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message 1: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Hi all,

I'm working on a thriller about a serial killer, set in a small English village, and could do with some help on the title and blurb; here's what I currently have -

Murder In Oakhurst

Oakhurst is a peaceful place to live, a veritable sleepy little village, but all that is about to change.

When a young girl goes missing and another is discovered, murdered, the village finds itself in the grip of a serial killer who is targeting its daughters. With no detective in the village, it falls to Sergeant Mitchell and Constable Turner to investigate and catch the killer.
Suspicion quickly falls on Zack Wild, the village's newest resident and a writer who specialises in grisly murders, both real and fictional. He maintains his innocence, but the coincidences keep mounting, and he has a history of violence.

This is a gritty thriller with some (a reasonable amount) violence and I'd like a punchier title and a blurb that better conveys what's going on, but nothing's coming to mind right now. Any help I could get would be really appreciated.

Thanks
Alex


message 2: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Sanderson | 19 comments Hi Alex, suggested tittle Written in Blood


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Sanderson | 19 comments Blurb is a good start, needs tightening as you suggest. I can't suggest edits as I'm on my iPad and keep losing text, it's too hard! All the best.


message 4: by Alex (last edited Oct 17, 2016 03:30AM) (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Thanks Rachel, I like the idea of Written in Blood, definitely better than Murder In Oakhurst.

I'll see if I can work on the blurb and tighten it.

If I re-introduce one of the elements I took out to tone down how graphic the murders were Written in Blood would be perfect. Will have to think about that.


message 5: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments I'm not the world's best at blurbs, but I do have a bit of an idea.

TITLE: Lock up your daughters

BLURB: Suddenly, Oakhurst isn't such a nice place to live any more. A serial killer is targeting young girls, and Sergeant Mitchell and Constable Turner find themselves in a race against time to unmask the perpetrator.

Suspicion falls on Zack Wild, a writer with a history of violence. But is this just a smoke screen?


message 6: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments I like that blurb Jane , much better than mine.
I'll add the title to the list, it's got some potential, and make a decision when I have a few more options.

Thank you.


message 7: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4334 comments Mod
One thing that would help in writing a better blurb is to know what is different about your book vs. any other book about a serial killer. There's not much to work with in the blurb provided. Shortening it is easy, but it still reads like the blurb to any other serial killer story.


message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments That's a tough one Dwayne, I can't honestly think of anything that would truly make it hugely different from other books in the genre (I know, that's not something I should be admitting)
I'm trying to think of something from the story that would make a good hook to catch people's attention but I'm struggling.

I don't want to suggest the book is mediocre or not worth reading - I'm a better than average writer and have received some good feedback over the years, especially when I was previously published in another life. I'm just not very good at selling myself.
Once I get people to read my stuff they generally like it, but it's getting them to read it that's the problem, which is why I need help with the title and blurb. lol.


message 9: by Annabelle (new)

Annabelle Costa | 62 comments Rachel wrote: "Hi Alex, suggested tittle Written in Blood "

Great title idea!


message 10: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Helloooo, Alex!

*waves happily*

Hmm. I kinda agree with everyone else about needing something that sets you apart. With that said, this is totally outta my realm so it gets bonus "interesting" points haha! Anyhoo, here's my take:


Oakhurst has always been is a peaceful place to live, a veritable sleepy little village... but all that is about to change.

When Until a young girl goes missing and another is discovered, murdered. the village finds itself in the grip of a serial killer who is targeting its daughters. With no detective in the village, it falls to Sergeant Mitchell and Constable Turner to investigate and catch the killer.

The only suspect?

Suspicion quickly falls on Zack Wild, the village's newest resident and a writer an author with a history of violence, who specialises in writes of nothing but grisly murders, both real and fictional. He maintains his innocence, but the coincidences keep mounting, and he has a history of violence.

But is everything as it seems?


Ehhh, that's kinda crappy but I can't think right now hahaha!! Bestest of luck!!!

Hugs,
Ann


message 11: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Thanks Ann, I like the changes, that's definitely punchier than my version.

I'm still trying to think what might set my book apart from others *cogs whirring*

Here's the main elements as I see them, in case anyone spots an interesting/different element that's going straight past me.

1 - girls are murdered with a reasonable degree of brutality, beaten and raped (i originally had the killer carving words into their bodies but took it out as being too nasty, though the 'Written in Blood' suggested title might make it worth putting back in.

2 - prejudiced sergeant doesn't want to believe someone he knows could be responsible for the murders.

3 - idealistic constable, attracted to the main suspect but also determined to to find the killer, no matter who it might turn out to be.

4 - main suspect is new to the village, has a history of violence, and writes about violent crimes, also attractive and can be charming.

5 - small village where nearly everyone knows everyone else, even related to one another.

6 - villagers go for vigilante justice against the writer twice.

I would be glad if there's someone out there that can use this lot to make a top-notch blurb and title that will sell the book when it's out.

Thanks to everyone who's helped
Alex


message 12: by Isaac (new)

Isaac Alder | 60 comments Written in Blood is a great title, especially with the reincorporation of the word carving. And there, also, might be your "something special." How do those words relate to Zack/the killer? Why does the killer write on the bodies, and what is that significance? Consider those questions, and see if you can produce a sentence that represents that aspect of the book (without spoiling anything!). Adding a few words concerning this will risk running the blurb a little longer than the snappy one Ann suggested, but would help to advertise what is unique about the killer, and therefore your story. Just an idea!


message 13: by Rohvannyn (new)

Rohvannyn Shaw | 189 comments Definitely reincorporate the words carved in the skin. It may be brutal but it's also unique and interesting enough to catch the imagination.


message 14: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments I read your "interesting" tidbits. Here's what grabbed me:

~ killer carving words into their bodies
~ also attractive and can be charming

Keep in mind I dig romance/erotica and have the attention span of a dead gnat so yeeeahhh...

*wry grin*


message 15: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Okay, I totally can't resist haha!


Oakhurst has always been a peaceful little village until a young girl goes missing and another is murdered. And then another...

The only suspect? An author with a history of violence who writes of nothing but grisly murders. The only clue? [Jagged/Meticulous/Whatever] words carved into the victims' bodies.

Has Zack Wild found a new canvas in human flesh? Or is everything not as it appears?


Okay, I'm stopping now. I swear!! XD

Many hugs,
Ann


message 16: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Don't stop Ann, I really like that.

Isaac, the words are things like 'slut' and 'tease' - the 'tease' was the killer's gf and she wouldn't put out, he got frustrated and snapped, making her his first victim, and the slut is an ex who would put out for everyone but him.
The killer is unhinged, but people don't realise it.
After the first killing he has a hard time maintaining control, wants to explode at the sight of a girl.
His father is controlling and often puts him down so he feels powerless, then he gets nowhere with the girls he dates. It becomes too much.


message 17: by Aislinn (new)

Aislinn | 150 comments My turn! How about something like this:

In the small, close-knit village of Oakhurst, residents aren't willing to believe that one of their own might be a brutal murderer.

So when young women begin to die - their bodies found with angry words carved onto their skin - suspicion falls on the newcomer to the village. Charming Zack Wild, author of violent crime novels and possessor of a dark history, seems like a perfect suspect.

As they investigate, Seargent Mitchell and Constable Turner are increasingly unwilling to believe that someone they know could be responsible for such heinous crimes. But will this affect their judgement, allowing the real killer to escape?


message 18: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Another good possibility, thanks, Aislinn, you guys and gals are giving me lots to think about. Fortunately there's plenty of time for me to make a decision.


message 19: by Ken (last edited Oct 21, 2016 06:18AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I think I like Annie's version so far, but I'd make a few small changes to the first paragraph. Does the name of the village really need to be included in the blurb? Here's how I'd do it:

It was always a peaceful little village...until a young girl goes missing and another is murdered. Then another...


message 20: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Thank you Ken, the village's name isn't important to the blurb, so yes, it could be changed as you suggest.


message 21: by Isaac (new)

Isaac Alder | 60 comments I'm actually not great at blurbs myself, but here's my contribution!

An idyllic town in the English countryside is disturbed by a series of grisly crimes, as young women are murdered and their bodies marred by accusative words carved into them. The police refuse to believe that one of the villagers could be the killer, and so turn their attention to the newest resident, the charming author, Zack Wild.
Zack claims to be innocent, but the violent nature of his novels, and the dark past he is trying to escape, suggest otherwise. As the killer becomes bolder, Zack must fight to convince the vigilante villagers of the impossible: that he is innocent, and that the unhinged maniac has been living among them all along.

Hope that helps!


message 22: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Thanks Isaac, that's another good possibility, so many to look at and consider. I think I'm going to have copy them all into a word document and see what elements of each work the best.


message 23: by Isaac (new)

Isaac Alder | 60 comments Let us know what you end up with, now that we're all invested!


message 24: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments I will do.


message 25: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments After consultation with my cheerleader (aka Mum) I have decided to go with Aislinn's version

In the small, close-knit village of Oakhurst, residents aren't willing to believe that one of their own might be a brutal murderer.

So when young women begin to die - their bodies found with angry words carved onto their skin - suspicion falls on the newcomer to the village. Charming Zack Wild, author of violent crime novels and possessor of a dark history, seems like a perfect suspect.

As they investigate, Sergent Mitchell and Constable Turner are increasingly unwilling to believe that someone they know could be responsible for such heinous crimes. But will this affect their judgement, allowing the real killer to escape?

However, I'm not certain about the use of 'angry' words, I feel there may be a better word to use but I can't for the life of me think what it is.

Congratulations on winning Aislinn, though I regret to say I have no prize to offer.


message 26: by Aislinn (new)

Aislinn | 150 comments Lol, no problem! I'm just glad I was helpful. :) (And aren't mum's great like that? ;) )

If you don't like angry, I thought Isaac's 'accusatory' worked quite well. Or 'condemning' maybe?

If you want to go in a different direction, maybe 'vile words' is a good one.


message 27: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Mum says 'accusatory' is the way to go, and I think she's right.

Thank you so much everyone for all your help and opinions, you've helped a great deal.


message 28: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Hi everyone, I have now gotten a temporary cover from Fiverr to go with the rebranding (if that's the appropriate word for it) of Murder In Oakhurst to Written In Blood, it does a much better job of conveying the type of book it is - it won't be the final cover, I'm getting that from derangeddoctordesigns.com in Jan

I'm not sure if this is appropriate to put the wattpad link here, but I can't see any other way to show it to you
https://www.wattpad.com/story/8552749...


message 29: by Aislinn (new)

Aislinn | 150 comments Looks good, Alex! (And it looks like your current book cover uses the same font I have on my books! :D)


message 30: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments It does look like like it Aislinn, though I couldn't tell you what the font is, I just paid my money and got a cover, lol. Good value you for money since I'd have spent ages on it and come up with something nowhere near as good.


message 31: by Aislinn (new)

Aislinn | 150 comments If you're curious, the font is called '28 Days Later'. I think it was used on the poster for the film.

And I agree. I don't do my own covers, either.


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