Sunday, 3 June 2012

From Naivety To The Other Side Of The World

For the Lightning and The Lightning Bug:

Shalo is a busy county, surrounded by prejudices and is despised by all elsewhere on the island of Kendra. It is a city purely run by humans. The poor are treated like dirt and the rich are endlessly privileged while other creatures and races from around the world are frowned upon. Here is a tale in which magic is an ancient mystery - an ability created by genes. This tale is a physical and mental journey from naivety to the other side of the world. An adventure-filled and characteristic novel about growing up, friendship and the homeland. A young girl, Malina, is banished from Shalo, the tightly enclosed land in which she grew up and discovers a whole new world of adventure. With a logical mind, she manages to find her way through seemingly impossible circumstances and develops strength and determination. Upon discovering a new homeland, she decides and manages to fight for its safety, while facing difficult trials of her own. A dark force searches for her in revenge for the past, an unknown reputation of hers is discovered, making her circumstances all the more difficult and, eventually overcome with troubles, she is forced into hiding in the mountains with an ex-oracle and a renowned outlaw. Here, she discovers her full magical abilities and develops it through mind-control and deep intellectual study. While she is safely tucked away inside the mountains, discovering the mysteries of the universe, the dark force grows in strength and power, only one sea away.

(250 words)


  1. Your mind! So much going on in there. Yes, I would read on to see how this all unfolds.

  2. I liked this..."an ability created by genes".

    I definitely want to read more!

  3. I love the premise you describe, a city of isolated humans who are hated by the other creatures around them. (And Shalo sounds like “shallow” and like a microcosm of Earth at its worst extremes.) And I LOVE that last sentence about the dark force growing. I’m assuming that we’re all putting these out there for intense scrutiny, so I have a laundry list of points below. But my overall response to the pitch is positive. I want to know more about Malina, Shalo, and the dark force hunting her down.
    Larger questions
    Is it possible to start with Malina, instead of her country? As a reader, I want to start the pitch with the person or group I’ll be following for the entire story. Even if the story itself starts with the city, you might want to start the pitch with your main character.
    Technical thoughts –
    In the first sentence, you don’t need the second ‘is’, and “all elsewhere” is a little confusing. Perhaps: “Shalo is a busy county, surrounded by prejudices and despised by all others on the island of Kendra.”
    Instead of ‘characteristic’, I would say ‘character focused’ or else ‘typical’, depending on which you mean. (I don’t think you mean ‘typical’, but the wording is unclear)
    Watch for word repetition – I notice ‘tale’ and ‘adventure’ in this quick read
    I’m not sure about ‘unknown reputation’. I kind of get that it’s a reputation that those she’s with currently aren’t aware of, or perhaps one she hasn’t heard herself. But mostly, I’m confused because a ‘reputation’ IS a known thing, or else it wouldn’t be a reputation. Maybe ‘her reputation for X is revealed’?
    The sentence beginning “a dark force searches’ is too long. I would break it with “and eventually overcome” so that she doesn’t sound like her circumstances are overcome.
    The verb in the sentence beginning, “Here, she discovers…” should be “them” not “it” (or else ‘magical ability’ instead of ‘magical abilities’).
    In that last sentence, which is genuinely awesome, is she really discovering the mysteries of the universe? Or is she discovering the mysteries of herself and her origins? The latter seems to be more where the rest of the prompt is pointing, and it is certainly more interesting to me than the more generic universe’s mysteries.
    Again, I really like this. The extended commentary is a GOOD thing, because it means I don’t think your pitch will fall apart with a gust of strong air. And I invite you to come do the same thing to mine. Yours is in a MUCH better place than mine is, IMHO, and I’m looking for ideas for improvement.

    1. thanks for the comments - I've really taken them into consideration. However, some seem misenterpreted, perhaps I need to make it clearer? She discovers mysteries about herself and about the universe (which will be interesting because it is not our own - but a fantasy world). I am considering writing some sequals as this is basically a summary of the first novel.
      Again, thank you for taking your time to evaluate this summary.
      M. x

  4. I agree that you should start it off with the character. I think the background of the place could really be cut completely and not be affected. It seems that the fact that the city is full of humans who hate the other races is really irrelevant. You could always make mention of magic being from genes later on, when talking about when she is discovering her magic.

    You will also want to consider rewriting the long sentence that begins with "A dark force searches". It seems a bit scattered, as well as it drags on far too long. Cutting the first part of the synopsis would allow you to elaborate a touch more on this area, which is what will truly draw a reader to want to read your book, anyway!

    As an avid reader of fantasy novels, as well as a writer who spends most of my time writing fantasy, I have to admit I'd love to read this story. When can I get a copy? :)

    1. When can you get a copy? Well, it'll be a while off! I haven't even written it yet! I've written and re-written the first few chapters over and over but, with A Levels in the way, I haven't been able to get much further. The story develops every time I look at it - A blog post is coming on this topic - but this summary is the general idea of what has been decided. The city run by humans thing may not seem necessary for now, but it is for future ideas...
      Thanks for showing such enthusiasm!
      M. x