriptions of the many methodologies"?), there are two mentions of "solve the problem" when that's basically implied in "follow a trail of chaos to the source", and in the second paragraph it basically says twice that he has to save a kitten. I don't get why a "lonely mare" would chase him just from the description, either. "Accused of stalking fillyfooling musicians" made me blink and wonder why Octavia and Vinyl would stalk people, but that might just be me being up late and becoming illiterate.

For what it's worth:

Illogical, dishonest and audacious - these terms all describe the methods that Detective Time Turner employs to solve any client's problems, following a trail of chaos to the source, all for a reasonable daily rate (plus expenses).

When a young mare asks Turner to find her lost kitten, he’ll find himself hunted by gangsters, chased by a lovestruck mare, branded a stalker of fillyfooling musicians and risking his life to save Inspiration itself.

Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4432

File: 1362015884921.jpg (976.81 KB, 1920x1200, you__re_doing_it_wrong.jpg)

Well Let's try this again. Two up for review.

Time Turner's Discordian Detective Agency: The Missing Kitten of Inspiration

Illogical, dishonest and audacious - these describe the methods that Detective Time Turner will use to solve a client's problem by following a trail of chaos to the source.

When a young fashionista asks Turner to find her lost kitten he’ll find himself hunted by gangsters, chased by a lovestruck mare and accused of stalking a pair of fillyfooling musicians. All for a reasonable price (plus expenses).

And the sequel
Time Turner's Discordian Detective Agency: The Panther of the Bluebloods

Prince Blueblood is being haunted by visitations from a giant spectral Panther, a creature responsible for the murder of one of his ancient ancestors. Fearing for his safety Blueblood seeks help, only to be refused assistance from everypony he’s insulted.

Desperate, he takes the advice of a trusted relative who suggests that he take the case to Equestria's only Discordian Detective. The only pony willing to believe him, for a reasonable price.


Considering that both of these are in the 30K word counts they need good synopsi.

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 4446

>>4432
Jumping in to take this one.

>Illogical, dishonest and audacious - these describe the methods that Detective Time Turner will use to solve a client's problem by following a trail of chaos to the source.


This type of sentence is a bad trope of synopses. On top of that, rather than using the words to describe a character or situation, it describes "methods" which makes it doubly lack luster. The "by following a trail of chaos to the source" is stitched onto the end like a black thread repair, and makes the sentence run on.
Just completely cut and retool this part, if you even need anything here at all. I can't overemphasize how much you should not use this enough.

>When a young fashionista asks Turner to find her lost kitten he’ll find himself hunted by gangsters, chased by a lovestruck mare and accused of stalking a pair of fillyfooling musicians. All for a reasonable price (plus expenses).


This is something that can actually work. However, it's stating events in an uninteresting way. Let's try changing it a bit and using it for the start.

>When a young fashionista asked Detective Turner to find her lost kitten, he didn't expect to be hunted by gangsters, chased by a lovestruck mare, or accused of stalking a pair of fillyfooling musicians.


I'd suggest changing "all for a reasonable price" to "At least it was all for a reasonable price." but the sentence only works if it's placed at the end of the summary. And personally, I would go with one, maybe two more sentences describing some details. I don't know your story, so I'll leave that up to you to resubmit.
But hey, the above would make for a good short synopsis.

Onto the second.

>Prince Blueblood is being haunted by visitations from a giant spectral Panther,

>haunted by visitations of a spectre
>department of redundancy department

Also the "being" doesn't need to exist.

>Prince Blueblood is haunted by a giant spectral panther: the creature responsible for the murder of his great-great grandfather, Duke Neighaday(or whoever). Fearing for his life, Blueblood seeks help, only to be refused by everypony he's insulted.


>Desperate, he takes the advice of his uncle, to take the case to Equestria's only Discordian Detective, the only pony who'll believe him. At least, for a reasonable price.


General thing I'm noticing between your synopses, is that you sometimes generalize things that don't need to be generalized, and you don't give raw information.

Still terrible Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4452

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>>4432
>>4446

Let's try this again. Lessons learned: Don't be vague or "mysterious".
So here's a pair with a bit more substance, hopefully it's an improvement.

Kitten

“If there was one basic truth that I have learned in my career as a detective: Is that in the harmonious world that we live in, anything strange or unusual will always lead to something wrong.”


Canterlot is the perfect city for a detective like Time Turner: Full of rich ponies with secrets to hide and an criminal underworld built on the sale of illegal alcohol.

But when a young fashionista hired Turner to find her missing kitten Opalescence, he didn’t expect to come to the attention of the Marefia or that he would be drawn into conflict with a pair of fillyfooling musicians and the demands of high society.

At least there’s a chance to make some money, that’s always nice.


Panther

“Answers only leave you with more questions. That’s good, because questions are the things that lead you to where you need to go.”


Time Turner’s preparations to celebrate the summer sun celebration in Ponyville with his stalker/marefriend Lucky Catch are cut short by a visit from Prince Blueblood, the second most powerful pony in Equestria.

The Prince is haunted by a spectral panther: the creature responsible for the death of one of his predecessors over a thousand years ago. When the captain of the Royal Guard refuses to waste resources investigating a ghost, Prince Blueblood takes advice from his favourite aunt to hire Equestria’s only Discordian Detective to discover why the panther has returned after so long.

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 4461

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>>4452
> Lessons learned: Don't be vague or "mysterious".

Unfortunately you sort of still did that.

The thing about a synopsis is, it's not about telling your readers the theme of the book, or the moral of the story, it's about telling them what the literal story is.

Starting synopses with quotes like that is pretty bad. It doesn't garner much interest. A good synopsis tells the reader things:

1) The main character(s)
2) The setting (IF the setting is foreign)
3) The conflict
4) Conveys the "feel" the story has.

Here are some examples, which you are free to use, or you may keep trying if you want to practice this sort of thing:
(I'm guessing the story has a comedic vibe to it, based off previous synopses)

Time Turner rarely found himself short of work in Canterlot. Between the bootleg cider operations ran in between Canterlot's back alleys, and the rich nobles all trying to spy on one another, the city was a perfect place for detective work.

But when a young fashionista hired Turner to find her missing kitten Opalescence, he didn’t expect to draw the attention of the Marefia, nor that he would be drawn into a scandal between two fillyfooling musicians of high society.

The original version of the last part is vague, and needs changing. I mostly guessed what you meant for my revised version.

As Time Turner prepares to celebrate the Ponyville summer sun celebration with his stalker/marefriend, Lucky Catch, he's cut short by a visit from Prince Blueblood, the twelfth most powerful pony in Equestria.

The Prince is haunted by a spectral panther: the creature responsible for the death of one of his predecessors over a thousand years ago. When the Captain of the Royal Guard refuses to waste resources investigating a ghost story, Prince Blueblood takes his aunt's advice: to hire Equestria’s only Discordian Detective, and to discover why the panther has returned after so long.

I'm iffy on the last sentence. It could possibly be broken down/constructed better.

I cut "favourite" from before aunt. You don't really want frivolous details in a synopsis. It's all about jamming as much raw, important information as you can into a small blurb. The writing in it has to be lean, economic, and above all else, interest piquing.

Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4463

>>4461
I'll play around with it a bit more.
Perhaps a lesson on synopsi would be a good addition to your AA thread.
This post was edited by its author on .

Servus. ’Tis I again. 4518

Yikes. It’s been a while since last we talked, no? Well, after having used your advice to well effect, and then going back and completely rewriting that old whole story, I’ve gone and made yet a new summary. And so with it I come to you, Ion-Sturm. Can and will you help me?

Title: Jericho
Tags: [Dark] [Adventure] (See notes, since [Comedy] is still in flux)
Summary: When Jericho becomes the first Teutscher in nearly a millennium to set hoof into Equestria, the last thing he expects are problems. Yet when your best friends are your own sociopathic self and the angel who appears in your dreams, Kane, perhaps you’ve lost all right to things going smoothly. Between the clash of culture, getting forced into the company of six annoying yet special girls plus their lunatic princess, the Prince of Darkness resurrected and trying to save the world from Kane, and the universe almost certainly being out to get him, his daily survival is anything but guaranteed. But with a mix of sarcasm, wit, and Prussian ingenuity, Jericho isn’t going down without a fight.

Notes:
There's sort of a lot of things going on there, and I absolutely struggle to put this into any fewer words than what's up there. I also sort of want to write this summary in first person, since that's how the story is told. However, the character of the narrator himself is unlikely to ever just give him name, so I resorted to third-person, to force his name to be uttered.

Line three of that. I wanted it to be different. To be: “Between the clash of culture; getting forced into the company of six annoying yet special girls plus their lunatic princess as they quest to defend the world; the Prince of Darkness resurrected and trying to save the world from Kane, even if he has to destroy the world to do it; and the universe almost certainly being out to get him; his daily survival is anything but guaranteed.” The problem, as you can see, is that the structure necessitates the use of semicolons, and too that it's longer. But yet the second version gives much better explanations to what's going on. Any ideas on how I can work around this without distorting what I'm trying to say?

While on Fimfic the comedy tag is still there, even though you've mentioned that it oughtn't, the new rewrite is a bit heavier on comedy, but still dark. That is, a bunch of the humor is kinda dark. EG, [the voice in Jericho's head says this] Then again, your psychiatrist once told you, “Maybe life isn’t for everypony”. So forgive me if I don’t hold my breath. While also a bunch of humor isn't dark. But it's also sorta [Comedy] for the tone: since the narrator is something of a heroic comedic sociopath, he remains in high, humorous spirits even when the [Dark] hits the fan. When later on, for planned example, when a lady friend of his is kidnapped and the monster is threatening to do things to her, Jericho behaves so utterly indifferent (saying stuff like, “Neat”) that the dark tone and events are rendered into comedy.
Because of this, I'm at a bit of a tag loss. What ought I to do?


But on top of your professional answers to my questions, your standard critiques are still highly valued.

Tactical 4524

I wrote a bait-and-switch fic.

Should I go balls-out bait and switch with synopsis while suggesting it with tags, or should the synopsis hint at it?

Slight update. 4528

>>4518
The above questions still want for your thoughts, but I revamped the summary. So, I guess here goes:

Title: Jericho
Tags: [Dark] [Adventure] (See Notes in previous post)
Summary:
When Jericho becomes the first Teutscher in nearly a millennium to set hoof into Equestria, the first thing he expects are problems. When your best friends are your own sociopathic self and the angel who appears in your dreams, you’ve probably already lost all right to things going smoothly. Between the clash of culture, getting forced into the company of six annoying girls and their lunatic princess, the resurrected Prince of Darkness trying to save the world from that angel, and the universe almost certainly being out to get him, his daily survival is anything but guaranteed. But with a mix of sarcasm, wit, and Prussian ingenuity, Jericho isn’t going down without a fight.

Tactical 4549

File: 1362985282297.jpg (209.11 KB, 1600x900, lols.jpg)

I wrote a new shitfic. Here's the catch: It's too late for this synopsis. This fic has already finished its run on the front page of Fimfiction, and it came away with a whopping 24 views. Thats a new low for me; even my terrible earlier work did better than that.

I just want to know if this is SO horrible… You know.
===================================
The banishment of Nightmare Moon left the Lunar Republic in disarray. With their cause seemingly dead and their hopes for a new age of starlit freedom under their rightful ruler dashed, most of them returned to normal lives under the rule of the Solar Empire.

Most, but not all.

Today, the New Lunar Republic's three top agents embark on the mission that will bring the NLR's thousand-year schemes to a final conclusion.
===================================
What the synopsis doesn't tell you is that this is a parody/humor thing. After 1200 words, the POV and tone shift radically from first person grimdark to third person ponyland. It's revealed that the NLR were actually a bunch of kids using their imagination and causing trouble.

I suppose it's my own fault. I disquised the bait-and-switch, but I disguised it as something shitty that people wouldn't want to read.

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 4551

>>4549
You made the mistake of having a synopsis that doesn't state the appeal of your story.
You also used NLR which is a hazard light for most people that it's someone's first fic written and that it's unoriginal.

Ion-Sturm 4553

File: 1363020159846.jpg (1.09 MB, 3468x2454, commission_for_diablogamer_by_…)

>>4518
Kane's namedrop seems a little ham-fisted.

There's just something about the whole synopsis that doesn't really sit well with me. Since I'm nutty like this, I'm just going to re-write it. If you like this version more, feel free to use it (with credits, of course, since I'm an attention whore).

Now, a point of note is that with first-person comedy (second billing as it may be), the rules of a synopsis are greatly relaxed. In the end, what's going to sell your story is the character voice, so you want your synopsis to establish what Jericho sounds like.



There are better ways to be the first Teutscher to enter Equestria in a thousand years, I would imagine. Still, when my companions for the trip is my sociopathic alter-ego and an angel that enjoys filling my dreams with visions of a world burning in holy fire, I suppose asking for something approaching normalcy is wishful thinking.

Of course, that's just the beginning of my problems. There's a fellow best know as the Prince of freaking Darkness stalking the lands to "save" the world from the angel, the Equestrian princess is a lunatic with a throne, and if one of those six infuriating mares says "Jericho, would you be so kind as to…" again I swear I will kill something, political ramifications or no.

Preferably with my bare hands.

Still, I might be able to make something out of this whole mess. With enough wit, some Prussian ingenuity, and my bottomless well of sarcasm, I might just get out of this clash of the gods (and cultures) with all of my limbs still firmly attached to me.

Tactical 4556

>>4551

Doesn't state the appeal? It sets a tone and says that something exciting is going to happen.

Anyway, the more I look at it, the more sure I get that this wasn't successful because it's in the disguise of something shitty.

I was under the impression that there was an audience for horrible shitty NLR fics, and that writing a little parody would be fun for all involved. Apparently I was wrong about that first part.

Gotcha 4557

>>4553

Following your format, I came up with this:

I’d like to think there’s a better way to be the first Teutscher to set hoof into Equestria in a millennium. When your best friends are your own sociopathic nature and the guardian angel who appears in your dreams, though, the easy way is probably just wishful thinking. See, the universe is almost certainly out to get me. There’s also the reborn Prince of Darkness, honestly trying to save the world from my angelic friend. The younger Equestrian princess is an utter lunatic, though she is pretty hot. The Equestrian culture, which manages to be both elitist and barbaric at the same time. These six infuriating mares that Princess Celestia apparently sees something in, which is why they’re the heroes. There is no way to tell all their stories without telling my own. And if their stories are really just a confession, then so is mine.

Still, with enough wit, some Prussian ingenuity, and my bottomless well of sarcasm, I might just be able to make it out of here alive. Then again, there’s a reason why there’s a big “if” in the middle of my life.

Also, from your addition of "Preferably with my bare hands", is not not clear that the narrator is a pony?




Though I'm still not sure what problem there were with this old version, save for the possible upgrade of being first person:

When Jericho becomes the first Teutscher in nearly a millennium to set hoof into Equestria, the first thing he expects are problems. When your best friends are your own sociopathic self and the angel who appears in your dreams, you’ve probably already lost all right to things going smoothly. Between the clash of culture, getting forced into the company of six annoying girls and their lunatic princess, the resurrected Prince of Darkness trying to save the world from that angel, and the universe almost certainly being out to get him, his daily survival is anything but guaranteed. But with a mix of sarcasm, wit, and Prussian ingenuity, Jericho isn’t going down without a fight.


Am I doing any better? I"m dreadful most at my own summaries.

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 4558

>>4556
The appeal being that it's a parody of those fics. That isn't apparent from the synopsis, all the synopsis says is "hey! I wrote another NLR fic!" The only thing possibly hinting that it was a parody was your use of the word "schemes", but that by itself is terribly unclear.

If you're writing a parody make some effort in the synopsis to show that it's a parody. Your synopsis plays as a straight forward NLR fic, meaning that the audience your synopsis is going to pull is people who want to read that, and then you go and parody it. Your synopsis sets action, but doesn't set the tone as being parody.

Pretty much:
>Anyway, the more I look at it, the more sure I get that this wasn't successful because it's in the disguise of something shitty.

Your synopsis failed to convey the "appeal", and the "appeal" in this fic was "parody of NLR" not "something exciting is going to happen".

>The last three members of the New Lunar Republic desperately cling to their fallen beliefs, long after everypony else moved on. With Luna banished and the rest of the new republic in hiding, these three are left with the oath-bound duty to carry out the NLR's last unhatched diabolical scheme.


And you weren't wrong in the first part, there probably is an audience.
This post was edited by its author on .

Tactical 4559

>>4558
It's a hard-up bait and switch, Cupcakes style. It spends quite a bit of time and energy being a gritty NLR fic.

I get that I was overzealous in concealing the punch line. In retrospect maybe I should have done something that breaks the "don't be mysterious" rule.

That would make it so that the twist circles back around to "oh he made a joke about that in the synopsis"

>audience

So where the hell were they when this was on the front page? Oh well. You win some, you lose some.
This post was edited by its author on .

4560

>>4556
Did you add it to any groups? That would increase readership.

The Code's Apprentice 4608

For a thousand years, the Code of Harmony has ruled Equestria, and the Code of Dissonance has undermined its works at every turn. Now, the war for control over the land will come to a head, and one Pony's decision may change the fate of all.

For though she does not know it, Twilight Sparkle is the shining example of the Code of Harmony. Her teacher, Princess Celestia, its most powerful master. But Celestia knows her enemies are hatching yet another plan that threatens to destroy all she has struggled to maintain against the ever-wily followers of Dissonance who seek to overturn her rule, and replace it with their own.

Little does she know her foe is seeking a new apprentice for its arts, one with seemingly limitless potential for magic, whose thirst for knowledge may yet lead her astray, who is known to be a most faithful student indeed…

Synoposis Review, GO!

Paper_mate_Pony 4628

File: 1363401823861.jpg (10.88 KB, 290x174, images.jpg)

Trying my hand at a little bit of shipping.

Title: Representation

Dearest Twilight,

The Barrister is a particularly implacable creature.

I have met my share here in Manehatten, and can assure you that they are the least amiable ponies to have ever stalked the earth. They are, to steal an analogy, the town bicycle of common decency. They will defend anypony, so long as they pay–you know of the circles within which I revolve, and so it must be plenty.

Their knowledge of common society seems almost drowned out by their knowledge of tired anecdotes, and socializing is a trying concept for the very best of them. I can hardly recall one who has truly ever made a delightful impression upon anypony!

So do explain to me, please, the grotesque turn of events that has led you, one of my oldest friends, to fall infallibly in love with one.

Your friend,
Rarity
This post was edited by its author on .

Ion-Sturm 4629

File: 1363404251558.jpg (42.13 KB, 504x367, 0E1pL81.jpg)

>>4608
>and one Pony's decision
Why is "Pony" capitalized?

>But Celestia knows

Starting a sentence with a conjunction is considered poor form.

>Her teacher, Princess Celestia, its most powerful master.

I'm trying to figure out the placement of this sentence since it doesn't seem to fit.

> But Celestia knows her enemies are hatching yet another plan that threatens to destroy all she has struggled to maintain against the ever-wily followers of Dissonance who seek to overturn her rule, and replace it with their own.

Whew, that's a mouthful. Consider chopping it up with at least one period.

>Little does she know her foe is seeking a new apprentice for its arts, one with seemingly limitless potential for magic, whose thirst for knowledge may yet lead her astray, who is known to be a most faithful student indeed…

Same with this one.

I don't know why the "Code of Harmony/Dissonance" thing is necessary. The first paragraph made me think this was some political drama where the Democrats and Republicans Harmony and Dissonance party are trying to trip each other up. Heck, with a little tweaking I could do just that; Twilight happens to be an up-and-coming star whose popularity could mean the difference between a minority and majority government.

Anyways, unless the "code" bit is of actual relevance, drop it and just say some cliched line like "forces of dissonance" or what-have-you.

>>4628
> <i>town bicycle</i>
We use square brackets in these parts, mate.

>They will defend anypony, so long as they pay

The second "they" is ambiguous to who it is referring to, I think.

>so long as they pay–you know of the circles within which I revolve, and so it must be plenty.

Those two bits seem a little too different to use an en-dash (which, by the way, there should be a space on either side of; an em-dash does not require the spaces). A period might be more fitting.

The writing style seems to fall more into a 20th Century setting, as opposed to Rarity's 1950's fashionista leanings (both of those numbers are probably wrong, but the general gist of it remains intact, I believe). Still, it's well-written and introduces the conflict in an (relatively speaking) original way.

4630

>>4629

Im using the Jedi/Sith dichotomy from the Star Wars universe as a framing device to pit two separate sets of ideals against one another, and Twilight facing the temptations of Power and the evils of a world ruled solely by a rigidly defined sense of "Harmony"

But thank you very much for pointing out those problems, Will fix em up right away.

4631

File: 1363408453974.gif (341.58 KB, 500x273, tumblr_ltlc35yacx1qmahgno1_500…)

>>4629
But I don't speak 1950's fashionista!

4632

File: 1363415947765.gif (1.98 MB, 290x163, tVsNOoH.gif)

>>4630
Okay, but you still don't need the "code" thing. It implies more than you seem to be interested in pursuing. And "Order" would be a better fit. Harmony implies co-existence, order would be forced.
>Star Wars
>Pic

>>4631
It's just a few tweaks. For example, Rarity wouldn't describe the affair as "sordid", it would be "scandalous".

4683

>>4632
I know this is off-topic, heh, but…how can I find the footage in that gif, and where did it come from?

Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4698

>>4683
That's a bit of cut footage from "The Empire Strikes Back". In the release you can see Han, Leia and Chewie run past the door with Threepo in the background.
In the uncut bit the scene shows the sagely droid pausing to rip the warning sign down: "Danger Wampas". Then the snowtrooper opens the door and gets it.
I suppose the director decided that it was a bit much for Threepo's character to do something that even indirectly would cause harm.

It might be on the DvD/Blueray releases in deleted scenes, I didn't have much luck searching youtube.

4699

File: 1363599808447.gif (4.71 MB, 332x244, 6zY9nSh.gif)

>>4683
>>4698
^ What this guy said

I picked it up off of Imgur during one of my regular image hunts.

More Star Wars, good sir?

Another attempt 4700

It am I again, trying out yet another summary, showing off my utter lack of skills. Here goes!

Title: Jericho
Tags:[Dark] [Adventure] [Comedy]
Summary: I’d like to think there’s a better way to be the first Teutscher to set hoof into Equestria in a millennium. When your best friends are your own sociopathic nature and the guardian angel who appears in your dreams, though, the easy way is probably just wishful thinking. See, the universe is almost certainly out to get me. There’s also the reborn Prince of Darkness, honestly trying to save the world from my angelic friend. The younger Equestrian princess is an utter lunatic, though she is pretty hot. The Equestrian culture, which manages to be both elitist and barbaric at the same time. These six infuriating mares that Princess Celestia apparently sees something in, which is why they’re the heroes. There is no way to tell their stories without telling my own. And if their stories are really just a confession, then so is mine.

Still, with enough wit, some Prussian ingenuity, and my bottomless well of snark, I might just be able to make it out of here alive. Then again, there’s a reason why there’s a big “if” in the middle of my life.

——

I believe I noted this already a little earlier in the thread, but I suppose doing an "Is it better, writing it as you imagined it?" post without tagging it as a proper post was my mistake, since it appeared to be forgotten. Regardless, here I am now. Is it any better? Because, by Job, I'm gonna keep abusing this thread until I can finally at least manufacture a halfway decent summary.
This post was edited by its author on .

Paper_mate_Pony 5060

File: 1365492813628.jpg (32.32 KB, 411x350, bricks1.jpg)

I 'unno. Something I cooked up, I guess.
——————————————-
If ever you find yourself tracking west of New Appeloosa, in the direction of its ancient cousin, you shall, at some point, come across a dainty facade. This house, sans home, serves as shelter for two enterprising young brothers. They claim – through placement of forthcoming signage – to be the saviors of the wasteland.

Which is strange. As I recall, the savior of the wastes was a mare.
This post was edited by its author on .

Synopsis: Time's Mannequin 5268

TITLE: Time's Mannequin
TAGS: [Adventure]

Freakish creatures live in the frozen moments between seconds, unseen and unknown. They live and die among unmoving statuary, unable to make any impact upon the world. Once, or so their stories go, one of the statues came to life.

For Rarity, it's just another day, another dress. But when unexplainable things start to happen around her, she ends up lost and alone, a stranger in a strange land: her own backyard.


Dose this have a good "hook" to it?

A Heavy Crown Synopsis FullmetalPony 5583

File: 1369368826954.jpg (70.44 KB, 250x370, sadcadance.jpg)

Trying out a new one for Heavy Crown
Tags: Sad, Slice-of-Life, Romance

A unicorn with wings. There have been only two ponies of such nature. A third has now come into existence, but the weight of royalty may be too much to bear.

5585

File: 1369369799084.jpg (1.39 MB, 2225x1711, Kagamine.Rin.full.1444782.jpg)

>>5268
It sounds like a great horror fic… so why isn't it tagged as such? But then I can't know for sure 'til I see the story.

>>5583
>A third has now come into existence,
This reads kinda awkwardly. Other than that, it's fine. But I could see some readers avoiding it if it has the OC tag, since you don't actually mention Cadance by name.

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 5586

File: 1369371059138.jpg (409.63 KB, 1600x1600, another_day_in_ponyville_by_mu…)

>>5583
It's all a little bit too vague and it tells us little about your story.

>A unicorn with wings. There have been only two ponies of such nature. A third has now come into existence

Half the synopsis (and the beginning half no less) is stating things people who watch the show already know.

>but the weight of royalty may be too much to bear.

This is the kind of rhetoric statement that you don't really want in a synopsis, and I'll explain why: it gives us no actual information about what's going on in the story, while stating the general theme with no other relevant information. It's like the difference between "Cadance was happy" and "Cadance smiled, happy." You want to combine raw fact with tell or things will sound flat.

————————————————
Over time her crown became her prison, its peaks and valleys her bars. As the youngest and newest of the three Alicorn Princesses, it felt like she always had a million pairs of eyes watching her, waiting for her to fail.

And she did.
————————————————

Have no idea if that works. If it does, feel free to use it. I'm just trying to give you an example of the sort of level of information you want a synopsis to provide.

FullmetalPony 5587

>>5586 Hmm:

Princess. Mi Amore has had the title thrust onto her since the day she was born. Her family has been torn apart by it. All she wants is somepony to see beyond her crown.

Ion-Sturm 5589

File: 1369377662675.jpg (38.47 KB, 600x556, AjovGoiCQAEcxNW[1].jpg)

>>5587
>Princess. Mi Amore has
Random period and you forgot the "Cadenza" at the end of her name.

Also, grey canon in the form of the terribad Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart says Cadance is an ascended pegasus who was also an orphan. Easily ignored, though.

—-

I'm tired of it. Not my fame and fortune, or the glitz and glamour, nor the mares and money.

No, I'm tired of being second-best. Every award ceremony, every director, even my friends! I just can't escape that single, devilishly innocent line: "Second only to the legendary Two Mask!" I'm greatest actor of my time, they say, but nothing compared to old Two M. It haunts my nightmares, the feelings of inadequacy. And you know what the worst part of it is?

He's dead.

I can't compete against a dead pony! Unless I go out in a blaze of glory, of course, but I happen to be quite attached to my internal organs thank-you-very-much.

Then it hit me, an idea insane and brilliant in equal measure. Take a role that nopony has ever done before, even imagined could be done.

I'm going to act dead, put on show so grand even the reaper himself will be enraptured by the ultimate display of method acting. Then, once I get to the underworld, I'm going to find Two M, and I'm going to finally prove that I'm better.

My plan is perfect.


Limelight in…
Exit Stage Death
This post was edited by its author on .

FullmetalPony 5590

>>5589
Period is meant to be there. or would it would better as, "Mi Amore Cadenza has had the title of princess thrust onto her since the day she was born."

Also, what's with all the other text about stagelights?

5591

File: 1369382229566.gif (2.56 MB, 640x360, 1bC5q0I.gif)

>>5590
That's my synopsis. It's why I put the little line to denote the change.

And I see what you were trying to do with that period now. Remove the "has" and adjust the rest of the sentence accordingly to make it work.

5592

File: 1369395651767.png (187.28 KB, 724x548, 83721.png)

Title: Dead Souls Never Die
Characters: OCs
Tags: Dark, Crossover, Adventure
Synopsis: Ten years after the original RED disbanded, Rapier Wit and Eagle Eye—Spy and Sniper of Celestia's infamous Special Ops team—find themselves thrust out of retirement and back into the fray when news of the Soldier's death reaches their doorstep. The team sets out to find the culprit and protect themselves from the wrath of an old enemy, but in doing so discover a deeper and far more diabolical plot.

Feedback on terribad coverart appreciated as well
This post was edited by its author on .

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 5594

>>5592
Pretty good. The only thing is…
>The team sets out to find the culprit and protect themselves from the wrath of an old enemy

They set out to protect themselves? It doesn't exactly work with the 'and' you have between 'find the culprit' and 'protect themselves'. You could fix this by changing the way the 'protect themselves' part is set up, or you could change it by changing 'set out', since set out is synonymous with 'do' not necessarily 'leave'.

e.x.:
>The team leaves to find the culprit and protect themselves from the wrath of an old enemy
or
>The team sets out to find the culprit while running from the wrath of an old enemy
But the second doesn't exactly work with the next bit, so here's a small, magic change that would fix everything…
>The team sets out to find the culprit and run from the wrath of an old enemy, but in doing so, they discover a deeper and far more diabolical plot.
…If you want to use it. (small changes to punctuation in the second half, too)
Also, assuming the cover art was a hash-up you did in paint or something, you might want to move the pony so that the orange of the tf2 symbol doesn't form a weird looking mouth between his chin and neck in the thumbnail.
This post was edited by its author on .

FullmetalPony 5595

>>5591
and now we get:

Princess. Mi Amore Cadenza had the title thrust onto her the day she was born. Her family was torn apart by it. All she wants is somepony to see beyond her crown

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 5623

My newest thing.


"Taut Strings, Soft Lips"

The first stroke of a bow quivering against an untested instrument. The first few steps in a dance of life. The first venture into a frightening and wonderful new world.

It's true what they say: you always remember your first time. You always remember your first song, your first instrument, your first love.

5625

>>5594
Thanks for the help. You're awesome.

5626

Heya, Tact.

>The first stroke of a bow quivering against an untested instrument.

I don't really like this sentence, both because it seems clunky, and it because it breaks the meter of the later two sentences. I'd suggest revising it into something like:
>The first stroke of a bow against a freshly-carved cello.

>The first few steps in a dance of life.

I'd make it "the dance of life."

>The first venture into a frightening and wonderful new world.

This works.

>It's true what they say: you always remember your first time.

This too.

>You always remember your first song, your first instrument, your first love.

Get rid of "you always remember;" this is an effective extension of the previous sentence. It should read:

>"It's true what they say: you always remember your first time. Your first song. Your first instrument.

>Your first love."

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 5628

>>5626

Here's what I came up with.

The first stroke of a bow quivering against an untested instrument. The first few steps in a dance of life. The first venture into a frightening and wonderful new world.

It's true what they say: you always remember your first time.

Your first song. Your first instrument. Your first love.



I wanted to take your advice for the first sentence (first fragment actually), but I couldn't figure out a way to do it while keeping the word "quiver."

Well... Writer's Block!hS9ZjLM/uE 6595

I suppose it's my turn 'pon the chopping block.

Title:

Season X: Episode 1, "Knightfall"

Tags: Normal

Synopsis:

Twilight Sparkle has faced foes both pure evil and mildly irritating and her magic, the power of friendship, has prevailed over countless obstacles and saved Equestria time and again. However, the new princess shall now find herself in a danger the likes of which she and her friends have never before seen. Her opponent, a new face to an old threat, shall stride from the earth and seek to turn Equestria upon its head.

Time does not always heal old wounds. Sometimes, it only makes them worse.

Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 6596

>>6595
That tells me nothing that the "Adventure, Princess Twilight Sparkle" tags wouldn't also.
This post was edited by its author on .

Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 6601

File: 1372763441309.jpg (118.29 KB, 1024x718, your_bus_stop_by_vardastouch-d…)

>>6595
>>6596
But for the fun of it, let's break down why every sentence in it is bad.

>Twilight Sparkle has faced foes both pure evil and mildly irritating

Says nothing we don't know from the show.
>both pure evil and mildly irritating and her magic,
At this point the sentence becomes an awkward run-on
> her magic, the power of friendship,
We know this again from the show
> has prevailed over countless obstacles and
"countless obstacles" is horribly generic and undescriptive
>and saved Equestria time and again.
Again, nothing we don't know from the show.
All in all, what we learn from this opening sentence as a reader is that from "both pure evil and mildly irritating" it *might* be a comedy.
> However, the new princess shall now find herself in a danger
ah, the first piece of information in the synopsis. Unfortunately, as Azusa said, "in a danger" tells me nothing an adventure tag wouldn't.
>shall now find herself in a danger the likes of which she and her friends have never before seen.
so this danger is more dangerous than the other dangers. I still know nothing about this danger, or what to expect from this story aside from its genre tags and that it takes place post-princess
> Her opponent, a new face to an old threat,
well, this tells us something, but again is incredibly undetailed.
> [Her opponent] shall stride from the earth and seek to turn Equestria upon its head.
This is just about what any villain does. We still don't know who the villain is, what their motive is, why they're dangerous, and most importantly: why we should care.

> Time does not always heal old wounds. Sometimes, it only makes them worse.

And it ends with you stating one of the themes of the fic in one of those oh so mysterious ways (hint: they're not). Themes should be evident upon reading, the story, and not something placed in the synopsis. As azu said, after reading your synopsis I still know practically nothing about your story. Why would I click to read more?

Details, details, details, my friend.

How's 'bout now? Writer's Block!hS9ZjLM/uE 6605

Round 2.

Season X: Episode 1, "Knightfall"

Adventure, Normal


Twilight Sparkle, the new Princess of Equestria, must now make her mark in history, despite her own inexperience with a new power and responsibility.

However, history is not easily forgotten, nor are old grudges. A familiar foe returns with a new face and an old score to settle, so now it is a race against time as Twilight faces her biggest challenge yet. She must fight to understand this newcomer before the hourglass runs out and her world is changed forever.

6606

>>6605
It still doesn't tell me that much about the story itself. It could be an action-packed Sword and Sorcery war-fic or a slow paced political drama, for all I know.

Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 6623

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>>6605
As a new, inexperienced princess, Twilight Sparkle ("something something" (your synopsis still has very little to work with)).

And then… I seriously don't know how to fix this. I can't fix this. There's still next to no real information about your story in here, just vague references that almost seem to say, in a feeble voice, "Uh, hey guys, I don't really know what to say here, so just open the story and read it to find out."

Here are the questions I get from your synopsis, none of which are good to have me asking:

What mark is Twilight trying to make?
What history isn't forgotten?
What familiar foe? (this shouldn't be mentioned at all unless you're willing to replace it with their name)
What grudge/score to settle do they have?
What is their new face?
What/where/how is Twilight fighting this foe?
Is there an actual hourglass (or countdown) or is it figurative? (this phrase just sucks for this reason, actually)
How is the world going to be changed forever?

On top of that, the synopsis is riddled with small cliches that make it utterly forgettable. Like, don't try rewriting this synopsis. Completely scrap it and start over, and try to actually give the reader some insight into what the story is.

But before doing that, give this a read: >>4484

Round 3 Writer's Block!hS9ZjLM/uE 6633

We've already hammered this out in the IRC, and I really do like the new one I got out of it, so thank you and Azusa both for the assistance. I just wanted to put this new one up for the sake of discussion: what I’m doing right this time as opposed to wrong.

Season X: Episode 1, "Knightfall"

Adventure, Normal


Though Twilight knows her place as the newest alicorn princess is a blessing beyond measure, she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to bear the title properly. She struggles to find her way, the path of due diligence and wisdom, while the rumblings of an old grudge stir beneath her hooves.

Razgriz !S57AgScLnA 6637

Eh, why not? Synopses usually aren't my best work. Any help would be appreciated.

Title: The Only One In Color
[Sad][Slice-Of-Life]

There’s something about me nopony really knows. I actually hadn’t found out about it myself until some years ago, and to be struck by such a startling revelation tends to scar the mind. How does one properly react to seeing the world they once knew from an entirely new perspective? I’m unsure of the path I decided to take, but I do believe it is the most logical. After all, it’s not like anyone could understand my condition anyway.

Well, except for maybe her.

This story takes place from the perspective of a depressed, confused-with-herself Pinkamena Diane Pie as she moves to Ponyville and makes her first friend.
This post was edited by its author on .

Incoming 4-5 AM rambles 6638

>>6637
The synopsis as is, while sounding very pretty, seems a bit too vague. I'd assume that you'd put this on Fimfiction, maybe with a Pinkie Pie or Other character tag, so that'd be one way to tell who "I" is (am?), but if there were more than one character listed, that'd be confusing… And I guess you kind of have to, since there's a "her" at the end. I'm guessing you're going for an introspective-yet-at-the-same-time-mysterious type of synopsis–which might work for, say, stories in which not knowing things is important to the plot, like if the narrator his- or herself doesn't know much or if you need to build a sense of dread by hiding information. Sad-SoL, not so much.

But yeah. It doesn't really hook a reader, I don't think. In a vacuum, it seems like your story could be just about anything, and as such, it doesn't accomplish the one job of a synopsis. (I guess it might draw in a reader in the way that you might ask your friend what's wrong if they post a really vague but worrying status on Facebook, but if what I'm saying makes as much sense to you as it does to me, you should be at least a little put off by the fact that I'm comparing your synopsis to a vague Facebook post.)

As for the wording itself:

>There’s something about me nopony really knows.

This puts "something" before "me", which means that this "something" probably is the focus of the story. This gives us information about what the story might be about, and I expect it to be explained soon if not immediately.

>I actually hadn’t found out about it myself until some years ago, and to be struck by such a startling revelation tends to scar the mind.

This tells us more about this "something", but it's not as much about "something" as much as it is about "me"/"I". Thus, there's a shift in focus, and it's a little jarring. "To be struck" is both complex, since you have an infinitive that doubles as a gerund, and weak, since it's passive.

>How does one properly react to seeing the world they once knew from an entirely new perspective?

This, on the other hand, kind of starts moving in a completely tangential direction. This is no longer about a "something" or a character; this is about a reaction to an event, or a lack of one. Compare:
>There's something at the end of the road I live on. I found it by chance one day, and it was a traumatic experience I'll never forget. What does one do when he finds out he's been living a lie his entire life?
The first sentence and the third are still completely unrelated despite the bridging second sentence, in both this and your synopsis. It might be because of the vagueness/abstractness of both, but as they are, they feel rather disjoint. My synopsis, for example, doesn't say anything about the protagonist finding out his own dead body and learning that he's been a clone of his parents' dead son all along. But now I'm not talking about the actual wording anymore…

And the rhetorical question is perhaps best not used in first person synopses in the middle, because then you have the awkward position of being unable to answer it (unless you're going for some kind of joke, which doesn't seem to be the case).

>I’m unsure of the path I decided to take, but I do believe it is the most logical.

And now, there's a path, but there's been no introduction of this, so it also feels disjoint. "do believe it is the most logical" doesn't sound like Pinkie, I'd say. There's been no mention of the protagonist going anywhere or doing anything, only seeing the world in a new perspective.

>After all, it’s not like anyone could understand my condition anyway.

Like with the path above, this condition is mentioned without really being introduced.

So yeah. Everything's vague and disjoint, I think. I guess that wasn't really related to the wording.


After a few re-readings, I get the feeling that this startling revelation is meant to be startling for the reader as well, and might be a dramatic plot-twist-reveal at the end. If such is the case, that'd be like saying "Expect a dramatic plot-twist-reveal at the end."


But that thing in the spoilers? With some rephrasing: A depressed, confused-with-herself Pinkamena Diane Pie moves to Ponyville and makes her first friend. That tells us what the story's about.

My opinion, at least. I hope what I've said is helpful in some manner.


End note: At the time of this writing, I've read this synopsis over perhaps ten times in total. I'm guessing: "I" is Pinkie. "My condition" is Dissociative Identity Disorder. "Her" is another personality. If this is what you meant, then I suppose it makes sense–now I can't unsee it, so to speak, but I stand by what I said about the synopsis being too vague to draw in readers. That or Pinkie Pie realizes she's just a cartoon character. If this isn't what you meant, well, it was a guess.
This post was edited by its author on .

Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 6645

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>>6637
The fact that you had to have that spoilered line because it wasn't inherent in your synopsis is pretty bad. Your synopsis also gives off this pretty angsty feel (which, I guess, your story might be) but that's not entirely who pinkie is. She changed back at the rock farm when she saw the sonic rainboom. You could easily make her uncertain as she tries to figure out this new side of life she's been exposed to (ie, fun and happiness).

All in all, your story might have angsty-pie (which, if not accompanied by some bubbliness, I'd find hard to believe.) But I'm going to give you the benefit of a doubt and say your story features a pie who's trying to be more happy and friendly, but still uncertain about this new direction.

In which case, you'll want to reassure the reader of who this is and make sure you show the voice of a believable pinkie pie:

A month ago this wave of rainbows went woosh right over my family's rock farm! It made me see things from a totally different perspective. I've left my family's rock farm, and I'm still unsure of the path I've decided to take, though it seems like the right thing to do… But… there's something about me nopony knows. I didn't find out about it myself until just a couple years ago. Nopony would understand if I told them.

Well, except maybe her.

I don't quite follow the time frame this story happens in. Pinkie is making her first friend, but how far is this from the sonic rainboom? I can't imagine it ever taking her more than a year after that to make a friend.

La Proue Paper_mate_Pony 7069

File: 1377063661965.jpg (18.47 KB, 597x338, Zeppelin.jpg)

La Proue
[Adventure]
Fancy Pants: business associate, media baron, sycophant, collector, eccentric, enthusiast.

Pip Squeak: navigator's apprentice, Die Faust crew, veteran of the Havior's Passage, survivor.

Connection: La Proue, high altitude, experimental, mysterious, lost.


Too vague? Better word choice?
>Pic only very slightly related.

dolfeus!doseuxbE3s 7079

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>>7069
Prepare thyself for some #phoned-in psychology.

Your synopsis should always say something about your story. What this synopsis is saying is, your story holds style over readability, is probably pretentious in places, but by golly if we don't have some steampunk.

That's not a bad thing, but it's probably just a bit niche. And if that's not what you're going for, then, well, I ain't got a clue what to do.
This post was edited by its author on .

Matias 7129

Title: Canterlot's Gifted Unicorns.
Tags: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy/Light-Hearted]

Read the story of 5 radical university teens who snowboard, parkour, party, create amazing projects and get straight 10s in class with ease.
But that's not all of course. Celestia has went missing for a month and ever since then at night creatures have been coming out of Canterlot's caverns and they harass the town, but it's really more of a harassment for the creatures when the Canterlot guardsmen and this entire generation of gifted unicorns finds them as practice training in their home town. After some days when the attacks become too much the caves are sealed, but unfortunately their 6th member, named Garrett, gets stuck there, and it's up to them to kick their way through the guards and save him. But they won't find defeating the creatures so easily in with no backup, and inside a pitch black labyrinth with crawling creatures, very narrow tunnels, spiky falling stalactites, with pitfalls everywhere and a sense of always getting dizzy and ready to fall in the abyss. Read more to find out about the creatures's aspects and which dimension they really came from. ''Aim for the ugly one.'' ''The one who stares dumb or the one who looks like my aggressive ex-girlfriend?'' ''That one has two faces on one body, besides she was both dumb and aggressive.''

vimbert!23hC9EoLsg 7131

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>>7129
The good: it sounds like there's a lot going on.
The bad: this story sounds unbelievably bipolar.
The ugly: there are multiple run-on sentences in your synopsis.

This sounds like two different stories awkwardly mashed into one: a slice-of-life tale with the wacky university teens, and the tale of the guards. Are they the same characters? It doesn't sound like it from the synopsis, so I find myself wondering why they’re part of the same story at all. Also, a plural possessive doesn't have an 's on the end of it, so it should just be monsters' instead of monsters's. (Also, what does getting a 10 in class mean? I assume that’s a high mark, because the first thing my mind goes to is a ten-point scale. However, that doesn’t sound like any grading system I’m aware of.)

Also, you need to include commas before the conjunctions (and, but, or, yet) that connect two sentences into a compound sentence and break up the sentences that feature more than two sentences hooked together. Grammatical mistakes right off the bat harm your story’s presentation from the get-go; compound sentence errors aren’t all of your mistakes, but they’re a large part of them.

This could also stand to be condensed. My approach to a story synopsis is like a movie tagline: it should say the most possible in the most interesting way in the fewest possible words. After all, this and the cover art are how you get people to read your story, and people can have very short attention spans. Nobody is bound to care about the “5 radical university teens” at first blush (not before you’ve had time to introduce them and flesh them out in-story), so I’d advise trimming this to focus on the lighthearted adventure against the monsters. Otherwise, I can’t see this synopsis appealing to most people.

Matias 7132

>>7131
The review sounds kinda awkward and obvious, but it works. Note that I will most likely never evolve from my unorganized way of writing. I don't even realize when I do it, and I don't know how to start.
Anyway the story does not focus on two different groups, it only focuses on the students. I really shouldn't have added the ''guards'' keyword.
I'd say it's more of a serious structure problem and a boring vocabulary, rather than a few commas. I try to cram too much into one sentence without knowing a smooth order or how it sounds like. Not to mention I use some prepositions and words the wrong way and I lack poetry skills…among other things.

>What does getting a 10 in class mean? However, that doesn’t sound like any grading system I’m aware of.

In schools outside of America they don't use letters. But anyway I should have used x/100, either that or simply state ''they're amazing students'', I wanted to describe them as powerful, almost mary sue-ish protagonists.
>it should say the most possible in the most interesting way in the fewest possible words
That requires some expression skills. Anyway what I could do right now is take out two parts; the description of the cave and the one where they fight off the cave monsters.
I made the line ''5 radical university teens'' meant as a tag-type description. Obviously I should have switched to full phrases and better words in order to sound genuinely captivating. Also I wrote it with the mindset that the more words I add, the more promises I make and thus the readers will want to find out if I did the concept any justice.

7138

File: 1378275825937.png (383.02 KB, 1024x683, storysmall.png)

"Bedtime Stories"

Sunshine sunshine ladybugs awake
Clap your hooves and do a little shake
Find a friend who helps you fly
Love will help you touch the sky

Move by moonlight, fires in our wake
Take my hooves and let me feel you shake
I’ll fly home with ashen wings
Join me when the big bell rings



Edit: Agh, I can tell how shitty this is, but I don't know what I should write.
Title is also WIP and a bit shitty.
This post was edited by its author on .

7140

And the short one that I'm much less confident in:

"Sometimes, the truth of a story is more important than the facts."

If this thread is still working... 7362

I'm… having a bit of difficulty with this site, figuring out how to use everything. Regardless, here we go.

Caramel's Day: Caramel. The most forgetful of ponies, a harmless ladies man that goes about Ponyville practically invisibly. But as the day wears on, the question speedily becomes, who exactly is Caramel, and why does he have so many lookalikes?


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