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Blurb Workshop > Blurb Help - Paranormal Romance/Erotica - Forbidden: New Days

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message 1: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Here we go again, the part I shudder at when writing... Please help.

This is the second book of a series on the same couple. The first ended with a HEA and the main character losing her memory of her angel years, which she considers amnesia. They both start their life as a normal human couple and their new career as detectives in this second book, totally unaware of what has transpired in the first.

Here is the actual blurb:

This is the second book in the Forbidden series. Please don’t continue reading if you haven’t read the first, as there will be plenty of spoilers ahead.

‘How booooring!’ Sween thinks as she sits at the desk of her new job as a detective. ‘So much paperwork and nothing exciting to do? Can I really do this for years from now?’ Little would she know she’d soon be investigating the most mysterious and brutal crimes in her city’s story.

Lei’s torrid passion and love still warms her life. It’s all fun and games—but wait a minute! Why is he flirting with that lady at his office? The people at work think that other woman and not Sween is his wife!

But as bullets whistle in the night and beloved blood is spilled, maybe it’s already too late to know the truth…

I'm never happy with the blurbs I write... Any ideas to improve it...?


message 2: by Summer (new)

Summer (paradisecity) Haru wrote: "Here we go again, the part I shudder at when writing... Please help. ..."

I think your blurb could use a lot of clarification. I get that it's for returning readers, but there's a lot that's confusing here. The characters' names don't indicate gender, so when you say "he" and "she" I'm not sure who you're referring to. Who is Lei and who did s/he love and why is that important? And for a second I thought Little was the name of another character. I also can't imagine being a police detective would be boring, so that just read oddly. And if work is boring, why are they suddenly getting shot at? If you can clarify who your characters are and what the plot is, I think that would really help.


message 3: by John (new)

John | 54 comments It seems a shame when you have gotten a potential buyer so far as to read the blurb, then to turn them away in the first sentence! Of course, you can in no way be sure that they will go looking for the first book.

Have you tried looking at other series to see how (and if) they avoid giving spoilers about previous books in the blurbs of subsequent ones?


message 4: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 659 comments Mod
What is unclear: is this
This is the second book in the Forbidden series. Please don’t continue reading if you haven’t read the first, as there will be plenty of spoilers ahead. actually part of the blurb? If yes, is it really necessary? To me, it's quite obvious that a second book follows the first and would more expect loose continuations or standalone side stories to be pointed out. I'd get rid of it if it actually is a part of the book, maybe leave just "book two of Forbidden series" or something simple like that.

Anyway, for the 'actual' blurb and what I think about it.

You mention the ending of the previous book. Maybe use that as the first line? I'd probably compress the beginning a bit. Something like: "Following the [something about the book 1 ending], Sween tried to return to a normal life. Her new job of detective seems like too much boring paperwork and little excitement at first."

I also think that combining the end of this part with the end into something like:
"As bullets whistle in the night and beloved blood is spilled, Sween is pulled into investigating the most mysterious and brutal crimes in the city's history, it might be too late to learn the truth." - this feels like a more powerful line, especially to wrap the blurb up.

Which leaves the middle to play with. Maybe something like: "Lei’s torrid passion and love still warms her life. Yet, amidst the office boredom, she finds him flirting with another lady, to the point the co-workers believe said lady is his wife, not Sween."

I hope that what I wrote is not too chaotic and will help you. Writing blurbs seems hard to me as well, and I know it'll be even harder for the sequels. So, I wish you luck and some good feedback from others.


message 5: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1101 comments It jumps around as far as perspective. Sween is thinking, then author jumps in 'little would she know.' The next paragraph is like an orchestra, everyone is participating--or that's what it feels like: Lei and the author both commenting. I think.

If you start with the spoiler warning, you could then go right to the story--spoiler and all:

Sween does not remember her former life as an angel. Bits and pieces of it come back but when they do, she thinks it's a dream. Her present life is what matters now. She is a detective, married to . . . Lei. But those who tried to kill her don't care if she remembers them or not. Bullets and blood don't need an introduction. Violence is part of her past and threatens her happily ever after.

Something like that.


message 6: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4270 comments Mod
This is the second book in the Forbidden series. Please don’t continue reading if you haven’t read the first, as there will be plenty of spoilers ahead.

Admittedly, I don't write series in the sense that people use the word today, nor do I often read them. But, I would hesitate to read a book whose blurb starts off like this. I assume your cover will have "Book 2" or some such thing on it. That's enough to clue a reader in that this is not the beginning. Let them move on at their own risk.

‘How booooring!’ Sween thinks as she sits at the desk of her new job as a detective. ‘So much paperwork and nothing exciting to do? Can I really do this for years from now?’

Again, I'm probably not in your target audience so take this with a grain of salt, but I would likely pass on a book that promises a bored character right off the bat. If they're bored, I'll be bored reading about them. If I'm brutally honest, I wonder at this point about Sween's intellect. Why would one chose to be a detective if they don't care for paperwork? She didn't realize this would be part of the job?

Little would she know she’d soon be investigating the most mysterious and brutal crimes in her city’s story.

Not bad. The wording is clumsy, though. Also, instead of learning that Sween is bored, maybe more details about these crimes. Get us interested with the juicy stuff!

Lei’s torrid passion and love still warms her life. It’s all fun and games—but wait a minute! Why is he flirting with that lady at his office? The people at work think that other woman and not Sween is his wife!

I had to read that at least a couple of times to begin to grasp it. It lacks focus. I couldn't tell at first if Lei is a man or woman, who "that lady" is and so on.

But as bullets whistle in the night and beloved blood is spilled, maybe it’s already too late to know the truth…

Beloved blood?

Overall, the blurb has a frame to it. It needs a lot of fleshing out. More detail about the crimes, a little more hint as to who Lei and Sween are. I realize you're writing this for people who have read the first book and that's fine, but realize someone might read your first book today and not get around to this one for another five or ten years. A little more detail about the characters would not hurt all around.


message 7: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments *shakes head and bows* You. Guys. Are. Awesome. I don't know what would I do without you.

First, I reworked the blurb a little. I don't know if it's good, but I think it's better than the first:

While enjoying a life of opulence, fun and games, and enthralled in torrid passion and love for each other, Lei and Sween start their detective career, but it’s not the adrenaline pumping job they had envisioned.

‘How booooring!’ Sween thinks as she sits at her desk loaded with paperwork, wondering if she would ever work in some exciting case.

Two days later, she wishes she had never asked for that.

Now the miraculous survivor of an unprecedented massacre, Sween is compelled to investigate the most mysterious and brutal crimes in her city’s history. Thank goodness she has Lei for support—but wait a minute! Why is he flirting with that lady at his office? The people at work think that other woman and not Sween is his wife!

However, as bullets whistle in the night and beloved blood is spilled, maybe it’s already too late to know the truth…

V.M.: Thank you very much! What a concise, useful guide! I tried to include the description now. I didn't feel explaining anything about the other woman would be necessary, as Sween is EXTREMELY jealous (she literally summons a demon of jealousy in the first book).

Summer: It's hard to depict stuff in a blurb! But Sween is not your stereotypical heroine; she was a human who died age ten and was turned into an angel. As angels don't mature emotionally, her emotional IQ remained at that stage. She doesn't remember anymore, but she was a guardian angel, patrolling cities to protect humans. In human terms, her former job would be the equivalent of a ranger. Now imagine someone with the emotional maturity of a ten years old cooped up in an office doing paperwork...

John: Ohmigod, you're a lifesaver! That was a habit I picked from my fanfic writer years. Most fanfic writers put warnings like this at the beginning of sequels. And you're right, when I read that I wouldn't go back and check! Out of the top of my head, I checked the second tomes of Twilight and Fifty Shades, and yes, not a single warning that the story continues. I am infinitely grateful to you for pointing that out!

Tomas and M.L.: *snap fingers* Yes, that's exactly what I think this was missing! The first blurb has little cohesion. Thank you very much for your rewritings, they helped me gain a lot of clarity about the blurb!

Dwayne: Thank you, and I'll tell you the same I told Summer. Sween is extremely brilliant, but someone with a traditional IQ of 150 and emotional IQ of 60 does come off as... a little weird to say the least. But you're right in the fleshing out part. I tried to do that, but I still need to give it more thought.

Again, thank you very much to everyone! I think this new version still needs more work, like more descriptions, but I think it's better.
Now I know that there's something more difficult than condensating 108k words in 200... it's condensating the 107k sequel of a 108k words book in 200...


message 8: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments *stares at a roll of hay running in front of her as she twiddles her fingers* Um... No comments about the second version? Did it get lost among the answers? I'll post it here again:

While enjoying a life of opulence, fun and games, and enthralled in torrid passion and love for each other, Lei and Sween start their detective career, but it’s not the adrenaline pumping job they had envisioned.

‘How booooring!’ Sween thinks as she sits at her desk loaded with paperwork, wondering if she would ever work in some exciting case.

Two days later, she wishes she had never asked for that.

Now the miraculous survivor of an unprecedented massacre, Sween is compelled to investigate the most mysterious and brutal crimes in her city’s history. Thank goodness she has Lei for support—but wait a minute! Why is he flirting with that lady at his office? The people at work think that other woman and not Sween is his wife!

However, as bullets whistle in the night and beloved blood is spilled, maybe it’s already too late to know the truth…


I'll start offering ARCs tomorrow so if this is okay, I'll go with this one...


message 9: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 659 comments Mod
Yes, I overlooked the second blurb in your previous post. The newer one is definitely more cohesive. Giving my lack of experience with writing, let alone commenting on blurbs, I am not sure there's much I can say to it now.


message 10: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 173 comments I do think it reads much better. One thing, however. I didn't like the fact that you had actual dialogue in the previous version. Now it's much reduced and flows surprisingly well. I still don't think you need the paragraph that starts 'how boooring'.
I guess I'm not your target audience. I have never read a book in that genre (so take my two pennies' with a pinch of salt) but on the one hand I get the idea it's supposedly fast-moving, nail-biting action, and on the other you take the time to remark on Lei's fliriting in the blurb. To me it says 'can't make up mind about genre'.
Like I said, though, I don't know what I'm talking about. I probably just don't get it... ;)


message 11: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4270 comments Mod
I like it better. I'd probably put a period after "career", strike everything to the word "now" and start the second paragraph with "The miraculous". Not really keen on knowing their work is boring and its not likely to draw a lot of people into the book.


message 12: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Thank you very much, guys! I saw your responses earlier but the site kept telling me my password was incorrect. Not the first time it happened so I wasn't too worried. I'm glad it reads better; that was my aim for now!

Magnus, most romances out there are "boy meets girl, they fall in love, they have a problem, and in the end they get together".
But for sagas, you need something else to get the story going.
Fifty shades of Grey did it by having a saliva thread-strong plot while putting out tons of sex.
Twilight did it by adding cartloads of non-romantic filler.
But that's not what I wanted. I love this couple and I wanted an epic story full of revelations, twists and turns, huge evils that affect people in more ways than expected, psychological wars, undying loyalty and betrayal, angels and demons that watch from the shadows, mysteries and lots, lots of humor--in the middle of it, the love story.

But it is as you said--the blurb puts too little emphasis on the love relationship. I will definitely try putting more emphasis on it.


message 13: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Third version. Everyone was against the "how boring" so I eliminated it, and also placed more emphasis on the relationship:

Enjoying a life of opulence, fun and games, and enthralled in torrid passion and love for each other, Lei and Sween start their detective career, but it’s not the adrenaline pumping job they had envisioned. Ennui slowly invades Sween, making her wonder if her life would ever become more exciting.

Two days later, she wishes she had never asked for that.

Now the miraculous survivor of an unprecedented massacre, Sween is compelled to investigate the most mysterious and brutal crimes in her city’s history. Thank goodness she has Lei for support—but wait a minute! Why is he flirting with that lady at his office? The people at work think that other woman and not Sween is his wife! Strange days have arrived as she walks away from home, despite Lei’s desperate claims of innocence.

However, as bullets whistle in the night and beloved blood is spilled, maybe both her former life and the truth have been lost forever…

I think this is even better, but I feel there's need for a fourth. What do you think?


message 14: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 173 comments Thank you, Haru, for the info re the genre you're writing in.
I have, however, a gut reaction against the new third paragraph, I'm afraid. It seems a tad callous for Sween to survive an 'unprecedented massacre' and then, rather than being grateful to be alive, worry about what people think about her marital status (is she worried about Lei's actual faithfulness or what 'people' think?)

And here's a thought - could you perhaps emphasise the action bit and reduce the romance in your blurb to a few meaningful but short lines ('It's not easy being happy ever after if you're investigating the highly mysterious, brutal crimes in your city'... - something along those lines)?


message 15: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments 0.0 Does it really read that way?! OMG, something has to be done about it then. You know, in the first book, Sween was an angel who gave the middle finger to everyone in Heaven just to be with Lei. She gets pissed off and leaves home because of her suspicions. She would never care what people like co-workers think.

And now, to everyone: While you're right that talking about boredom makes people bored, I just checked some new releases from my genre(s), and many start like "My life sucks, I got forty pounds to shed, my cat has fleas and I've become addicted to Netflix" *folds arms* So yeah, this kind of blurb sucks, but I guess the reason I was writing it it's because I was so used to it.
That's why it's so enriching to hear the opinion from people who don't write in your genre...


message 16: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 173 comments ...and, I hasten to add, it's always easier to nitpick other people's work then one's own. I know that from bitter experience ;)

Keep going. There's is - alas - no alternative


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