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Blurb Workshop > Blurb help - sci-fi - The Ashes of Home

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message 1: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 268 comments I'm looking for thoughts on the following blurb for my current WIP, The Ashes of Home, a sequel to my first novel:

Shayla Carver, master assassin (retired) and planetary governor, has made more enemies than a corrupt Imperial tax collector. Trying to put her murderous history behind her, her only ambition now is to rebuild her home planet which was burned to a cinder many years before. But deadly ghosts from her past haunt her every step.

One especially determined enemy is intent not just on personal revenge, but on plunging the galaxy into a devastating civil war. Suddenly, even her own survival is the least of Shayla’s worries.


message 2: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments It's intriguing. Hard to tell since it's a sequel. However, first sentence: I would removed the parentheses from retired and simply put it before master: retired master assassin and planetary governor.

Second sentence is wrong. The way it is written, it says that her only ambition is trying to put her murderous history behind her.

It's late and I can't think clearly but here are some changes. I'll take a look again tomorrow after some sleep. :P Hope this helps give you some more ideas.

****
Shayla Carver, retired master assassin and planetary governor, has made more enemies than a corrupt Imperial tax collector. In an attempt to put her murderous history behind her, she wishes to rebuild her home planet, a planet that was burned to a cinder many years before.

Deadly ghosts from her past haunt her every step and one especially determined enemy is intent not just on personal revenge, but on plunging the galaxy into a devastating civil war. Suddenly, even her own survival is the least of Shayla’s worries.

(Wishes might not be the best word but I couldn't think of another. Also I used planet twice yes, but I wanted to single it out, to emphasize it and its destruction. )


message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Jesinghaus (jessjesinghhaus) | 78 comments I liked your first version Ian, wasn’t bad. However CG made some valid points and I do like her tidied up version. If I might suggest this one teensy tweak...

In an attempt to put her murderous history behind her, her primary focus now is to rebuild her home planet, a planet that was burned to a cinder many years before.


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 268 comments Thanks for your thoughts, G.G. and Jessica.


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 344 comments Ian, a great start. I agree the second sentence is wrong, and GG's is better, but I don't like "burnt to a cinder". If it were, it would not be reparable. For me, GG's second para is an improvement, but I also feel there is something missing, namely there is no clear link between revenge and the galactic war. I think you could do with a sentence to link them.


message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Jesinghaus (jessjesinghhaus) | 78 comments Good point Ian M. Maybe tying in the Emperor’s Cleansing I read about in the first book’s blurb. “...rebuild her home planet, a planet which was nearly destroyed by the Emperor’s dreaded Cleansing.” (former Emperor?)


message 7: by M.L. (last edited Dec 31, 2017 01:07PM) (new)

M.L. | 1125 comments I like the first version. Leaving in parens (retired) has a hint of dark humor about it and also puts some space between being an assassin and becoming governor, a space that makes sense to me since otherwise they seem nearly simultaneous. The parens give the feeling that a lot went on between those two occupations. This is good; makes me wonder what happened.

In the second sentence, using a comma: "between her, her only ambition" --makes it fine to me (I understand it and would not say it's incorrect). Without the comma I would say it's wrong (or at least not as clear) but the comma makes the first part descriptive. You might change (not necessarily but just a thought) the second "her" to "Kayla" just so it's not repetitive. There is style to consider, however, and I've been reading a lot 'stylish'/'stylized' books and they are all totally great.

"Burnt to a cinder" conjured up an image of a blackened, blown away cityscape/landscape. I know what it means. The first version sounds more original. The second is good and readable but more genericized.


message 8: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments M.L. Roberts wrote: "In the second sentence, using a comma: "between her, her only ambition" --makes it fine to me (I understand it and would not say it's incorrect). ..."

I'm not saying by any means that we can't understand what the sentence is about. I'm only advising a correction based on English grammar. Ultimately, it's always up to the author to choose.

Copy pasted from a grammar website:
Preposition stranding, sometimes called P-stranding, is the syntactic construction in which a preposition with an object occurs somewhere other than immediately adjacent to its object. The preposition is then described as stranded, hanging or dangling.

I know rules can be broken (and sometimes it sounds better when they are), but doing so right in a blurb might be asking for trouble.


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 344 comments My problem with the dangling phrase was that the murderous history does not relate to anything else in the sentence. The problem then is, there are two objectives for the character, but it looks as if they depend on each other, and how can they? In my view, a blurb should not raise the question, what does the sentence mean? If a sentence in the blurb is not clear, how many more in the book will be unclear? For me it is not a matter so much of grammar (although that is the root cause) but rather will it scare readers off?


message 10: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1125 comments G.G. wrote: "M.L. Roberts wrote: "In the second sentence, using a comma: "between her, her only ambition" --makes it fine to me (I understand it and would not say it's incorrect). ..."

I'm not saying by any me..."


I don't think it's preposition stranding :) however, it's safe to play safe:
Seeking to put the debate behind him, the author wrote a new blurb. :)


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 268 comments Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your thoughts. Just getting back to this thread now to review and see what to do about this. I am paying attention, honest :)

Dang it! Blurbs are harder than the actual writing!

Happy New Year!


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