HH Com 83

Scott is an unassuming guy muddling through his dull life. He is oblivious to the demon threat until he is forcibly transported to a demon dimension. Baffled and disoriented, he manages to fight his way back to the human realm where he is met by a group of people tracking the demons. As the only human to defeat a demon in its realm, the trackers are eager to learn how Scott survived.

They also need his help acquiring an ancient artifact called the Cuspis Belial. A mysterious demon is willing to trade for it. He divulges that two competing demon lords are trying to advance in the demon hierarchy. Their strength is drawn from the souls they control, and the quickest way to augment their power is to abduct humans.

With the help of Daniel, an outcast angel with an affinity for the human hippie subculture, Scott learns the Cuspis Belial can transport humans to the demon realms. Daniel understands the demons. Scott can fight them. And armed with the artifact, they have the means to take the battle to the enemy.

Scott must find the demons behind the attacks. Once he does, he’ll have to confront them to stop the raiding parties. And he’s got to do it quick, because the demon offensive is escalating.

This is as low energy as they come given you want to imply action and peril but you've got the form right. Now just polish this up so it has some zip.

Right now it's a snore. You don't need exclamation marks. You need punchier verbs.


Anonymous said...

I smell rpg's.

Anonymous said...

You've used the work "demon" eleven times in this submission. Got to be a better way to present it.

Anonymous said...

This one is painful for me to read because it sounds like one I might have written. I've always hated writing a synopsis and it shows. I'm guessing the author of this would make the same claim.

The story could be interesting, the writer is competent. But the writing in this particular case is way too matter-of-fact and comes across as dull.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I'd like to get a feel for why Scott is so invested in the human-demon struggle. Is it because the struggle is so much more interesting than his dull life? Or because the outcome of the struggle will effect billions of human beings who know nothing about it, and he feels responsible for them? Or because after his forcible transport to the demon dimension he has no choice? Any or all of these would be believable but I think your hook needs to give us a little insight into Scott's motivation.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the assessment and the comments. It's a big help!

and yes, I hate doing the whole query / hook / synopsis thingies...

Anonymous said...

You start with the statement that your main character is dull. I have seen and heard this before and I have always thought it a bad idea. I listened to some character in a crit group apologize in his writing over and over for "boring" people. He was doing that, but I told him he ought not to scream about it.

Steven King says you ought to put a horror story in a dull ENVIRONMENT (the environment, and not the characters, are dull, in other words.) There is probably no place duller than where he lives, so that is where he places his stories.

Also fights with demons work out well when they are battles of wits. This plot premise is old, old, old, but it has been done well, when a human outwits the devil, then finds out the devil laughs last. One instance: an old Twilight Zone episode in which a man sells his soul for immortality. He thinks he has outwitted the devil, but he is falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to imprisonment for life.

HawkOwl said...

RPG. Exactly. Although what it actually reminded me of, is Magic: the Gathering. Suppose that instead of people "summoning" demons and shit with M:tG cards, it was the demons summoning the people. And this Scott dude just got cast and lived to tell the tale. That's what it sounds like to me. I bet that's totally not what the book really is, but just on the odds that it is, I'd want more. Just in case. Because that would totally be a rocking concept.

Dave Fragments said...

Argh, said the pirate.

Forcibly transported to a demon dimension, Scott becomes the first human to defeat a demon and return to this world. His victory turns his unassuming life into a battle with demons, a search for an ancient artifact, and with the help of and Angel, he returns to the demon world to defeat evil.

That still isn't too good, but it's got more action.

luna_the_cat said...

dave's got it right: vary your sentence construction, for one thing. Right now you've got "He did this. He did that. This happened." --It's all simple declaratives, and it reads like a simple recitations of steps taken in an algorithm.

Vary sentence length a little more (although it's not *that* bad), vary sentence construction a lot more, get a little bit of emotion and emotive images in there.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for more tips and hints - it really is appreciated!