I did a thing…

At the NaNoBoston Meet & Greet yesterday, every WriMo was required to stand up and give a 30-second synopsis of their upcoming novel. The synopsis I gave was not for the novel I’ve spent the past month planning.


About a week ago, I discovered the name “Selwyn” and fell in love with it. This coincided with my ever-growing infatuation with all things steampunk. Thus, I bring you Rephaim: The Sea of Candles, my new NaNo novel! I am incredibly excited to start writing it. Still another week to wait, but it will go by fast! Right? Right!

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, what is everyone writing about? Leave your own 30-second synopsis in the comments! This post will remain a sticky until NaNoWriMo officially starts.


About Squishy

Writer, dancer, gamer, and admirer of all that is beautiful.

Posted on October 24, 2010, in Ishy Writes! and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. “Working title: Contract
    Synopsis: A young slave boy finds himself at gunpoint after a mysterious power is awoken within him. A chance rescue flings the boy into a strange underworld of people just like him. But the boy’s powers make him a target, drawing the eyes of an ancient spirit and a mad doctor as the notes of a prophetic tune begin to play…”

    I feel like that barely even scratches the surface, but let’s roll with it for now.

    • Sounds like a good start. You have a first disaster (gunpoint) and the beginning stakes (the boy is a target), which lead to his motivation (stay alive). You also hint at further details (ancient spirit, mad doctor, prophetic tune) which raise questions about what will happen next.

      I am especially curious about the title and how it relates to the novel. By this description, I would be interested in reading more.

  2. Wow, a beautiful name and an eye-catching title! Sounds like it’ll be a fascinating story from its synopsis. Congrats!

    Mine is currently nameless. Its nickname is The Cousin’s Reply, since it’s just that. A letter/journal replying to the letter/journal that made up the novel I just finished work on…. for now. Basically, a king’s granddaughter (the narrator) and her siblings go to visit a newly settled island where they are emersed in mystery, murders, and the discovery of a very desirable relic thought long lost. However, the discovery of the relic causes discord when they triumphantly return home with it and learn that the prized item rightfully belongs to a neighboring ally.

    There’s much more to it than that, of course, because it ties into the other novel, but that’s enough to keep it simple.

    • Thanks! Hopefully I’ll be able to live up to that name and title…

      A friend of mine is writing her NaNo novel in the form of letters, as well. It sounds like a difficult thing to do since letters are in first person and also tend to tell brief summaries of events. A challenging format, to be sure, but also a good opportunity to play with an unreliable narrator. Should be interesting to see how the narrator views such an interesting debacle.

      What was the previous novel titled?

  3. I really liked your synopsis. Although the subject matter itself is rather serious, there seems to be a hint of playfulness and humor in the way you describe it. I’m curious about how you are going to handle the story.

    I’m horrible at writing synopses, but here goes. Except for a few of them, the names mentioned are still subject to change:

    Against a backdrop of war and oppression, Devon and Damien grow up as friends under the tutelage of Gerasim, a priest of the ancient order of En’Shiar who seeks to expel the foreign emperor Wodan from the lands of Shiara. According to the prophecies, one of them is destined to become the Chosen One who will free the people of Shiara, whereas the other is destined to become a traitor. Despite their promises, their friendship comes under heavy strain as they grow up, as they both strive to become the Chosen One and to avoid becoming the traitor.

    I’m not a big fan of prophecies normally, but I hope I will be able to give the concept a bit of a twist to make it more interesting. I still need to come up with a title, but that’s also something I’m terrible at.

    • Y’know, I’m curious, too!

      As for synopses, you’ve got the right idea. You have the main character, the motivation, goal, conflict, and stakes. To improve, try to cut down on backstory and names. Ideally, Devon and Damien would be the only names you mention, though Shiara might be difficult to remove without losing coherence. Jump right into the conflict: they were friends, but now only one can win and neither wants to lose.

      On the subject of names, you might want to change of the protagonists names (assuming you have dual-protag) so they don’t start with the same letter. Just a suggestion, though. Here is a good blog post about dual-protagonists from the Fiction Fixit Shop: http://www.fictionfixitshop.com/blog/2010/09/30/writing-advice/dual-protagonists/

      I’ll be interested to see what kind of twist you come up with. Prophecies can be a lot of fun to torture your MC with! Just look at Oedipus.

      • Thanks for the suggestions. I’m not entirely sure yet if I’m going to focus on one character or follow them equally. My first inclination was to follow one character, but there are definitely advantages to having dual protagonists in this story.

        I was actually wondering if it is ok to have their names start with the same letter. I will change one or both of their names.

        Hehe, prophecies can definitely be fun to play with, but can also easily devolve into a cliché. I hate it when prophecies turn into those things you cannot escape from, for no good reason at all, but let’s see what happens!

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