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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Query/Blurb help: NA Sci-Fi

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message 1: by Luralee (new)

Luralee | 65 comments Hello,


I would love a little help with my Query/Blurb. I have been struggling to describe my manuscript adequately without giving away too much. I have two very different blurbs I am working on right now. I think the first one describes the book better, but it is a bit of a spoiler.

----

Angelo is a clone who carries all the music from a lost world in his head.

Joya is struggling to find her place in a world where curiosity and creativity are discouraged, and where music is almost unknown.

For Angelo, the goal has always been simple: keep playing and hope the timeline will be repaired before the music kills him.

Joya thinks she knows what she wants. She wants to know Angelo's story, and the truth about his world. She wants him to love her. And she wants her world to accept his music. But Angelo is reluctant to answer her questions. He also can't touch her. Human touch burns him, so their love was doomed before they even met...or was it? As for his music, who wouldn't want it? Joya is hopeful she will be able to learn it and share it with her world.

Unfortunately, the stakes are actually much higher. When scientists from Angelo's world meddled with the timeline, they destroyed history as well as their own world. Joya's world evolved in its place. If Angelo gets what he wants/needs, and the timeline is restored, Joya's world will disappear, taking her with it.

TIME AND AGAIN is NA (I think) Science Fiction, with some Romance and Dystopian elements. (Quite a genre mash-up, not sure what to do about that)
90,000 words.
It is the first in a trilogy.

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The second blurb only covered the first 30 or so pages, but it felt misleading to me, because the book changes considerably after that, so I added the first and last paragraphs.

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When scientists meddled with the timeline, they ended up changing history and destroying their world. Joya's world evolved in its place.

A vagrant musician is accused of a crime, and only Joya Day stands up for him, even though it means antagonizing the head of the council, and risking another visit from the mental health committee. He could have at least said thank you, but Angelo hardly seems to care. He refuses to tell her where he came from, or anything else about himself, which drives Joya to dig deeper and find out what he is hiding.

Things she notices:
Angelo's music is different from any she has ever heard, and he knows SO MUCH of it, but that is not his only unusual talent. He appears to be able to predict storms...and catch flying objects without looking at them, not to mention he is telepathic...

But these are all incidental. The night Joya discovers SHE is the cause of the disfiguring burn on his face, she finally finds out the truth--well, part of it.

Angelo is a time traveller, stuck in a loop. After nearly three years of repeating the same events over and over again, he has almost given up hope of ever going home again.
...not that home was so great to begin with.

At a defunct human cloning facility, the only remaining outpost of Angelo's world, the last group of clones works tirelessly to restore the timeline, and restore history. If they succeed, Joya's world will no longer exist.


Thanks for taking a look!


message 2: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments Just to let you know, in case no one else chimes in, I've looked at it and am thinking about it. I think you have a significant challenge, but in a good way. Have you written a synopsis yet? Seeing it might help.

Do you tell the story alternating POVs or do you stick with one?

My understanding of NA is the definition is fuzzy, so if your protagonist(s) are 18-25 then that may be all that's necessary.

As an FYI, generally your debut novel has to be self contained to get interests from agents/publishers. Though they all want series potential in the event your first takes off, they rarely want to commit to a series at the query stage. I've heard it is best to treat it as a stand alone story with series potential.

Good luck with it!

I'll take another look in the morning when my brain is fresh(er) and see if I can offer something more useful.


message 3: by Luralee (new)

Luralee | 65 comments Thanks Keith,

I do have a synopsis but it is probably too long. I will try and pare it down a bit before adding it here.

The POV is Joya's, told in first person.


message 4: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments If you'd prefer, you can email me your synopsis. PM me if interested.


message 5: by J. Z. (last edited Jun 01, 2017 10:05PM) (new)

J. Z. Kelley (jzkelley) | 18 comments Hi Luraleem,

Wow! You have such a unique premise. I want to know more.

Out of everything you've written, the last paragraph of your second blurb is the strongest. It establishes the stakes, uses the names of both protagonists, and doesn't mince words.

The rest of the blurb is a little wordy. I would trim as much as possible, especially adverbs. I would also consider taking out Angelo's name, since Jaya is the only PoV character.

(Otherwise, make sure to name him as quickly as possible. Blurbs are clearest when you put the protagonists' names upfront.)

I took a shot at paring it down as much as possible:
A vagrant musician is accused of a crime, and only Joya Day stands up for him, even though it means antagonizing the head of the council and risking another visit from the mental health committee.

He could have at least said thank you, but he refuses to even tell her where he came from or anything else about himself.

His reticence drives Joya to dig deeper and find out what he is hiding.

Meanwhile, at a defunct human cloning facility, the only remaining outpost of the musician's world, the last group of clones works tirelessly to restore the timeline and restore history.

If they succeed, Joya's world will no longer exist.


message 6: by Luralee (new)

Luralee | 65 comments Jazzi,


Thanks! That sounds much better, and may be all I need for a back cover blurb. I wonder though, aside from establishing the stakes, it doesn't go into what the book is about. Then again, maybe I have been trying to include too much information.

I was trying to do my query and blurb as the same thing. I see now I should work on them separately.

Keith,

Thank you for pointing out where my synopsis is confusing, again I may be trying to include too much information. Your suggestions for my query were helpful as well.

I will rework them -synopsis, query, blurb- when I get a chance and try to incorporate your suggestions.


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