Help Please!

An important message to all readers of the Blog, fellow Facebookers and other friends of 'Dragon Line'. I really, really need your help! I'm going to put the first few chapters of the second draft of the novel onto the Authonomy site in about a week's time. To do this, I have to create a short and long pitch (synopsis) on the opening pages. I've created two pieces of prose for this purpose and I've decided to publish them here first to 'try them out'. I'd really value your feedback and opinions, as I want to get it right when I post them, along with the chapters, to the website. They are as follows:

A hard-edged, post-Apocalyptic story set In Britain in the near future, composed with a brutal realism, humour and a sense the metaphysical. (Short Pitch).

Peak Oil, Climate Change and war has caused western civilisation to collapse in the first half of the 21st Century. In Britain, economic melt-down, energy deficiency, food shortages and climate-related flooding of London leads to riots, civil disorder and the complete collapse of central government. A subsequent and widespread outbreak of plague and starvation facilitates mass 'die-back'.

Britain has become a failed state. Regional warlords have gained power. Civil war, insurgency and insurrection are a frequent occurrence.  Thepetty leaders of neo-feudal society scramble to control the few resources the country still holds. Now,  a new movement known as the ‘Ironsides’ have arisen in the north, modelling themselves on Oliver Cromwell’s  ‘New Model Army’ of old.  Their growing power threatens to engulf the entire island…

Patrick Kynaston, a soldier and former Police Officer in the service of a new Marcher Lord in Shropshire, escapes from the clutches of the Ironside Army after a battle in which his master is killed.  He begins a journey that will take him to the limits and beyond of both human endurance and experience, and a quest to bring hope to a broken and devastated land… (Long Pitch).

What do you all think? Are they are too over-assuming, or are they not saying enough? (Bare in mind, the short is limited to twenty-five words, the long to 200!) Would they grab you as a reader or would you like to know more?

I'm very keen to find out your views. I'll be on holiday for the next week (and working through the second draft still whilst relaxing!) So you might not hear much more from me in the mean-time as the Internet signal in North Wales isn't that good. However, I very much look forward to reading your comments on my return. Many thanks in anticipation…

Owen Law


About Owen Law

My pen-name is ‘Owen Law’ (real name: Nicholas Davies.) I’m a science fiction writer specialising in dystopian/apocalyptic visions of the future. I’m from Shropshire, England (on the borders with Wales) and I’m in my forties. I have a background in public services and training. I’ve been working on my first novel, Dragon Line, since 2008. I’ve also written several short stories, one of which you can find on this blog (‘Matilda Leviathan‘). I now reside on the border of Shropshire and Wales, and my interests include writing (of course!), current affairs and environmental issues.
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2 Responses to Help Please!

  1. Tim Kenyon says:

    Yes indeed. I’ve been working on some stuff but thankfully Black Library allow a paragraph for the short synopsis and 500 words for the long one. I like to think of the short one as the ‘blurb’ on the back cover. Grab and shake the reader about.
    “In a post-apocalyptic future Britain has become a failed state. A New Model Army arises to fill the power vacuum. Patrick Kynaston stands in their way…” or something similar (what I’ve typed is probably too long…)

  2. Owen Law says:

    Cheers Tim! I quite like that, punchy and to the point! I think you’re right, I might have to cut it down a bit to make it fit! The short pitch was tkaen from the advice given by a writer on Authonomy. It might be worth working something like that into the longer one.
    I’d be interested to see your stuff on the Black Library site. Would you be able to send me the link?

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