Jul 5, 2009

Synopsis-The Eternal Link

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I've been having trouble with this. I started out with a sentence and expanded, but I'm still not sure about the clarity of it. I apologize in advance for any spelling and grammar errors. I try to catch them all, but my mind doesn't quite work that way. Luckily I have an amazing editor I can send the nearly final draft of this too...when I get there.
Thanks in advance,

In the city of Ulcadia during the 30th century, fifteen-year old Catalina Cordova rushes past students popping in and out gut-wrenching transporters. Her heartbeat drums loudly in her head until she half leans, half falls against the cool hallway. Without warning, flames pour out from her eyes. For a moment, in the midst of screeching alarms and running students, a wave of relief calms her. Then, the world returns to focus and she remembers. They all toasted with the moon drink. One friend is dead. Another is in the hospital. And she doesn’t have a scratch on her.

After the accident, Catalina’s adoptive parents call for her return to the decaying house she once called home. But adjusting to life with those who betrayed her by sending her away proves difficult. So what if she acts a little strangely around fire and doesn’t like mindless chants to Mother Nature? Now the only family Catalina wants is the birthmother that haunts her dreams with images of love and acceptance. She must have the answer to why fire could burst out of Catalina at any time. Perhaps she could even provide some comfort for her survivor’s guilt.

Just as Catalina finds a fleeting moment of normalcy at a real high school, her sixteenth birthday arrives. With one blow, all the candles extinguish. In the darkness, her birthmother’s necklace burns into her skin and fulfills its purpose of hiding her identity. Without the necklace, Catalina transforms into the beauty she was meant to be. After the panic subsides, a glance in the mirror reveals she now has the same features as a child in a portrait she once admired.

Catalina seeks out and is beckoned through the painting now come to life with promises of answers in its depths. After being lunged into a forest, an animated tree informs her that she is thousands of years back in time. Catalina is alarmed by the revelation, but is hopeful that her mother could be near. Catalina comes upon a clearing while searching for people and loses control of her fire in a battle with a demonic creature. Her fire burns the surrounding trees and sends a signal high above the forest. From above, a flying stranger brings a soothing rain that sizzles against Catalina’s skin and, without her permission; he rescues her.

When Catalina wakes up, she butts heads with her irritating yet surprisingly intriguing savior, Darwin, who acts more like a boy than the man he is. When Darwin leaves to answer the call of his wizard master, Catalina is attacked, wrapped in fire-proof cloth, and carried away to a castle. There, a man awaits who lusts after her power and the immortality that comes with it. Catalina is powerless against the cloth and locked in a cell. For the first time, she realizes what a large part of her the inner fire has become. After barely escaping the castle by jumping into an ocean, Catalina washes up on a beach where an old wizard she almost recognizes finds her.

Thanks to the overwhelming feeling of safety that the familiar wizard, Warwick, exudes, she allows him to bring her back to his castle-home. Unbeknownst to Catalina, this is the very place where her mother resides. At the castle, Catalina bumps into Darwin, who is so relieved to see her that he kisses her without asking. Another quarrel ensues. In Catalina’s absence, Darwin realized the danger in bringing her back to a time where people know of, desire and fear the powers Catalina has. Against her will, Darwin pushes Catalina through the portrait and sends her back to where she started in 3031 CE just as her mother rushes down the hall to see her.

Fueled by anger from watching her mother slip away again, Catalina begins to hover inches over the ground. As her anger grows, so do her powers and her ability to fly. The trees see this and recognize it as the second mark of an Eternal, a keeper of time. But that is just the problem…the trees SEE.

Awakened after thousands of years, the tree Elders call for Catalina to tree-surf into their meeting on a stream of boomeranging trees. Catalina pulls information from the tree Elder’s carefully guarded secrets and learns as an Eternal, it is her job to protect time. Due to a rift in time caused by magical time-traveling, at any given moment, pieces of the past come crashing into Catalina’s present. Catalina does not have enough control over her anger or her powers to fight the enemies that pop up around her AND fix time itself. Instead, she seeks the help of he who failed before her as an Eternal: Warwick. Catalina has to restore Warwick’s powers, which, in a world where magic and emotion are tightly bound, have been slowly seeping away since the death of his one true love, Rosaline.

Little does Warwick know, his love lives.

Catalina follows clues from her vivid dreams that guide her through the ever-changing landscape affected by time jumps. They lead her to outwit the fairies in their labyrinth, across the mountains where demons roam, through the roots of elvin trees, and finally into the sea with a siren. Deep into the ocean, in a cottage untouchable by magic, Catalina finds Rosaline and brings her back to Warwick. Just before she arrives, Catalina is pulled into the mind of Valmont, a wizard long after her powers. Through his eyes, Catalina watches the rise of his army of soul-sucking demons and high-tech armies alike. Through his body, Catalina feels the elation that wipes over Valmont as he murders the people she never knew she cared so much about.

Even in the face of overwhelming doubt, Catalina is driven by these images to push forward and fight Valmont herself. There is no time left to wait for Warwick’s powers to strengthen. Besides, Catalina wants retribution for all the stolen lives including her own. At the castle that popped up out of nowhere, Catalina finds not only Darwin waiting as pompous and handsome as ever, but also the woman she so desperately wanted to find: Her mother. With her mother finally by her side, Catalina finds the reassurance she needs to fight Valmont.

Catalina marches forward with her supporters into the great domed city of Ulcadia to fight Valmont and his army head-on. In the midst of battle, Catalina meets Valmont and transports them both into the fourth dimension. Below her, she sees the swirling vortex of time and the broken piece she must fix that is sputtering in and out of place. Catalina is trapped and nearly falls victim to Valmont’s mind games. His cruelty stirs an anger in her that isn’t strong enough fuel to defeat him. She had to grow up without her mother in a place where she wasn’t accepted because of people like Valmont and their relentless pursuit of her powers. He ruined and destroyed lives. The voices of those she cares for eco inside Catalina’s head and fill her to the brim with love. She gains the strength through them to annihilate Valmont, but the voices urge her not to become a killer and instead focus on the task at hand.

Catalina leaves Valmont in the fourth dimension without the ability to ever leave and fights her way down into the stream of time. There, she physically reaches out and connects her body with the vortex. Catalina realizes while becoming a link in time, she will not only lose her mother again when she sets things straight, but she will also lose her love and her life.

Unable to choose, Catalina allows herself a moment of weakness and pities herself. Ultimately, she knows she could hang in the fourth dimension forever while clinging to the image of her half-dissolved mother, or she could save both her mother and humanity. Just when she makes the decision to sacrifice herself and become a human patch for time, a new force enters the fourth dimension. Renewed by seeing Rosaline again, Warwick tells Catalina she can either return to earth with all the uncertainty ahead of her or she can go with Mother Nature and be at peace. Either way, he is the one whose duty is to fix the tear in time. Catalina understands it is because of Warwick’s weaknesses that she has been chosen as an Eternal. There is a need to have one Eternal on Earth at all times and she cannot let another child go through the same things she went through. Warwick stays behind to fix time and Catalina chooses to return to earth. She is surprised to be caught by Darwin, the boy started Catalina’s journey by painting a time-altering portrait for a special little girl.

1 comment:

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi Jen,
I hestitate to post because I am no expert on synopsis. But my gut reaction is this is unfocused and confusing.
I don't know what Catalina's power is. Does she burn everything she looks at? Why? How does she control it through most of the book? Or is her power, as you later say, to protect time?
You take her to a place where there is all sorts of magic but little seems connected to her story.
I think too many characters and subplots are in this synopsis, while the main story is lost. I don't even find a conclusion at the end of what she is, why she is.
Ask yourself: What does my character want? What is in her way? How will she accomplish her goal? Maybe a paragraph answering these questions will help to focus.
Best to you. I know I struggle with writing these things, too.