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Author Self-Promotion > Help with Story Blurb?

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message 1: by Adam (new)

Adam Bolander | 36 comments Hey guys, I'm getting ready to submit another story to JukePop.com, but I'm having trouble with the blurb I want to use. The story is set in a fantasy world, but instead of it being a medieval setting, it's a western "Cowboys and Indians" setting, and I want to make that clear upon reading the blurb. I can't seem to find a way to do that without it being too wordy, though. Would you mind helping me out? Here's what I've got now:

"Tassendile is a land similar to our own, set in times we once knew ourselves. It is a land untouched by humanity, where strange creatures thrive, both for good and evil. It is a land where magic users and gunslingers walk side by side. Here, bandits, monsters, and bounty hunters stalk the untamed wilderness. In Tassendile, the peace is kept by the Marshals and their fabled firearms, the Guns of Legend. And it is here that Kulgan, a Ranger made an outlaw by the Church of Embin, is sought out by Adlis, a cursed young woman who needs his help. But nothing is as it appears in Tassendile, and they soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy to bring a convicted criminal to justice, with enemies far more powerful than they could have ever anticipated."


message 2: by L. (new)

L. Gibbs (ldgibbs) Hello Adam,
I didn't get interested until I came to the line that mentioned Kulgan. Ranger and outlaw provide the western feel. Move gunslinger down and you'll have pretty much provided setting. The first four lines don't seem necessary. Get rid of them and insert some more conflict details. Give Kulgan and Adlis some more key qualities by way of that conflict.

Note: this is coming from a writer who struggles with her own blurbs. So this is just my wooden nickle.
Elldee


message 3: by Adam (new)

Adam Bolander | 36 comments All right, I've reworked it a bit. How's this sound?

"Tassendile is a land untouched by humanity, where magic users and gunslingers exist side by side, and the peace is kept by the Marshals and their fabled firearms, the Guns of Legend. It is here that a young woman named Adlis seeks out an outlaw Ranger named Kulgan, hoping that he can assist her. But nothing is as it appears, and the two of them are quickly swept up in a conspiracy to bring a criminal to justice, facing enemies far more powerful than they could have ever anticipated."


message 4: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 233 comments Writing is hard.
Editing is harder.
Blurbs are...almost impossible.

But, if I were you, I'd start right off the bat with character. People identify with character, not setting. Setting is secondary.

What you've got so far tells me that Adlis is probably the main character...or is it Kulgan? It's not certain.

Personal opinion: it's most powerful to start with the main character and their problem. If Adlis and/or Kulgan have magic powers, then you might could sneak that in rather than doing a data dump in the blurb. After that you can elaborate a bit on the story set up and setting.

Also, I find this bit rather confusing: "...the two of them are quickly swept up in a conspiracy to bring a criminal to justice" That makes it sound like bringing a criminal to justice is the conspiracy. How can bringing a criminal to justice be a conspiracy? **shrug**


message 5: by Adam (new)

Adam Bolander | 36 comments All right, I've reworked it a bit. How's this sound? FYI, both Kulgan and Adlis are the main characters. It switched between them each chapter.

"Tassendile is a land untouched by humanity, where magic users and gunslingers exist side by side, and the peace is kept by the Marshals and their fabled firearms, the Guns of Legend. It is here that a young woman named Adlis seeks out Kulgan, a Ranger exiled by the Church of Embin, hoping that he can assist her. But nothing is as it appears, and the two of them are quickly swept up in a conspiracy to bring a criminal to justice, facing enemies far more powerful than they could have ever anticipated."


message 6: by Adam (new)

Adam Bolander | 36 comments Judging by all the reactions I've been getting, what it seems to come down to is that some people want to be told about how this world is different from our own, and iterates want to be told about the characters right off the bat. Will have to mull this over a bit.


message 7: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Adam wrote: "All right, I've reworked it a bit. How's this sound? FYI, both Kulgan and Adlis are the main characters. It switched between them each chapter.

"Tassendile is a land untouched by humanity, where..."


I like this shorter version better, but I'm left wondering why Adlis is seeking out Kulgan. And I'll echo was Michah said about 'a conspiracy' along with blurbs being impossible to write!

Do most people find that they ignore long book blurbs? Personally, if a blurb is longer than a neat paragraph, I tend to stop reading.


message 8: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi Feel free to ignore me, but... that first sentence doesn't make sense to me: If it's untouched by humanity, are the magic users and the gunslingers not human? And if they're not, shouldn't that be clarified a little somewhere else?

I have no problem with alien gunslingers. Or mountain lions that use magic. I just can't tell which it might be, which is a little offputting.


message 9: by Adam (new)

Adam Bolander | 36 comments There are five races of nonhuman creatures living in Tassendile. I thought it would be harder to explain each of them than it would to simply say that humans don't live there.


message 10: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi Just saying it confused me, as it is now.

How about "In a world where gunslingers and magic users walk side by side, the only rule of law for the five races of Tassendile are the Marshalls and their fabled firearms, the Guns of Legend."


message 11: by Micah (last edited Sep 03, 2013 11:20AM) (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 233 comments The thing is, blurbs need to grab the reader's attention, sentence one. That means the first sentence has to have a hook.

Characters, conflict, plot...those have hooks. (Oh, and what does Adlis needs Kulgan's help with? Right now it just says she's "hoping that he can assist her"...that's pretty vague.)

Whereas, finding out how the world differs from our normal world is kind of hard to build a hook on, and can comfortably be stated after the first line.

"Adlis has a problem that only a Ranger named Kulgan can solve. [Insert problem] But that means searching for the Church of Embin exhile in Tassendile, a land where magic and gunslingers ride side-by-side..."

That kind of thing. (Or not, I ain't no expert!)


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