Today I should be finished making the ‘notes’ version of the Caledor synopsis. What’s a notes version? Like the manuscript, any synopsis I write goes through several phases or drafts. The first is the conceptual phase, and is just a semi-random collection of ideas, scenes and storyline. The next phase is usually some form of structural timeline. Both of these drafts are done in a notebook/ scraps of paper/ flipchart pad.
After that, I start word processing, layering on more detail into a chapter-by-chapter breakdown. The amount of detail varies depending upon how much I’ve worked out at this stage. Rather than worry about the wording I’ll use in the synposis to convey the story to the editors, this notes stage simply puts together the building blocks of the story or novel, plus any additional notes or references I need to bear in mind.
From these notes, I will then turn the document into the final synopsis, suitable for editorial examination.
To give you an idea of what these notes might look like, I have dug out the draft for Shadow King. For those that have already read Shadow King you can see two main things. First, not everything makes it into the final synopsis/ novel in the order necessarily laid out in the notes. Second, with Shadow King we made the decision later in the day to extend the novel by an extra 50,000 words. This extra material is not covered in these notes (though I could probably find the proposal I sent to the editors if people are interested).
These notes are less detailed that those I am putting together for Caledor, but will give you the general idea.
As with all synopsis material, these notes contain information about what happens in the novel. In other words…
MAJOR SPOILERS ALERT! WOOP! WOOP! WOOP!
[[[Map of Ulthuan and its realms and cities.]]]
Part One – The child of Kurnous – Strife in Nagarythe – a trailing shadow – the treachery of Malekith
- Shrine of Kurnous – The White Stag – The Raven Herald –
- Falling in love with 1st love
- Morathi’s agents – first fight at the manse – nobles gather – Naggarothi on Naggarothi action
- [Malekith attacks Ealith] The Raven Herald – shadow and confrontation – Elthyrior – reveals secrets within secrets – warns that all is not well – Alith sworn to secrecy about Elthyrior
- [needs something here for passage of time – foreshadow what?]
- [Infiltration of Anlec for Malekith] meesenger arrives at manse with plan – find cultists – diabolic ceremony – slay cultists and take gear – tense journey to Anlec – almost discovered – more killing – Malekith attacks
- Relative peace restored – return of Elthyrior – Eoloran sends him away as a pawn of Morathi and Alith is forbidden from seeking him out – Alith goes after Elthyrior – Nagarythe turning against the Anars – returns to manse – Alith scorned and abandoned by his first love – hatred stirs
- Malekith’s betrayal – arrest of Eoloran – Eothlir’s feigned acquiescence, if they fight they justify Malekith slaying them as traitors – Alith sent into hiding in Tiranoc – assumes a new name and hides for several years
Part Two – exile in Tiranoc – an usurper’s folly – hope restored – the fall of House Anar
- [Slaughter at the shrine] – rumours abound – death of Bel-Shanaar – return of Elodhir’s body and funeral – Yrianath’s succession – Palthrain on the prowl, suspicious of Alith
- Morathi freed – Court of Tiranoc perverted – Palthrain’s discovery of Alith – Alith rescues Elodhir’s son and vows vengeance on Yrianath – sacrifice of Yeasir – Alith returns to Nagarythe
- Alith reveals what has happened – Eothlir sends out the call to arms – Naggarothi gather – counter-spy work, wary of infiltraitors
- Battle of Dark Fen – death of Eothlir – army scattered
- Alith flees with Elodhir’s son, Maieth and Elthyrior – Raven Heralds chase across Ellyrion – Reaver knights rescue them
- The city of Tor Elyr – more revelations – Finudel declares war on Nagarythe -
- 2nd battle of Ellyrion plains – some families fight for Morathi -
- Affection for Atharielle – Finudel’s warning – must give up his love – bitterness deepens
Part three – Alith’s vengeance exacted – a troubled alliance – an traitor slain – the coming of the Witch King
- Alith in the Wilderness – vision of Kurnous – the white stag returns – runs with the wolves – dream of Lileath and discovery of the moonbow
- Attacks on the Naggarothi – spirit of vengeance – other Naggarothi drawn to his growing legend – Alith tries to dismiss them but they will not go
- Forces loyal to Imrik hunt them thinking them druchii – Alith and his band kill them – Imrik sends Carathril to mediate
- Meeting Imrik/ Caledor – will not join Imrik – true Prince of Nagarythe – ‘Shadow King’ used as a warning – ‘Nothing is forgotten. Nothing is forgiven,’
- Alith returns to Tiranoc to kill Yrianath – Yrianath’s ‘salvation’ – no pity from Alith
- ‘Rescue’ of Eoloran – confrontation with Morathi – taking of the crown
- Alith returns to Nagarythe with an army to confront the druchii The Witch King Revealed