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Blurb Workshop > Blurb Help for Regency romance (still untitled...)

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message 1: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments Many thanks to all who help!
Here's what I've got so far, and by the way, if there are any ideas for a title, I could use some! The first book was A Wager to Win, so short, alliteration...you get the idea.
(I already thought of The Reformed Rake, but I would prefer not to use 'rake' in a title....)

When Sally Fancot’s brothers are both killed in a riding accident, everything changes. Escorted by the servants and acutely shadowed by her parents, Sally slowly feels pressed into a box that she may never find a way out of.
Six years later, she is determined to finally marry and leave this house of mourning. Her chance comes at the unconventionally large wedding taking place at Holcombe Manor; if only she can catch the eye of anyone but the creepy Lord Piedmont, then everything will be alright. When an anonymous friend begins to write her letters, things begin to fall into place, and soon things are looking for the better.
Mr. Pratt lives every day with his past, sure that he should never marry, despite his mother’s wishes. A good friend offers support, while another gives him confidence, and slowly he begins to believe he might have changed.
Through the festivities, they both find hope in unexpected places, but even more important; a friendship that will encourage them beyond their expectations.

Kitschy, I know...I don't particularly like how it ends.
Here's what I have to have:
That Sally has horribly over-protective parents. That she is exchanging anonymous letters. That Mr. Pratt has a past. Something about romance ought to be in there somewhere, but it didn't seem to flow with what I've got...
Ah, I'll just let ya'all get to it. :)
Thanks again!


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 552 comments The thing that strikes me most is that you have a surfeit of words. A blurb on Amazon drops below the line after a few sentences. You can cut out a lot of unnecessary words.

E.g. '...and soon things are looking for the better.' This can be chopped to '...and soon things are looking better.'

There's quite a few phrases that can be shortened. Even and 'at the unconventionally large wedding'. Ask yourself do you need the reader to know at this stage that it is unconventionally large? Really? Sorry to sound so sharp but this is how you have to view it yourself. Only you know the answer.

Your voice comes through in the blurb and it is a very good voice, but a 'good voice' is less important than getting the characters and the plot across in straightforward language.

Sounds like it could be a good story. All the very best with this.


message 3: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments Anna - I know, I know! (With the extra words) I think I get so obsessed about being historically accurate, that I worry about putting it all in so that the prospective reader knows I actually know what I'm talking about.
(i.e. hours of research on watercolors in 1814 anyone? sigh.)

Anyone else? All ideas are welcome, even the grumpy negative ones. This is definitely the hardest part for me, and I obviously need the help. :)


message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 552 comments Had to laugh about your hours of research on watercolours in 1814! It seems we write in the same time period - so far mine are all 1814-1825. So, like you, I can spend hours on historical accuracy. Fascinating research but it ends up as just a hundred words or so. Then someone says I go off track and things could be cut out and I am horrified that the reader has not loved the scintillating tidbits. But, over time, I've then collected reviews that say that it's those interesting historical facts that have set the scene alive and sent them to do research too! And I know which reader my book is written for...

My feeling is - just not in the blurb, Jenna.


message 5: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments Any ideas for a title?
That's awesome we do similar time periods. I've got an itch to try Victorian stuff, though.

I'd love to hear from someone else too - someone who isn't relaly a romance person, just to get a different perspective.


message 6: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments I've got a title!
A Crafted Courtship

When Sally Fancot’s brothers are both killed in a riding accident, everything changes. Escorted by the servants and acutely shadowed by her parents, Sally slowly feels pressed into a box that she may never find a way out of.
Six years later, she is determined to finally marry and leave this house of mourning. Her chance comes with the wedding party at Holcombe Manor; if only she can catch the eye of anyone but the creepy Lord Piedmont, then everything will be alright. When an anonymous friend begins to write her letters, things begin to fall into place, and soon things are looking up.
Mr. Pratt lives every day with his past, sure that he should never marry, despite his mother’s wishes. A good friend offers support, while another gives him confidence, and slowly he begins to believe he might have changed.
Through the festivities, they both find hope in unexpected places, but even more important; a friendship that will encourage them beyond their expectations.

Thoughts? (-cough- Dwayne?) I know romance isn't really everyone's thing (frankly I prefer writing my fairy-tales), but any criticism is very welcome.


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

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
Thoughts? (-cough- Dwayne?) You rang? I'll go through it line by line giving my reaction to each before reading further.

When Sally Fancot’s brothers are both killed in a riding accident, everything changes. I have no point of reference to know what this means. I don't know what Sally's life was before her brothers were killed.

Escorted by the servants and acutely shadowed by her parents, Sally slowly feels pressed into a box that she may never find a way out of. All I know of Sally's life now is she is, apparently, rich. I'm sure you don't mean she's literally put in a box, but again, without knowing anything about Sally, I don't know what it means that she's put in a box. I'm guessing she feels... smothered? How? Why?

Six years later, she is determined to finally marry and leave this house of mourning. Makes me feel this must be in some bygone century. A detail or two would be nice to understand what is going on. I assume the mourning is for the dead brothers. Why is it still going six years later? Exactly how is this effecting Sally?

Her chance comes with the wedding party at Holcombe Manor; if only she can catch the eye of anyone but the creepy Lord Piedmont, then everything will be alright. Creepy how?

When an anonymous friend begins to write her letters, things begin to fall into place, and soon things are looking up. Abrupt change. I thought you'd go on about Lord Piedmont, now we're onto anonymous letters. Kinda vague here. "Things" are falling into place and looking up. Still, there is no real point of reference to know what things are changing.

Mr. Pratt lives every day with his past, sure that he should never marry, despite his mother’s wishes. Who? Is this the anonymous friend? Feels like I've fallen into another book without really knowing what the first was about. The way romance blurbs are typically written, I can guess Mr. Pratt is going to be Sally's love interest, but I see no connection here. Why does he feel he'll never marry? What happened in the past?

A good friend offers support, while another gives him confidence, and slowly he begins to believe he might have changed. An awful lot of beginnings and changes going on in this blurb. I need some focus here.

Through the festivities, they both find hope in unexpected places, but even more important; a friendship that will encourage them beyond their expectations. I assume "both" is Sally and Mr. Pratt?

Overall reaction - it feels like you may have a good romantic story going on, but the blurb lacks any real focus. It's hard to pinpoint what the real story is here. Some of it could be sacrificed to make room for more detail on the main plot. Maybe lose the bit about the dead brothers, since that happened six years before the central plot begins? Maybe lose the bit about the anonymous letters and Lord Piedmont as they feel like minor plot lines. I would suggest digging in deeper as to what it is Sally and Mr. Pratt are missing in their lives and why they believe marriage is the solution.


message 8: by Jenna (last edited May 03, 2018 09:46AM) (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments hahahahah - I'm sorry, Dwayne, but you literally just asked me to get rid of all of the major plot threads.
Sally's brothers die when she's 13. 6 years later, her parents are still overprotective and frustrating. It's 1814, so I could put something like that in bigger print at the top before the blurb maybe? (The cover does scream regency era.)
The anonymous letters are key - they're in fact the main theme ot the book, the reason why she starts to come out of her shell, etc.
Lord Piedmont....I could definitely add more there, because he's definitely a turd.
You've given me a lot to think about. Thank you!


message 9: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments PS. I am rewriting it, but I may not end up reposting it on here. I've got a couple flesh and blood people hacking away at it too. :)


message 10: by John (new)

John | 56 comments Ok, not my genre, but I do like Austen.

I can't see the story conflict. She has been overprotected but is now ready to marry. He has left his past behind and is ready to marry. Then the two will meet a grand, festive wedding... nice, but where is the story?


message 11: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments John - I see what you're getting at. Sounds like you're with Dwayne - reveal more. That I can do!
Thanks.


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