Finding my bearings during the French into English translation of my manuscript was. not. a piece of cake. (I talk about the struggle here.) So, how did I manage to survive the re-reading of the translated version? And what did it mean for the original work?
I’ve been working on a little experiment for the past few months, one I started on February the 24th—I circled the date on my calendar.
In this blog, most of my articles are in English, although English isn’t my native language. I’m French, but as long as I can remember I always wrote in both French and English. I wrote short stories, little poems, half-finished scripts and pieces of dialogue, until I started writing full but small projects in English, mostly when I was living in England. I write in English because I like hearing it, using it and thinking in it.
I like it so much that I decided to challenge myself and translate my book into English.
Once upon a time, I was sixteen and I wanted to be a writer. (I still do!) At that time, I only had one condition. Before getting published, I wanted an agent. (Not a common thing in France, although we slowly but surely are getting there.)
Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.
Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.
But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction―if they don’t kill each other first.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to start this blog with one of the trickiest parts of being a writer. Just kidding! Synopsis are easy, right? Right? RIGHT? (I just need you to tell me it is. Make me believe it fellow writers. Anyone? Pretty… please.)
Synopsis is to the novel what the Ring is to Gollum. It’s precious. Mostly. Kind of. What? My dictionary defines synopsis as a brief text that conveys the narrative arc. Thank you, dictionary! So, it’s a summary? Yes… sort of. A cool way to make anyone read your book, like a back cover? Nope, nope, nope… not really. Keep digging, Nora!
This was my overall process when I tried to write the famous synopsis requested by agents and publishers.
Needless to say, I was confused by the things I found on the subject. A lot of articles, and sometimes conflicting ones. Writing a synopsis isn’t easy. So I compiled a list of advices I found useful while revising my text-soon-to-be-synopsis. Things I want to keep in mind. Things I’ll read again when I need to write Synopsis Dearest. Things I want to polish.