Support for Indie Authors discussion

38 views
Blurb Workshop > Blurb help - In Perpetuity - Sci-fi

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments So, please read and do your thing! I have issues with some things, so would certainly like to see if they're mirrored...

----

Population wars have ravaged civilisation. Resources are ever scarcer. But brilliant cryo-biologist, Sebastian Eastman, is on the verge of the first successful cryonic wakening; finally, a way to protect humanity from extinction.

Then death comes for him.

Diagnosed with a brain tumour, serious doubts in his quest rise as he scrambles to produce the codes that will save his kin. But something more dangerous may have been uncovered in his research. The secret to immortality

On his recovery, at the advent of a new wakening programme, his return to work finds the institute’s new president seemingly intent on replacing him with a dull, but exceptional, doctoral student. Then, a strained relationship with a reserved fusion engineer exposes the fragile nature of his world, and with his mother’s tragic death and a faceless stranger persistently haunting him, he may not only be losing his life’s work, but his mind.


message 2: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments Yay! The blurb!
"Then death comes for him." I get what you're trying to do, but it's not right...but I don't actually have a solution off the top of my head.
"uncovered in research; the secret to immortality." (I put in a semi-colon and a period.)
First sentence of final paragraph drives me nuts. The recovery (especially after making him seem doomed - possible to leave that for the reader to find out, or....?)
no comma after 'exceptional'
Ok, so final paragraph, something like, "His research gets hijacked by a bright new doctoral student while a strained relationship with a quiet engineer exposes the fragile nature of his world." etc etc....just thoughts off the top of my head, and believe me, just because I said them, doesn't mean they're right!
Good luck, sounds fun!
(FYI, the first sentence again makes me want cover #3 from your first post, but again, I'm in the minority.)


message 3: by Frances (new)

Frances Fletcher | 46 comments Population wars have ravaged civilisation. Resources are ever scarcer. Brilliant cryo-biologist, Sebastian Eastman, is on the verge of the first cryonic wakening; finally, a way to protect humanity from extinction.

Then death comes for him.

Diagnosed with a brain tumour, serious doubts in his quest rise as he scrambles to produce the codes that will save his kin. But something dangerous may have been uncovered in his research—the secret to immortality.

On his recovery, at the advent of a new wakening programme, his return to work finds the institute’s new president intent on replacing him with a dull, but exceptional, doctoral student. A strained relationship with a reserved fusion engineer exposes the fragile nature of his world, and with a faceless stranger persistently haunting him, he may not only be losing his life’s work, but his mind.

I simplified things a bit. Hope its helpful.


message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments Jenna wrote: "Yay! The blurb!
"Then death comes for him." I get what you're trying to do, but it's not right...but I don't actually have a solution off the top of my head.
"uncovered in research; the secret to ..."


Cover 1 certainly had the overwhelming vote I'm afraid!

Yes, I couldn't work a way around that final paragraph thus far. I'm going to do a bit of editing them mull a bit more and return to it.

Frances, thank you - tidier, and less chaff. I'll come back and see what you guys think when I've scrubbed it even more ruthlessly...


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments OK, after some ruthless stripping down, is this vein a little better?

(N.B. Jenna, from your previous comment, the word "reserved" is fitting for Leo, the engineer - she's certainly not a quiet one... I could probably change it to judgemental or something similar if that has more punch, as she's equally that?)

**

The human race is destroying itself, but brilliant cryo-biologist Sebastian Eastman may be about to save it – to preserve it – to store it in safety until the warring has stopped.

Then, teetering on the brink of both the first cryonic awakening and something inherently more dangerous – the key to immortality - he discovers he has a brain tumour.

Torn between his desperation to save his species, and his fears of his discoveries, his vulnerable state allows his work to be hijacked. Then, a strained relationship with a reserved fusion engineer exposes the fragile nature of his world, and with a faceless stranger haunting him, he may not only be losing his life’s work, but his mind.


message 6: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments Only thing really bothering me is the dashes. (I use them prolifically, so I'm definitely the pot calling the kettle black here!)
Perhaps rewriting the sentence to negate them would work? (And again, this is totally me nitpicking.)
Something like "...may be about to save it, and in fact preserve it until the warring has stopped." (But I get that may be too vague if you haven't used 'cryonic' yet.
For the engineer's personality - reserved feels like you're saying 'quiet'.... it sounds like what you're syaing is that she has a pent up personality....simmers below the surface...I'm blanking on a word, so maybe you should leave it! :)


message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments Haha yes, one of those things is getting attached to punctuation, which is unnecessary, and only noticing when someone else points it out. I had a thing for semi-colons once, but they shoudl be used sparingly, if at all I've discovered since...

It's difficult trying to find the right word for her intially. She's not afraid to speak her mind, but she doesn't waste words nor go after things that bear no importance in her life (initially).

What about
*uncompromising
*staunch
*steadfast
*resolute

As a reader, which one gives more conflict?


message 8: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments Ah Jessica, you read my mind. I love semi-colons. LOVE them. Nothing so beautiful as a run-on sentence in my opinion, especially one that is written entirely correctly!
"uncompromising" sounds the most like she'll butt heads with him... or would "stubborn" work?
(I actually was wondering what someone would call me, since I tend to be quieter in situations but definitely have strong opinions...yeah...I'm a stubborn bull. ooo - bull-headed?)


message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments Jenna wrote: "Ah Jessica, you read my mind. I love semi-colons. LOVE them. Nothing so beautiful as a run-on sentence in my opinion, especially one that is written entirely correctly!
"uncompromising" sounds the ..."


Perhaps stubborn is the right word. Go for the classics!

I did have a friend that used dashes, ens and ems, just persistently, to the point you wondered if there even were other punctuation marks in existence.

I do see you're a fan of ellipses though, ;D

I'll go away and chop up the offending punctuation. Full stops only; maybe a cheeky semi-colon. I'll see where it takes me...


message 10: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments Ah yes, the inevitable ellipses when my thoughts don't quite come to a close....yes. I use them often. So far no one seems offended by my punctuation usage, though, so if you want the dashes, go for it. :)


message 11: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments Jenna wrote: "Ah yes, the inevitable ellipses when my thoughts don't quite come to a close....yes. I use them often. So far no one seems offended by my punctuation usage, though, so if you want the dashes, go fo..."

No way, I love ellipses! I think one of the things I love most about writing novels is, unlike scripts (which is what I wanted to do for a very lng time) you can play about with punctuation. They hate it in scripts, it's 'directing' the actors too much.

Punctuation is personality as far as I'm concerned (dialogue is a favourite), however, blurb writing is selling the book rather than ourselves, so ruthless is kinder.


message 12: by Mark (new)

Mark Huntley-James | 64 comments Jessica wrote: "No way, I love ellipses! I think one of the things I love most about writing novels is, unlike scripts (which is what I wanted to do for a very lng time) you can play about with punctuation..."

Love a nice bundle of ellipses - like a litter of crazy kittens chasing the other punctuation through the paragraphs. I'm a bit of sucker for the dashes as well, but I'm with Jenna about these - they just seem a bit clunky for some reason.


message 13: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia | 22 comments Ok, I’ll give this a shot.

The latest revision is a BIG improvement over the earlier drafts, because it is shorter, and easier to read. The blurb needs to flow effortlessly, since you only have fractions of a second of focus before the prospective customer moves on.

So… first sentence: the dashes are there because of an unnecessary repetition, so they should be removed. The phrase “warring has stopped” is clumsy; try “fighting has stopped”, or “destruction has stopped”, or “until the world is safe again”. Example: “The human race is destroying itself, but brilliant cryo-biologist Sebastian Eastman may be able to preserve and store it in safety until the world is safe again.”

Second sentence: Beginning with “Then” delays the action, so remove it. The verb “teetering on the brink” doesn’t agree with the second object, “something inherently more dangerous”. How can you teeter on “something”? Even teetering on a “key” (if we removed these dashes) is still clumsy. And then there is this inconvenient convenience: he has a fatal health issue, but has immortality in his hands. Maybe leave out the brain tumor for now. New sentence: “Teetering on the brink of the first cryonic awakening, he discovers something inherently more dangerous: the key to immortality.”

Third sentence: The verb “torn between” needs two equal objects, but “desperation” is not quite an object, so this needs clarification. Also, here is where I think his physical challenges could go. And the timing of the last phrase is clumsy; try shifting the order of “losing” and “not only”. New sentences: “Torn between his desperate desires to save his species, and to pursue his fearful discovery, and wracked by illness, he is vulnerable. His work is hijacked, and his strained relationship with an attractive and dogged fusion engineer exposes the fragile nature of his world. With a faceless stranger haunting him, he may be losing not only his life’s work, but his mind.”

I added the “attractive” to your fusion engineer, because I think you might be trying to telegraph a little whiff of romance, and “strained relationship” doesn’t quite get there. Remove it if that is not where you were headed.


message 14: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments First the blurb:

***

The human race is destroying itself, but brilliant cryo-biologist Sebastian Eastman is on the verge of the first cryonic awakening. With humans in safe storage until the warring ends, his research is the only way to wake them up.

But when serious illness puts him out of action for three years, his return finds his project and institute hijacked by an oppressive new CEO.

Whilst conflict with a doctoral student he believes is his replacement, and a fusion engineer who despises his ethics, exposes the fragile nature of his world, the faceless stranger haunting him suggests he may not only be losing his life’s work, but his mind.

***

Then the commentary…

Jenna, Mark – the dashes are gone!

Sylvia, thanks for your input, great points and questions. “teetering or teetered on the brink/edge” is actually a standard turn of phrase in Britain, but to be honest, it is unnecessary, and I don’t want that to be a reason people stop reading the blurb overseas if it is less common, or indeed, obsolete.

Para 1 is rewritten. Hopefully it reads better, and gives a good lead into para 2. Could probably do with tightening up, though.

Para 2 - I think it’s the right place for his illness because it is a major turning point, but needing to highlight what the illness is at this point (probably) doesn’t matter, as it raises the issue of conflict with the new CEO, a key plot point.

Para 3 - highlighting whether any character is attractive or not is not my style, and it doesn’t fit with the narration. I suppose the word ‘relationship’ probably confuses too much so I’m going to skip it. The conflict with these two characters are also essential arcs. I really love the word dogged, and was going to use it, but I thought the initial reactions of/from the two characters towards Sebastian was the stronger choice.


What do you all think? This is still a work in progress.


message 15: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia | 22 comments Wow, big improvement! I like everything except these two points:

I'm still struggling with "warring". Maybe try "until the war ends", or "until the fighting ends", or "until the chaos ends".

The introduction of the faceless stranger isn't working for me. Calling him/her "the" faceless stranger implies that he is one of the characters you've already introduced... but I think he is not, he is an additional character? So maybe change to "a faceless stranger"?


message 16: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments I fiddled a bit with para 1 - thought it might need some kind of battle clarity, and that it isn't over. There are multiple wars/conflict going on in the story's present.

Para 3 - removed the offending faceless stranger, I see what you mean. I thought of using 'delusions' but I think 'waking nightmares' might read better, it's more akin to what's going on. I could use 'waking dreams', if the following part of the sentence gives enough fearfulness, as the word 'nightmares' might suggest a bit of horror the story doesn't have (in that sense). If it doesn't then I might keep it.

---

After generations of civil war the human race still destroys itself, but brilliant cryo-biologist Sebastian Eastman verges on the first cryonic awakening. For humans in safe storage until the wars end, his research is their only hope of revival.

But when serious illness puts him out of action for three years, his return finds his project and institute hijacked by an oppressive new CEO.

Whilst conflict with a doctoral student he believes is his replacement, and a fusion engineer who despises his ethics, exposes the fragile nature of his world, his waking nightmares induce fears he may not only be losing his life’s work, but his mind.


message 17: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia | 22 comments Ahhh, good explanations, and you've added clarity.

I like the first para, but the single "war" is at war with the plural "wars". Probably better to say "until the war ends".

And now I understand para 3! Great work!


message 18: by Mark (new)

Mark Huntley-James | 64 comments Para 3 doesn't feel right. I think it's the opening 'Whilst' and the fact that it's then one big sentence.

I can't see how to fix it, but it somehow doesn't feel punchy enough and it's supposed to be the 'conclusion' that fires the reader up.


message 19: by Mark (new)

Mark Huntley-James | 64 comments OK, I've been away and thought about it. Not sure if the 'waking nightmares' fits properly with what you need, but here's my suggestion for para 3

Both his life's work and his sanity hang in the balance, threatened by a doctoral student he believes is his replacement, a fusion engineer who despises his ethics, and waking nightmares born in the fragility of his world.


message 20: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments You're right, Sylvia, you know I didn't even make that connection yeterday! What we learn every day :)

Mark, I've had a fiddle about and evened out the info. I agree it was too much info in one go, and too little separating punctuation.

See how this reads.

***

After generations of civil war the human race still destroys itself, but brilliant cryo-biologist Sebastian Eastman verges on the first cryonic awakening. For humans in safe storage until the hostilities end, his research is their only hope of revival.

But out of action for three years through serious illness, his return finds his project and institute hijacked by an oppressive new CEO and her protege, who he believes is his replacement.

And when conflict with a fusion engineer who despises his ethics exposes vulnerability in his world, his waking nightmares begin tearing through the fragility of his mind.


message 21: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments Comma after first war? It's probably one that you don't have to have. I had a hard time with the first half of the first sentence in the second paragraph, but at this point it's just nit-picking.


message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments I don't think there's a need for a comma after war, I thik it delays it too much. I did rearrange the 2nd para though, and the previous was :

But when serious illness puts him out of action for three years, his return finds his project and institute hijacked by an oppressive new CEO [and her protege, who he believes is his replacement].


I was going to use the word sidelined, but it's not a strict enough meaning. There are no other replacements for 'out of action' either, which is interesting in a language filled with such variable beauty. You'd think The Bard might've given us one nice compressed word for those three...


message 23: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4346 comments Mod
Jenna wrote: "Comma after first war?"

It reads better without it.


message 24: by Mark (new)

Mark Huntley-James | 64 comments Para three works much better now. And agree, a comma after war would just get in the way.


message 25: by Jessica (new)

Jessica O'Toole (jayotee) | 100 comments So, I did a litte more word striking - what do we think about this as the final draft?

**

After generations of civil war the human race still destroys itself, but brilliant cryo-biologist Sebastian Eastman verges on the first cryonic awakening. For humans in safe storage until the hostilities end, his research is their only hope of revival.

But serious illness puts him out of action for years, and his return finds his project and institute hijacked by an oppressive new CEO and her protege, who he believes is his replacement.

And when conflict with a fusion engineer who despises his ethics exposes vulnerability in his world, his waking nightmares begin tearing through the fragility of his mind.


message 26: by Randall (new)

Randall Davis I know this is petty, but take away the word Brilliant - his research being their only survival SHOWS how brilliant he is, rather than TELLING.
A two year illness must be serious so you may want to strike that word.
Other than that this is really good.


back to top