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Blurb Workshop > Blurb help - Thriller, Buzzkill

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message 1: by James (last edited Apr 24, 2018 11:33PM) (new)

James Preston | 10 comments Just finished revising the blurb and would welcome any and all feedback. Thanks!


"Am I going to die?"

Eighteen-year-old Mary Jane Bailey is sprawled on her back in a weed-choked field, bleeding from a cut on her forehead, when she asks that question to the man in a sharkskin suit who stands over her holding a straight razor.

It is 1968. Jane is both a student and snitch. A federal agency asks her to keep her eyes open and report on potentially violent activities at Cal State Long Beach. For reasons even she doesn't understand, Jane agrees.

Go with her as she encounters vicious thugs, police and pot heads, goes to a beach party where she takes a midnight swim through the red tide, all the while trying to infiltrate a radical group and establish whether they're as dangerous as they seem.

And the man with a straight razor standing over Jane? He answers her question with a single word.

"Yes."


message 2: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
I was interested until this line, "For reasons even she doesn't understand, Jane agrees." I don't get it. It reads, to me, "The author didn't bother coming up with a real motive for why Jane is working for the feds. Just go with it." Come on. Is it for love of her country? Her respect for the law? A desire for her school to be a safer place? Is it simply for the money? Letting us know why she's doing this gives us insight into her character. Saying she doesn't know why she's doing it makes her seem wishy-washy.

The paragraph that starts with "Go with her..." is a shopping list of events coming up in the book. Given what she's doing for the feds, I would assume she's going to encounter police, pot heads, parties and the like. It's unnecessary and dull.

The last bit is sloppy. It could be tightened up to, "The man with the straight razor answers with a single word. 'Yes.'"


message 3: by Mason (new)

Mason Hawk | 28 comments I agree with the above. Also not sure on the snitch thing. Was she a snitch before the FBI asked her to be more or should it read "asked"

It is 1968. Jane is both a student and snitch. A federal agency "asked" her to keep her eyes open and report on potentially violent activities at Cal State Long Beach.

As for the other thing, "For reasons even she doesn't understand, Jane agrees." I read it like the FBI doesn't understand and even she doesn't know why she's doing this. If you want to keep it fuzzy you could say "Maybe it was her boring life or the need for adventure, but her gut feeling was to say yes." Only fit it in better. hope this helps.


message 4: by John (last edited Apr 25, 2018 10:28AM) (new)

John | 56 comments I like undercover stories!

Have to agree with the two comments above that "For reasons even she doesn't understand, Jane agrees." is a big red light.

"as dangerous as they seem" perhaps more details here could help explain what is at stake and why she wants to be involved at all.


message 5: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments The first lines and the last lines were the best, for sure.
If this is your back cover blurb, then have your designer (or you) arrange the text different. For example, 1968 should be in a different font, maybe a complimentary color that stands out - information without having to tell the reader. For an example of what I'm talking about, check out The Girl in the Steel Corset - not your genre, of course, but the back blurb is kind of what I'm picturing for you.

Ok, content-wise, make the sentences smoother. If you don't know how to rewrite a sentence, maybe it doesn't even need to be there. Honestly, you drew me in really well with that first sentence - I'd like to read it! You started to lose me in teh middle, then grabbed me at the end again.

Nice job.


message 6: by James (new)

James Preston | 10 comments James wrote: "Just finished revising the blurb and would welcome any and all feedback. Thanks!


"Am I going to die?"

Eighteen-year-old Mary Jane Bailey is sprawled on her back in a weed-choked field, bleeding ..."


James wrote: "Just finished revising the blurb and would welcome any and all feedback. Thanks!


"Am I going to die?"

Eighteen-year-old Mary Jane Bailey is sprawled on her back in a weed-choked field, bleeding ..."


Wow. Dwayne, Mason, John, Jenna -- thank you. You're right. Much as it pains me to say it -- you're right on all counts. Okay, it needs a rewrite. You all picked up on a mistake. Jane helps the Feds because as a result of a traumatic childhood experience she considers herself damaged goods and has nothing to lose. I suppose it could be characterized as a shrug and, "Yeah, sure, why not?" The repairs will take a bit of work, but the blurb will be much better as a result of your help. I appreciate it.
And now that "bit of work" starts. Sigh. Thanks again.


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