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Blurb Workshop > Blurb Help - Fiction, The Learning Wilds

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message 1: by A.P. (new)

A.P. Nuri (apnuri) | 6 comments Would love just some general feedback and first thoughts.
My main concern is does it peak your interest (enough to give it a peek)?
I'm not looking for a complete rewrite, but if the majority says it doesn't work, I'll obviously look at your constructive feedback and apply it.

Thank you in advance!



In a village nestled in the canyons of Elorah, Fox is set to be paired to a man the day she turns 18. She hopes it will be her lover, Wolf, but when it isn't, they plan a way to escape together.

Then creatures attack her hometown. With the unexpected help of an outsider, she flees with Wolf to another village. There she reunites with long lost family but suffers from an infectious wound. Fox is forced to seek healing from the unexplored north of Elorah among an indigenous village people. If she becomes a citizen here, she could find a remedy and protect what little family she has left. But citizenship guarantees her giving up every last one of her beliefs.


message 2: by Molly (new)

Molly Mulligan | 11 comments Overall, I think this is good. I especially like the first paragraph and don't see too much room for improvement there.

The second paragraph feels a little bit more like a summary than a blurb to me, although honestly I do still think its good. There might be a few small things you could cut out to help cut to the chase of what seems to be the ultimate story arch--Fox's decision for or against becoming a citizen amongst the indigenous villages of the north.

Random example:

"When creatures attack her hometown, Fox and Wolf flee to a distant village, where she reunites with long lost family but suffers from an infectious wound. Setting out to seek healing, Fox journeys into the unexplored north of Elora into an indigenous village society......" then the rest the same!

Anyways, if it makes you feel any better, I ripped my hair out for a good six months writing and rewriting my blurb, and I'm still not sure if its any good! There's always going to be something to critique, and different people will suggest different things, so go with your gut and if you're happy with what you've got feel free to ignore my comments.

Good luck!

Molly


message 3: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
The first paragraph is stronger. It sets up a story.

The second is bogged down with too many things going on and it's hard to focus on what is the main story. It seems it is going to be about this love between Fox and Wolf, but then you toss creatures and long-lost relatives and illness and so forth at us. At its heart, what is the book about?


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 347 comments I too found the second paragraph confusing. What sort of book is it? Fantasy on another world? Some sort of primitive society here? What are these beliefs related to - is it religious oriented?

The blurb must tell you what sort of book it is, and it should conclude with a clear problem rather than a sort of vague issue.


message 5: by A.P. (new)

A.P. Nuri (apnuri) | 6 comments Thanks Molly! Haha, I won't ignore your suggestions--I appreciate the input. Dwayne, thanks for the feedback. I felt similarly that the second paragraph was too much. Would you suggest something similar to Molly, in the sense of cutting to the chase about the overarching story decision (her choosing to be a citizen of this indigenous village or not)?


message 6: by A.P. (new)

A.P. Nuri (apnuri) | 6 comments Also Ian and Dwayne:

In regards to what the book is about, is it safe as an author to give away a theme that the readers will subjectively have their own opinions about? I mean, looking at some example synopses like Hunger Games or Nightfall (Halpern) they don't outright say "This is about the political unrest in dystopias," etc. When you say what is my book about? Do you mean metaphorically/symbolically or literally?


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 347 comments A.P. wrote: "Also Ian and Dwayne:

In regards to what the book is about, is it safe as an author to give away a theme that the readers will subjectively have their own opinions about? I mean, looking at some ex..."


I was much more general. Was it fantasy, science fiction, romance, urban dystopia, or maybe one or two others? I was not sure, and when a reader is not sure, they often don't buy. I don't mean to give a detailed description to the theme - the reader has to work hat out for themselves.


message 8: by Jay (new)

Jay Greenstein (jaygreenstein) | 249 comments The first paragraph works. But the second comes out of nowhere. As someone who doesn’t know where and when the story takes place, and doesn’t know what the “village” is as far as culture and lifestyle, when you say, “Then creatures attack her hometown,” you lose me for several reasons:

• What’s a creature in terms of this story?
• Where’s Elorah? You take pains to name it, so it should tell me something.
• It was a village but now it’s a “hometown?”
• Arranged marriages seem to imply a religious culture. But if so, which one?
• How does running away because of an arranged marriage relate to attacking creatures?
• What’s a “creature?” And in what way (and in what numbers) are they attacking? And why?

The problem is that you’re trying to condense the story’s plot to 122 words. And if you can condense a novel to that, meaningfully, it can’t be a very complex story. But more to the point, a blurb has one and only one job: Instill a desire to turn to page one in your reader. That reader doesn’t want to know history. They don’t want to know the plot. They want to know why your story is more worth their attention that the one next to it on the shelf. So…tell them what the problem is. Tell them why no one but your protagonist can solve it. Tell them what the danger is, and the consequences of the protagonist failing, or walking away.

Hit them with big-ticket emotional items, not detail. Think in terms of the voice over that would play during the theatrical trailer for the film version.

Don’t inform, entertain. Make them care.


message 9: by Andres (new)

Andres Rodriguez (aroddamonster) | 30 comments Alright! Go AZ authors!
Well, I think if everyone just critiques using bullets, they’ll get you nowhere as you try to follow the path of bullet holes. So maybe an example would serve best. Maybe this will help get you started in the right direction.
High in the mountains of Anozira, nestled safely in its canyons is the secluded village of Elorah. Here we find the city alive, decorating the village in preparation for their annual wedding festival. Fox, a young rambunctious woman to be wed, is turning 18 this year. She’s anxiously awaiting the marriage to her beloved, Wolf. Everything in Elorah is going perfectly…. She thought.
As the ceremony comes to fruition, Fox discovers she is going to be married to someone other than Wolf. Panicking, she convinces Wolf to run away with her but before their escape, mysterious creatures attack their village. During the escape Fox is severely wounded by one of the creatures however, with the help from a stranger, Wolf is able to rescue her and flee to another village. The people in this village might be able to help save her, if she is willing to sacrifice every one of her beliefs and become a citizen, adopting their way of life.

I hope this helps. Sometimes it sounds cool in your head if you read your blurb in the movie promo mans voice as well. Lol.


message 10: by A.P. (new)

A.P. Nuri (apnuri) | 6 comments Jay wrote: "The first paragraph works. But the second comes out of nowhere. As someone who doesn’t know where and when the story takes place, and doesn’t know what the “village” is as far as culture and lifest..." Thanks, Jay! I appreciate the input and will definitely consider that. I get that painting a picture is the point. Obviously as authors, we are all inclined to try way to hard by telling our readers far too much or too little, instead of simply painting a picture that also gets our point across. I think Molly and Dwayne also implied that I need to take a look at why readers should really care about Fox. Looking at it now, I don't see where I included any personal emotional stakes concerning Fox.

Andres, you took quite the contrary approach. Bahahaha I appreciate the creativity and the example helps A LOT! It looks like a little bit of redoing is inevitable, but I will consider your advice as well. :)


message 11: by Andres (new)

Andres Rodriguez (aroddamonster) | 30 comments Its great to meet another AZ author. If you want PM me your revised blurb and we can keep shooting ideas back and forth until you find something you truly like. Let me know if I can help!


message 12: by A.P. (new)

A.P. Nuri (apnuri) | 6 comments Hi all: After some review and revision, could I get some votes on which blurb sits a bit better now? 1 or 2?

1:
On the island of Elorah, Leathen is a community that thrives on simplicity and tradition. It took a village like that to raise a child like Fox.

Fox is a restless young woman who yearns to know her past. Her best friend, Falcon, makes her laugh and Wolf keeps her head on straight. Although even with all she has, she still longs to travel beyond Leathen. One night, the three finally work up the nerve to venture out together and nearly fall into the grasp of flesh-eating creatures called Gorlons. The encounter makes them question everything they know about Leathen. And for Fox, the truth is personal. But it comes with an irreversible cost for all who seek it. Is it worth it?


2:
Elorah. There’s no island like it. Lush green forests, breathtaking beaches, and the remains of a shipwreck that left a baby girl orphaned.

Seventeen years later, Fox yearns for the truth about her parents—two scientists who happened upon an unimaginable discovery—but merely hears stories.

Forced from her village, Fox finds her life is at stake. Can she prevent the consequences of her parents’ work before her people are eaten alive?


message 13: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
I like the first a lot better. The second is - problematic.

Lush forest, beaches and a shipwreck - sounds like a lot of islands to me. I'm not sure I get the "no other island like it" line.

So, then we find out Fox wants to know about her parents, but only hears stories (what is she hoping for?) Suddenly, she's forced from her village for no given reason and her life is at stake. (Why?) This is all due to her parents work, but we don't know what their work was. So, yeah, the second frustrates me.

I really like the first. I might chop off the first lines and start with "Fox is a restless..."


message 14: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments The first one but start with the second paragraph, "Fox is a restless..."


message 15: by A.P. (new)

A.P. Nuri (apnuri) | 6 comments Dwayne wrote: "I like the first a lot better. The second is - problematic.

Lush forest, beaches and a shipwreck - sounds like a lot of islands to me. I'm not sure I get the "no other island like it" line.

So, t..."

By chopping the first bit, won't readers be confused when I bring up Leathen? Or will they just assume it's a general location and that's okay?


message 16: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
A.P. wrote: "By chopping the first bit, won't readers be confused when I bring up Leathen? Or will they just assume it's a general location and that's okay?
"


You could do this: Although even with all she has, she still longs to travel beyond Leathen, her community."


message 17: by Andres (new)

Andres Rodriguez (aroddamonster) | 30 comments 1. I like what Dwayne recommended, start with the second paragraph.

2. the sentence, "Although even with all she has.." sounds a little awkward as I read it aloud. Maybe because the only thing I know she has is two friends? I think this sentence would work if I felt she really had a lot of stuff going for her; paradise, wealth, fame, and/or power.

3. The last sentence, "Is it worth it?" It feels as though your asking me if its worth it rather than making be curious to read if Fox feels its worth it. Maybe something along the lines of...

For Fox, the truth is personal and it will come with an irreversible cost.

Now I'm thinking, "Ohh, why is it personal? And what is the cost?"

Your almost there! Keep plugging away, were all here to help!


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