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Blurb Workshop > Blurb help - Fantasy: Eternal Defenders

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message 1: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (last edited Jan 28, 2019 05:54AM) (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Hello everyone!
The first scary moment has come, I am about to share a bit about what I am working on...
As the work on my to-be debut goes on, I've started trying to put the blurb together and after a few attempts, I've made some kind of first "shareable" draft. Any insight on it will be welcome.
---
The first version of the blurb was put under spoiler tag to save space.
(view spoiler)
The second draft of the blurb:
(view spoiler)
Third draft of the blurb (added 12.1.2019, post 24):
(view spoiler)
4th draft (28.1.2019) - slight cutting of version three
For generations, the blessed warriors and magi of the Order of Eternal Defenders had fought to defend their lands from the endless hordes of demons with unmatched expertise.

The legendary warrior Kraasian Darkwood lost friends and family to the demons. When Tyr'eshal, his twenty-year-old son, accepts the offer to wield an almost forgotten power, Kraasian realizes there might never be a better chance.

The resurgence of an underestimated foe with their eyes set on Tyr'eshal and the challenges of waging a war with merely a dozen Eternal Defenders will test Kraasian and his hope. More so when the cost of victory might be higher than he anticipated.
---
Some notes:
-The Eternals are the world's guardians/watchers, power-wise below demigods.
-This is to be the first book in a trilogy.
-If you need to know anything else, feel free to ask. I'll answer if I can.


message 2: by A. J. Deschene (new)

A. J. Deschene (ajdeschene) | 58 comments .
I just wanted to suggest a few changes to the blurbs that I hope will make them better. Of course, this is still your book, so you don't have to take any of the alterations.

Of course, I italicized the suggeted changes for your conveniance.



For generations, the Order of Eternal Defenders fought on the frontlines to defend their land from demonic invaders. Blessed by the original Eternals, they are the best warriors and magi in alliance with the Elves and can boast the greatest difference on any battlefield. Yet, it's not the same to fight on your terms, with impenetrable walls behind your back than it is to bring the battle to an enemy who appears to have no lack of numbers at their disposal, unhindered by the diversion of eating or sleeping.

Kraasian Darkwood, one of the best warriors in history, experienced losses on the battlefields. Now that he has become a father, he vows to forge a better future for his new son, without any more demonic threats. With his friend, Archmage Ereanel, Kraasian creates a plan that would use the unique skills of his fellowsas well as the budding talents of his son to crush the demons forever.

Yet, the Eternal Defenders will see to it that there is only so much they can do alone, and while heroes might win battles, they'll need an army to win a war. With generations used to stalemate the Elven leaders beset by personal grudges, a small move forward might be harder than Kraasian would expect and the price for even a small victory could be higher than he could ever predict.



I also capitalized Elves and Elven.
I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luxk on publishing your book!



A. J.


message 3: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Thanks for your insight, A.J. What you suggest are pretty small changes and while they might be different, they will surely happen. I should've probably said it at the beginning of my post, what is important for me at this point is to be pointed out if it feels like some (possibly important) parts are missing - if the blurb feels incomplete or saying too much.
The thing with capitalization - yes, that's something that I'll need to have a look at, not just in the blurb but the entire manuscript.

Again, thanks for your opinion - I hope I'll gather more feedback with time.


message 4: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments IMO too long. Try to halve it. Or more. I find the first paragraph intriguing could maybe do with that and no more


message 5: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Jane wrote: "IMO too long. Try to halve it. Or more. I find the first paragraph intriguing could maybe do with that and no more"

It did not seem so long in my head. When I wrote it out here, though...
I'll think about the length.


message 6: by M.L. (last edited Jul 15, 2018 11:17AM) (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments I do like to see longer blurbs. I may not read the whole blurb the first time, but may come back to it. So I like having the option.

In the first paragraph, the last sentence, I prefer your original version: the last part is stronger, "unhindered by the need to eat or sleep." The word "need" is one syllable as opposed to "diversion." (One syllable words.) If someone is hungry it may be a diversion. But if someone has no need to eat or sleep, it says they are a version of white walkers, or something like that.

As you go along, you can tweak the whole blurb, but I think if a reader likes epic fantasy it gives a good indication of the book. I would like to hear a little more about the bad guys.


message 7: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Thanks for the comment, M.L.
I might as well have a look (before the final decision) at how long blurbs for epic fantasy tend to be and then try to accommodate. I'll also think about your point with the antagonist - but as I said above, I'll only rewrite the blurb later when I've gathered some more feedback.


message 8: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments The first paragraph again, where it says "can make a difference on the battlefields," you might try something "can turn the tide of battle against insurmountable odds," or something that emphasizes how much power they have, the kind of difference they make.


message 9: by John (new)

John | 56 comments First, I've found it constructive to work on the blurb as a way to get a clearer idea about the story.

The thing that strikes me first, is that you tell the defenders are great warriors and magi, but they are in big trouble, and I donøt think it's clear why? What makes the enemy so formidable?

I think you need to mention that this is the first part of a trilogy - it seems their goal is to just win a small victory (at first) and that goal only makes sense as part of a bigger story.

"Creates a plan" ok, I get that you might not want to reveal too much, but it's pretty tame... surely, they had plans before, what makes this one so different?

Some of the text seems a little cluttered by stating the obvious. For instance the tag line: if you haven't started a war, then you usually want it to end. >the next line says that the Defenders defend - again, one would expect that.

Good luck!


message 10: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Thanks for the feedback, John. It's still very early attempt on the blurb so I know it'll need some work.


message 11: by Andres (new)

Andres Rodriguez (aroddamonster) | 30 comments Hi Thomas,

Warcraft, reading, hiking, gaming, and writing? Wow, you're already my best friend. LOL. I rewrote your blurb to see if it might spark your imagination a bit. I hope this helps, best of luck I look forward to reading your first book!


A war they did not start, but one that had to end.
The Order of Eternal Defenders are elite warriors of the Magi elves, blessed by the Eternals and just a few can turn the tide of a battle. They defend their home with impenetrable walls against a relentless invasion of demons that have been attacking for several generations now. A never ceasing war against an enemy with infinite numbers that require no food nor drink.

Kraasian Darkwood, a Magi hero of legend and now a father, envisions a world where his son can grow without a demonic threat looming just beyond their gates. With the help of his friend, Archmage Ereanel, Kraasian creates a plan that would put the Order on the offensive for the very first time. However, a small advancement forward will be more difficult and costly than the Order anticipated. Kraasians’ greatest battle will prove not to be against the demons, but against the elven leaders themselves.


message 12: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Andres, thanks for your input as well.
One correction though: Kraasian is a warrior, not a mage. The Eternal Defenders are a mix of warriors and magi alike.
Anyway, there are parts I like in your suggestion and I'll definitely use some of it for the final version.

Side note: I can't deny some inspiration by both WarCraft and Diablo universe when it comes to the demons.


message 13: by Andres (new)

Andres Rodriguez (aroddamonster) | 30 comments I'll keep checking in to see if you updated your blurb. Sorry about that, I didn't know if you used Magi as the name of your elvish tribe or as Mages etc.

Yeah, Diablo heavily inspired my work so no bad impressions here. Anyway, I'm a click away if you need any help. We have similar interests which can help when trying to write within a specific genre. Let me know when its available, I'd like to check it out.


message 14: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (last edited Aug 03, 2018 05:53AM) (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
I am back with a second shot at the blurb, with some modifications, squishing stuff that was pretty much said twice and trying to incorporate something of what was told me before.
---
For generations, the Order of Eternal Defenders fought on the frontlines to defend their lands from the endless hordes of demons unhindered by the need to eat or sleep. The few Eternal Defenders, magi and warriors blessed by the Eternals, could turn the tide of battle. Yet, few as they are, they could not win a war when their army's leaders are used to stalemate and beset by personal grudges.

The legendary warrior Kraasian Darkwood lost friends and family to the demons. Now that he has become a father, he wishes his son to avoid the same. With his friend, Archmage Ereanel, he decides it's time to stop being on the defensive and show the demons the true extent of the Order's might.

Can the small group of Eternal Defenders defeat the demons? What might be the price for even a small victory? Can Kraasian persuade the Elven leaders to strike, or will he need to rely on his small group alone? (How much can a few heroes do against hundreds of demons? - not sure if to include that.)
----
As before, I am most interested if it feels like too long/short, if it feels like something's missing or is not clear enough. I still expect it to go through a few more drafts based on feedback and my own thoughts.
Also, as hinted by someone before, to state that it's a beginning of a trilogy. I, so far, have no idea how to make it part of the blurb but not too disrupting (not even sure if I expressed myself clearly), so feedback/suggestions on that will be welcome.


message 15: by John (new)

John | 56 comments Re-reading this, the "fought" in the first line struck me. As that fight is still ongoing it should be "have fought" otherwise we are led to beleive that the fight is over.

I think "unhindered by..." makes the sentence a bit too long.

There is also something about the tense in "are" and "could" in the third line. Perhaps, "Few as they are, they have never been able..."

Not sure how the Elvens come into play. Is Darkwood elven?

I think it would be nice if they risked something by pursuing their plan - ideally they could risk that their land would fall if they don't succeed.


message 16: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Thanks for the input, John. Majority of the characters are Elves (mentioned in the original post, I believe), for one question.
Choice of words, yep, that will be adjusted with time.
And yes, there are risks, of course - even if it's more about risks the characters face than anything else. Again, still trying to see how to put it all the best - I presume I'll probably do at least two or three more drafts of the blurb, see the feedback and then look on all the versions and how they worked (or not) for the final one.


message 17: by Lewis (new)

Lewis Jordan | 15 comments Much, much too wordy in my opinion.

Personally; I would have boiled it down to a paragraph. Something like:

“To save his newborn son from ever knowing the same hardships he’s known, legendary warrior Kraasien Darkwood is working with Old friends, and new; to finally show the Demonic Hoards the full force of the Order of Eternal Defenders, and finally bring the centuries old war to an end.”


I think you need a gut-punch to grab their attention; not a meandering history lesson; and I think the questions at the end are a bit unnecessary. Might just be my taste though.


message 18: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 347 comments Lewis wrote: "Much, much too wordy in my opinion.

Personally; I would have boiled it down to a paragraph. Something like:

“To save his newborn son from ever knowing the same hardships he’s known, legendary war..."


I agree second effort was too wordy, but this is too brief, and worse, too generic. I think you need one or two sentences added to show where your story is different from most.


message 19: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Thank you both for the comments.


message 20: by Lewis (new)

Lewis Jordan | 15 comments I don’t know how to quote but this is in reply to Ian;

Fair comments; yes, but it does make me wonder; in purely story-telling terms, if a bare-bones blurb sounds generic, how much of everything else actually matters?
I don’t mean the writing style, or the authors voice because they’re totally different things (and I wouldn’t be able to emulate those for the purposes of my example anyway)

I mean, if the war is being fought against the demonic hoards, or if the hero’s name is krassen or aarathorn or Arthur; or if the war is fought by soldiers or knights; or if the wise-men are called magi or scientists...... isn’t that bit all just superfluous decoration?

Icing.


I don’t mean to imply this book is any of those things; I haven’t read it and I’m sure it isn’t....(and even if it is; I’m sure the authors voice is unique enough to carry it splendidly) just dissecting the comment itself.


message 21: by Lewis (new)

Lewis Jordan | 15 comments “The com ment itself”


message 22: by Andres (new)

Andres Rodriguez (aroddamonster) | 30 comments Hey Thomas,
How about this?

The Order of Eternal Defenders are elite warriors and magi elves, blessed by sacred beings called Eternals. A few Eternal Defenders in the Elven army can turn the tide of a battle. Together they defend their home with impenetrable walls against a relentless dark army. An army of demons with infinite numbers, requiring no food, no drink, and no sleep.

Kraasian Darkwood, is a legendary warrior and now a father. He envisions a world where his son can grow without a demonic threat looming just beyond their gates. With the help of his friend, Archmage Ereanel, Kraasian plans a never before attempted attack on the demonic army. However, advancing the elven army forward will be more difficult then he ever anticipated. Kraasian wants to end the war and to bring peace but what cost will he pay to get it?


message 23: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Lewis, I think that part of the problem with a good blurb is to reach the balance between two things:
1) to show the story's main points (without spoilers, of course) - which should be what says what makes the book what it is
AND
2) to show what kind of story it is - so it interests the right people. The second part will probably be slightly more generic.
- - -
As for length - that varies as well. I've seen books with one-paragraph blurbs and I've seen books with blurb 50%-ish longer than my current attempts.
-----
To Andres: it sounds really nice. I'll probably use it (with some personal touches) in the next attempt (I'll probably again take 10-15 days of break before the next try).


message 24: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Rewrting the blurb was on the back-burner for a while as I worked on the actual story but I am back with the third try now, five months later.
I've adjusted the first paragraph a bit and changed the other two. it now shows that the story actually starts when Kraasian' son is on the verge of adulthood and hints at his power and its contribution to the story. I am still not satisfied with the ending (last sentence).

Now, the blurb itself:
For generations, the Order of Eternal Defenders had fought to defend their lands from the endless hordes of demons. Blessed by the godlike Eternals, the Eternal Defenders can turn the tide of battle with expertise in arms or magic. Yet, few as they are, they can't win a war alone – not when their leaders are used to stalemate and beset by personal grudges.

The legendary warrior Kraasian Darkwood lost friends and family to the demons. When Tyr'eshal, his twenty-year-old son, accepts the offer to wield an almost forgotten power, Kraasian realizes there might never be a better chance. Along with his closest friend, Archmage Ereanel, he believes their experience and his son's budding skills are the key to ending the long war.

As Kraasian and Ereanel plan to defeat the demons forever, Tyr'eshal struggles to deal with the expectations put on him – and the resurgence of another, underestimated foe. Despite being challenged by friends and foes alike, Kraasian leads the Eternal Defenders against the demons only to realize the victory might cost them more than he anticipated.
----
Feel free to ask anything that might be unclear.


message 25: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Too. Wordy.
I face the same kind of struggle, this blurb has little impact. It feels as if it's narrated by a historian. I would include emotional stakes here, of which there aren't any, and makes it hard for the reader to connect with the characters.
Kinda like:
For generations, the Order of Eternal Defenders, an elite group of warriors, had fought to defend their lands from the endless hordes of demons, despite being overwhelmed by their numbers and distraught by their internal conflicts, barely holding the force together.


message 26: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments It seems like history. I would suggest narrowing the focus and trying not to repeat 'Eternal' so many times. I think the original blurb is most descriptive, but again narrow the focus.


message 27: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (last edited Jan 28, 2019 05:54AM) (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Sorry for taking my time to reply. I've thought about what you both said but wanted to take a while to see if anyone else will add their insight. I've taken another shot, bringing it down from ~180 words to ~110-ish.
Version 4:
---
For generations, the blessed warriors and magi of the Order of Eternal Defenders had fought to defend their lands from the endless hordes of demons with unmatched expertise.

The legendary warrior Kraasian Darkwood lost friends and family to the demons. When Tyr'eshal, his twenty-year-old son, accepts the offer to wield an almost forgotten power, Kraasian realizes there might never be a better chance.

The resurgence of an underestimated foe with their eyes set on Tyr'eshal and the challenges of waging a war with merely a dozen Eternal Defenders will test Kraasian and his hope. More so when the cost of victory might be higher than he anticipated.
---
I hope the newest version cut the parts that seemed like a history lesson (much of it is told right at the first page of the prologue) and the repeated words. I'm still open to feedback and thankful for it, even if I don't respond right away. I'm reading it and listening.


message 28: by L.K. (new)

L.K. Chapman | 150 comments I think it sounds really good :)

Something about the word "underestimated" is bothering me, don't know if you could take it out altogether or if there is another word that might sound better, I can't really put my finger on what's bugging me about it, it just stood out to me.

Apart from that, I think it sounds very intriguing.


message 29: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Thanks, L.K.! As for underestimated, I've considered "(almost) forgotten" or "resurgent" but neither of those tells what I'd like to tell. While "almost forgotten" is true as well, it's the poor grasp of their potential that might cause the most trouble - hence underestimated.


message 30: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Sells | 129 comments Having read through the thread, I definitely think the latest version is an improvement. I'm not really the sort of person to usually read this type of book, but you have me quite intrigued, so that has to mean something :)

The 'underestimated' bit doesn't bother me - as you quite rightly say, no other word will do in the circumstances.

Would love to offer further help, but I personally can't find anything wrong with what you have at this point.


message 31: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Valerie, Thanks for offering your opinion even outside of your main genre. The fact you're intrigued and that you see improvement is a hint I'm taking it in the right direction and that I'm learning something. Well, I hope so.


message 32: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 347 comments Tomas wrote: "Sorry for taking my time to reply. I've thought about what you both said but wanted to take a while to see if anyone else will add their insight. I've taken another shot, bringing it down from ~180..."

I am coming in for the first time, and I rather feel it need surgery. Sorry, but you did ask. Para 1: who has unmatched expertise? It is an adverbial phrase that I suspect should be after "defenders" but it read to me as if it is the horde. Do you need the phrase, or could you rewrite to take away the need?

Para 2 - sentence 1 - too bland. Condense the losses to a phrase and replace legendary? Then, "there might never be a better chance" - to do what? It needs to be more incisive.

Para 3 - I find "underestimated foe" too bland. Give a clue as to why he is dangerous, then find a better summary sentence than the last one. Something like, "This may cost ...."

My thoughts


message 33: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Ian wrote: "I am coming in for the first time, and I rather feel it need surgery. Sorry, but you did ask."

I did ask because I'd like to improve it and well-meant advice is welcome, even if it might be harsh. I'll consider it when I'll be writing the next draft.
I think the first part can be fixed by rewriting the sentence (moving the "unmatched expertise" so it's clear it's meant to be about the ED). The others, I'll think about what you said and see what I can come up with. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


message 34: by John (new)

John Waite | 25 comments M.L. wrote: "It seems like history. I would suggest narrowing the focus and trying not to repeat 'Eternal' so many times. I think the original blurb is most descriptive, but again narrow the focus."


message 35: by Mark (new)

Mark Huntley-James | 64 comments I would rework the first para

[For generations, the blessed warriors and magi of the Order of Eternal Defenders had fought to defend their lands from the endless hordes of demons with unmatched expertise.]

As well as the ambiguity of the 'unmatched expertise' I would suggest making the opening more direct and bring the tense forward a notch:
The blessed warriors and magi of the Order of Eternal Defenders HAVE defended their lands with unmatched expertise AGAINST endless hordes of demons for generations.

The third para, as Ian says, feels bland. At the least it needs to be more direct and lose weasel-words like "might".

Something like : The resurgence of an underestimated foe will test Kraasian AND HIS MERE dozen Eternal Defenders

and a something to the effect that: the cost of victory will be higher than he anticipated. (or imagined or equivalent.)


message 36: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Thanks, Mark. You made some valid points, I'll keep them in mind when I get to update the blurb again.


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