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Blurb Workshop > Blurb help for paranormal thriller

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message 1: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments Hello.
I could do with your help for the blurb of my upcoming paranormal thriller 'Ungrounded', please. Many thanks in advance.

Here's what I've got:

Cassie is extraordinary, but she doesn’t know the half of it. Whenever danger is in the offing – which happens with disproportionate frequency – she moves on to protect the people she cares for, a different city, a different country. It’s worked before, it’ll work again, or so she thinks. But knowledge of four languages and unwanted glimpses of the future haven’t prepared her for this.
When she wakes up in a stranger’s apartment after a night on the town, a thirty-hour hole for a memory, questions pile up. Who did this to her, who for, for what reason and what next? She’s certain she’s been roofied, not raped. Well, almost certain.
Cassie, she’s a little messed up, see? Who wouldn’t be with the childhood she’s had? It’s all about balance, yin-yang, that sort of thing. Thank heavens for hallucinogenic drugs. They keep the worst of the nightmares are at bay. Until now, at least. Before the black-out she had this… this visitation, but it wasn’t supposed to be that way, not while Cassie self-medicates.
Trouble is – Cassie doesn’t believe in sprits or demons or jinn, therefore the things she sees have to be hysterical figments of a sick mind, not paranormal phenomena. But the growing number of ‘accidental’ deaths say different.


message 2: by Lydia (new)

Lydia MacClaren | 25 comments Hey Magnus!

So, overall I thought that the blurb needed to be tightened up. There seemed to be more in the blurb than was necessary to know (does it matter if she knows 4 languages? or that she thinks she's only been roofied? we'll find that out soon enough). I also felt like sections were oddly structured, with some thoughts displaced.

Cassie is extraordinary, but she doesn’t know the half of it.

The "she doesn't know the half of it" sounds cliche to my ear.

Whenever danger is in the offing – which happens with disproportionate frequency – she moves on to protect the people she cares for, a different city, a different country.

This sentence is a bit long, I think it might have more of a punch if you simply set aside "A different city. A different country." And I don't understand the first part, danger is "in the offing?"

But knowledge of four languages and unwanted glimpses of the future haven’t prepared her for this.

Again, the bit about knowing four languages is forced into the sentance and I don't see the immediate value of adding it to the blurb, unless its super important to the plot. The glimpses into the future I'll touch upon later.

When she wakes up in a stranger’s apartment after a night on the town, a thirty-hour hole for a memory, questions pile up.

I would reorder this sentence for fluidity. Is "a night on the town" necessary? It could be streamlined to, "When she wakes up in a stranger's apartment with a thirty-hour hole IN HER memory the questions pile up". I'm also not a big fan of "pile up".

She’s certain she’s been roofied, not raped. Well, almost certain.

Not necessary in a blurb, we'll see all this internal dialogue/struggle when reading.

Cassie, she’s a little messed up, see? Who wouldn’t be with the childhood she’s had? It’s all about balance, yin-yang, that sort of thing. Thank heavens for hallucinogenic drugs. They keep the worst of the nightmares are (TYPO!) at bay. Until now, at least.

I would include this when you're first introducing Cassie as a character and not after introducing "the event" that starts it all. The "yin-yang" sentence doesn't make sense to me, the whole part about her childhood seems displaced and really the only extra bit of info we get that's pertinent for a blurb is about using hallucinogens.

Before the black-out she had this… this visitation, but it wasn’t supposed to be that way, not while Cassie self-medicates.

I'd combine this with the second section of the blurb at the end, maybe with a transition of "all she can remember". And I personally don't like the ellipses but that's more stylistic.

Trouble is – Cassie doesn’t believe in sprits or demons or jinn, therefore the things she sees have to be hysterical figments of a sick mind, not paranormal phenomena. But the growing number of ‘accidental’ deaths say different.

Alright, this just confused me. I know you mention a "visitation" but that's so vague and I automatically associated it as the "unwanted glimpses into the future" that I just became confused as to what Cassie sees. Seeing into the future and demons? And how does the accidental deaths relate to her seeing into the future or the demons? I really like the introduction of her questioning reality, but I was just confused how her future seeing, demons, and accidental deaths all went together.

Overall though the premise sounds intriguing. The supernatural elements, the waking up with no memories, the history of... paranoia I guess I would call it, and the interesting addition of hallucinogens all makes for an interesting blurb.

If you need any clarification let me know!


message 3: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments thanks, Lydia, no clarifications required. I'm much obliged for your insights, and, pending more comments, will take it all into serious consideration.


message 4: by Jay (new)

Jay Greenstein (jaygreenstein) | 244 comments You're trying to give the reader a mini synopsis of the opening, and an overview info-dump of background. But that's fact-based and author-centric writing, which is a nonfiction approach. And because we can't hear the emotion you would place in the words were you with the reader, it has all the inherent emotion of a report.

Let the customer read the story to learn what happens within it, not the blurb. Do you really want to know, in advance, what's going to happen on that date? Of course not, because that would ruin the feeling of waking and wondering how they got there, and what the situation is, in parallel with her. Your goal—your only goal—is to make the reader want to turn to page one of the story and begin reading. And as it is when writing the story, your goal is to entertain, not inform. Lectures and explanations are for reports and history books. Your task is exactly the same in the blurb, to make the reader care. And for that an emotion-based and character-centric approach works best.

So stick to the big ticket emotional items. State the problem the protagonist must solve, and why she'a the one who must do that. Make the reader know what the consequences are if it's not solved.

Think in terms of the voice-over for the theatrical trailer for the film version.


message 5: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments Thanks for that, you two.
So, after some deliberation I've come up with three different versions. The first is a rework of what I'd written originally taking Lydia's comments into consideration.

Jay's comments made me think of the blurbs on books by French publisher Folio (not sure they still work that way, but they certainly used to). Rather than create a text from scratch they picked an extract from the actual novel. I always thought they worked better sometimes than others. Anyway, I've experimented with that format (with a little bit of adaptation), and I've love to hear what you think.

Here goes.

Version A
Cassie is extraordinary, and not a little messed up. Thank heavens for hallucinogenic drugs. They keep the worst of her nightmares at bay. Until now, at least.
She wakes up in a stranger’s apartment, a thirty-hour hole in her memory and virtually certain she’s been roofied, not raped. Who did this to her, who for, for what reason and what’s next?
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. She was going to come to terms with her demons, not run away from them. The things she sees have to be hysterical figments of a sick mind, not paranormal phenomena. Maybe the time has come. Again. A different city, a different country. Unwanted glimpses of the future tend to have that effect on her. She can’t let her loved ones get hurt.

Version B
The music was painfully loud even in the Ladies’ Room, the door trembling in its frame. Yet Cassie clearly distinguished the rapping sound through the decibel attack.
(Tap tap tap. Clang bang- )
It didn’t come from the physical door. No, the racket was at Cassie’s internal gateway, and it could only mean one thing. The visitations wanted in, wanted to show her something important. Something unpleasant, undoubtedly, and she closed her eyes with great reluctance.
At once she dipped into another world, found herself standing on a rocky slope that was in the process of dissolving under her very feet.
'My mind will follow suit. If I let it.'

Version C
Before she unbolted the door, Cassie took a deep breath. The dizziness was gone. Her rushing blood chimed white noise in her ears, a delicious, symphonic tinnitus, and her pounding heart provided the percussion track. No more ghostly projections on her eyelids, no more slippery rocks and no inverted Deja-vu.
'Please. I just want to be an ordinary girl tonight.'
No such luck. The scene on the dance floor blurred rather swiftly.
Somebody said, ‘Don’t fight it. It only gets worse if you fight it.’
'Who was that? Or is that still to come?'
The blackout began a little later. It was total and all-encompassing.


message 6: by Haru (last edited Dec 14, 2018 11:58AM) (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments I like B best and C too, but I think the two last lines of both are rather weak. I would eliminate them, in C not adding anything else (and changing to ["Who was that?" Or was that still to come?]and in B [finding herself standing on a rocky slope that was in the process of dissolving under her very feet] or [and found herself standing on a rocky slope that was in the process of dissolving under her very feet] ), also in B adding some other strong line, like [It was time to dive in and face the nightmare] or whatever.


message 7: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments I agree. They need stronger lines for their respective finish. But do they work as blurbs? They carry less information than what I thought in my head a blurb needed...


message 8: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments This discussion has gone underwhelmingly quiet. Let's see if I can't resuscitate it a little. I really appreciate all input. Many thanks.

What do you think of these three possible blurbs?

Version A
Cassie is extraordinary, and not a little messed up. Thank heavens for hallucinogenic drugs. They keep the worst of her nightmares at bay. Until now, at least.
She wakes up in a stranger’s apartment, a thirty-hour hole in her memory and virtually certain she’s been roofied, not raped. Who did this to her, who for, for what reason and what’s next?
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. She was going to come to terms with her demons, not run away from them. The things she sees have to be hysterical figments of a sick mind, not paranormal phenomena. Maybe the time has come. Again. A different city, a different country. Unwanted glimpses of the future tend to have that effect on her. She can’t let her loved ones get hurt.

Version B
The music was painfully loud even in the Ladies’ Room, the door trembling in its frame. Yet Cassie clearly distinguished the rapping sound through the decibel attack.
(Tap tap tap. Clang bang- )
It didn’t come from the physical door. No, the racket was at Cassie’s internal gateway, and it could only mean one thing. The visitations wanted in, wanted to show her something important. Something unpleasant, undoubtedly, and she closed her eyes with great reluctance.
At once she dipped into another world, found herself standing on a rocky slope that was in the process of dissolving under her very feet.
'My mind will follow suit. If I let it.'

‘Ungrounded’ is the story of an extraordinary woman and the deadly lengths she goes to keep her loved ones safe and herself sane.


Version C
Before she unbolted the door, Cassie took a deep breath. The dizziness was gone. Her rushing blood chimed white noise in her ears, a delicious, symphonic tinnitus, and her pounding heart provided the percussion track. No more ghostly projections on her eyelids, no more slippery rocks and no inverted Deja-vu.
'Please. I just want to be an ordinary girl tonight.'
No such luck. The scene on the dance floor blurred rather swiftly.
Somebody said, ‘Don’t fight it. It only gets worse if you fight it.’
'Who was that? Or is that still to come?'
The blackout began a little later. It was total and all-encompassing.
In order to comprehend the whys, whats and whens of her ordeal, Cassie has to venture halfway around the globe. And all the way into her soul.


message 9: by L.K. (new)

L.K. Chapman | 150 comments Are B and C extracts from your novel? I personally don't think an extract is a good idea for a blurb, I would find it a real turn-of if I was looking at a book and it had an extract instead of a blurb, but that might just be me. People can always look at a sample of your book on amazon if they want to see what the writing is like, but I feel the blurb needs to give an overall idea of what they can expect from the story.

Version A is intriguing, but it is slightly confusing to me - it seems a bit "bitty", like there are a lot of different ideas going on. It doesn't obviously say paranormal thriller to me until right at the end, and readers won't necessarily read right to the end if they feel from the first paragraph that the book is not for them. I think you're almost there, it perhaps just needs simplifying a bit more.


message 10: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments I think L.K. is right, there's something that diminishes the impact. I have been struggling with this very same issue in my own blurbs, so it's hard to tell. Your way of writing is beautiful, the very opposite of mine (I write in extremely simple sentences, otherwise my stories would be 200k long) and it reads slower compared to mine (which is the style I spend most of time with), which is okay since it's your style, but I think it's no good for a blurb where the ideas have to be conveyed FAST.

Something like "Her rushing blood chimed white noise in her ears, a delicious, symphonic tinnitus, and her pounding heart provided the percussion track." reads amazing in a story, but for a blurb I think something like "Her blood rushed, her heart seemed like it was going to burst in her chest" works better.

One thing I can tell you that doesn't work for me is the "MC is special". I also don't like the "MC is normal, such a normal person, your guy next door, you're supposed to feel like him". Both things may sound opposite, but they're the same: telling and not showing. The reader will decide by themselves if they think the MC is special or not. If you're using the telling in the blurb, it sends warning signals that the read is going to be the same.


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

Dwayne Fry | 4333 comments Mod
Cassie is extraordinary, and not a little messed up. I suppose we're all extraordinary in some way and we're probably all messed up in a way.

Thank heavens for hallucinogenic drugs. They keep the worst of her nightmares at bay. Until now, at least. Okay. Now we're getting somewhere. She has issues with drugs and possibly a mental illness.

She wakes up in a stranger’s apartment, a thirty-hour hole in her memory and virtually certain she’s been roofied, not raped. Not sure why we need the clarification of her not being raped. Also, I had to look up "roofied". (I'm a little slow when it comes to modern slang).

Who did this to her, who for, for what reason and what’s next? Knowing so little about her, its impossible to speculate.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. This line made me laugh. Probably not a good thing. It's just that... I'm sure no one wants to be "roofied". No one plans for it. I'm not sure why the line is there.

She was going to come to terms with her demons, not run away from them. The things she sees have to be hysterical figments of a sick mind, not paranormal phenomena. Totally lost now. I don't have any idea what this story is about. A drug addict? A mentally ill girl? A victim of a crime? Now it might be about literal demons?

Maybe the time has come. Again. Time for what?

A different city, a different country. Unwanted glimpses of the future tend to have that effect on her. She can’t let her loved ones get hurt. So... she thinks she's clairvoyant or she is...

I'm lost.

You really need to focus on what the book is about. I have not commented until now, but have been reading the thread since your first post. I was confused then as to what the book is about and I still am. is it about actual demons? Is Cassie the victim of some crime? Is all this actually in her head? You want to get people to open the book and this blurb is so confusing people are going to assume they'll never really know what's going on with Cassie.

I have used excerpts as a blurb before. If you want to go that route, pick something that clearly represents the story you're trying to tell. The scenes you offer are nicely written, but they don't tell me anything more about the story than the blurb above. Just more of the same - a girl that may be mentally ill, may be facing literal demons, might be abusing drugs...

I'm sure your book is fascinating. But, for the blurb don't play it coy with us. We want to know what the book is about.


message 12: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments Many thanks, everybody. I'm working on Version D. Should drop here sometime soon...


message 13: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 344 comments I agree with Dwayne. I read the three of them, and I still don't know what sort of a book it is, other than it is probably full of slang, which would actually put me off. There is a big difference between someone trying to fight an addiction and some paranormal adventure. The blurb is not the place for some descriptive writing - it is to tell us what the book is about, and why we should buy it (and I don't mean a silly sentence like the best … since toasted bread).


message 14: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4333 comments Mod
Ian wrote: "The blurb is not the place for some descriptive writing..."

This prompted me to add something to what I said earlier. I do like your style of writing. It's got a pulse. If I were to read your book up to B and C, I would probably like those passages. However, without the context behind them, they're hard to follow. So, yes, Ian is right. Descriptive writing, which you are good at, belongs in your prose. This should be a bare bones description of what your book is about.


message 15: by Magnus (last edited Dec 18, 2018 04:20AM) (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments Thank you, people. Much appreciated stuff. For the record, the experiment with the extracts (Version B & C) is now closed, thanks to your input. Still, it was worth it, I think.

Now, needless to say I find blurbs tough to write. In this case, for instance, the entire narrative of the book takes place from a single pov (although it's written in third person). The reader never has any information that Cassie isn't privy to as well.
As a consequence the reader will sometimes share her confusion. It's a bit of tightrope act as I obviously want to entertain, not to put off. Some of my previous attempts at this blurb-thing tried to convey her confusion accordingly, but it seems I overdid it by making the acutal blurb confusing as well. It's hard to find the right balance.
My new attempt below gives away a little more than I had originally wanted to reveal, more than she realises. Obviously, if this improves the blurb it's a price worth paying.
Last, but not least, @Haru, I hope the below clarifies that by 'extraordinary' (as opposed to 'normal') I don't intend to imply judgement of character or worth.

Version D
Cassie is extraordinary and doesn’t like it one bit. The troughs of singularity far outweigh the perks. She’d rather have a ‘normal’ life, a life without scary glimpses of the future or demonic visitations; she’d rather discontinue her rootless, drifting existence between highs and settle down; in fact, she’d rather be insane than gifted.

But her special abilities have already beeped on the radar of a powerful man. He has riveted his intentions on her, intentions that are anything but honourable.

When Cassie wakes up in a stranger’s bed with a thirty-hour hole in her memory she finds herself entangled in a long game that quickly becomes deadly for several innocent bystanders. She has to scramble to protect the people who are dear to her, has to face off internal demons and external foes alike. Most of all she has to embrace the unacceptable.
But this late in the game even her best efforts might not suffice.


message 16: by L.K. (new)

L.K. Chapman | 150 comments Version D definitely sounds more like a paranormal thriller right from the first paragraph :)

Some of the language seems a bit more complicated that it needs to be. I had to read the sentence, "The troughs of singularity far outweigh the perks" more than once to understand what you meant. Also, could a word like "discontinue" be changed to "stop", as I think it would make it quicker and smoother to read. Another thing that stood out to me was "riveted his intentions" - I found that a slightly unusual phrase that stopped me in my tracks while I was reading the blurb.

Altogether I like this a lot better, it's much clearer what the story is about. I love the sentence "Cassie is extraordinary and doesn’t like it one bit", that really grabbed me and made me interested to know more about her.

The third paragraph seems like it could benefit from being reduced a bit. Maybe take out "for several innocent bystanders" and end the sentence with "deadly." "innocent bystanders" seems somehow to reduce the impact of what you're saying.

Hope that's of some help :)


message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 344 comments I think it is too wordy. Take para 1, with a couple of extra words suggested:

Cassie is extraordinary and (she) doesn’t like it one bit. She’d (much) rather have a life without scary glimpses of the future or demonic visitations.

Is there anything more that needs to be said from the rest of para 1.? As far as the rest goes, I think it could be far more incisive - it seems to be skirting around the issue of the book, and I am a little unclear as to what is going on. Para 2 seems OK, although for a style pov I would make changes, but that is not necessary, but I would follow that by picking one thing thereafter to focus on with one brief sentence and try to grab the reader's attention with that.


message 18: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments Thank you both. What I'm getting is 'shorten first and third paragraph'. Is that about right?


message 19: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 344 comments Yes, but from my point of view the third para should focus more - it seems to be afraid of what it is trying to convey. You don't want to hint at everything, but rather try to make one or two points much more obvious.


message 20: by White Diamond Editing (last edited Dec 19, 2018 02:22AM) (new)

White Diamond Editing (wwwgoodreadscomwhitediamondedits) | 22 comments Hi Magnus,

I know I'm a little slow on the uptake here but I've been visiting this post for a while and agree with many of the comments and advice you have received here so thought I'd add a little bit more from an editor's point of view.

Version D is certainly a lot better than the original, though I agree with the comments that mention wordiness and length.
Ultimately, when a reader picks up a book, your blurb literally has seconds to grab them before they move on to the next one, so any extra or unnecessary wording needs to go, no matter how great those words may be.


Cassie would rather be insane than gifted.

She'd rather have a ‘normal’ life, one without scary glimpses of the future or demonic visitations; she’d rather stop her rootless, drifting existence and settle down.

(The reason why she is 'extraordinary' is never really explained here so ultimately I feel this bit of information is pointless and prevents the reader getting to the action of the blurb)

But when she wakes in a stranger’s bed, a thirty-hour hole in her memory, she finds her abilities have made her the target of someone who's intentions are anything but honourable, entangling her in a deadly game that threatens all those she holds dear.


I hope this is helpful :)
Jacqui


message 21: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments White Diamond Editing wrote: "Hi Magnus,

I know I'm a little slow on the uptake here but I've been visiting this post for a while and agree with many of the comments and advice you have received here so thought I'd add a littl..."


Dear Jacqui
oooo - I love it. I was going to try and have another go, but right now I don't think I can top your version (though I will try and tinker a little bit). Many, many thanks!


White Diamond Editing (wwwgoodreadscomwhitediamondedits) | 22 comments Magnus wrote: "White Diamond Editing wrote: "Hi Magnus,

I know I'm a little slow on the uptake here but I've been visiting this post for a while and agree with many of the comments and advice you have received h..."


You're more than welcome :)


message 23: by K. Lynne (new)

K. Lynne Duvall (klynneduvall) | 2 comments I know I'm new here but I just wanted to say that from my perspective the blurb is too long. I read some great advice long ago that your blurb should be about 2-3 sentences long. Maybe a paragraph at the most. The blurb should tease the audience a little to spark interest, not give the whole story away. I hope this helps you out. :)


message 24: by Jay (new)

Jay Greenstein (jaygreenstein) | 244 comments Cassie is extraordinary and doesn’t like it one bit.

Everything else you say in this paragraph is simply a restating of this line, and so, serves only to slow the narrative.

More than that, while you know what's mean by "extraordinary," the reader doesn't. It could mean she can fly, or simply that she's one hell of a golfer, runner, etc.

But her special abilities have already beeped on the radar of a powerful man.

Meaningless to the reader. What's a powerful man in the context of this story? No way to tell. And the line that follows is generic, and so clarifies not at all.

When Cassie wakes up in a stranger’s bed with a thirty-hour hole in her memory she finds herself entangled in a long game that quickly becomes deadly for several innocent bystanders.

Again, generic information that's meaningless to the reader because you give no trace of context. What's a "long game?" No way to tell.

At the end, a female of unknown age and situation, who lives at an unknown time, in an unknown place, has unstated abilities. An unidentified man of importance in an unknown field apparently wants to have sex with her. At some unknown point in the story, for unstated reasons, she wakes in an unknown person's bed. Are they in bed with her? Is the situation beguine or dangerous? No way to tell. Is it the unnamed man? You don't say. She has short term amnesia for unstated reasons, and must, in some unknown way, "scramble, to protect unidentified people she cares about, from unstated danger.

The short version: This lacks context to make it meaningful. You know. The person whose bed it is knows. She knows. But the one you wrote it for doesn't. In writing, context sin't just important, it's everything.


message 25: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 344 comments Jay, earlier in the discussion, we saw she had glimpses of the future and visitations from demons. That is hardly ordinary so that part should stay because it tells us something. But I agree with your analysis of the rest. It is wordy and, as I said above, unfocused.

Back to the blurb, I think "long game" is a term that is well known - I heard it used twice in a five minute video clip the other day. But for me, what is missing in this blurb is the problem. That is why I did not try to add to my first para. She has to protect people from danger?? If so, give us a clue what the danger is, and that, with her abilities, should be enough for the blurb


message 26: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments Once again, I thank everybody for their thoughts and input in this workshop. You've all been a great help.
I mentioned above that I was really quite taken with Jacqui's take on Version D. In fact, I'm happy to say that she's agreed to become the official editor of 'Ungrounded'.

I have made a few little changes to bring in more context, location, time and details of the dangers Cassie flashes-forward to.

Once again, I'm much obliged. :)

Cassie would rather be insane than gifted.

She'd rather have a ‘normal’ life, one without demonic visitations, and she could do without the scary glimpses of earthquakes, car accidents and landslides she keeps encountering on her rootless, globetrotting existence. She’d rather settle down now, in 1995, perhaps even right here, in London.

But when she wakes in a stranger’s bed, a thirty-hour hole in her memory, she finds her abilities have made her the target of a powerful man whose intentions are anything but honourable, entangling her in a deadly game that threatens all those she holds dear.


message 27: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 344 comments Magnus, I think that is a big improvement.


message 28: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments Ian wrote: "Magnus, I think that is a big improvement."

great, glad to hear it. Thank you, Ian :)


message 29: by Jay (new)

Jay Greenstein (jaygreenstein) | 244 comments This ismuch better.

A few quibbles:

Cassie would rather be insane than gifted.

Doesn't track. Being insane doesn't mean she won't still be gifted—especially given that we don't yet know the gifts. My personal suggestion is to set the beginning of this line to the beginning of the next, to yield:

Cassie would rather have a ‘normal’ life, one without demonic visitations. And, she could do without the scary glimpses of earthquakes, car accidents and landslides she keeps encountering on her rootless, globetrotting existence.

I also broke the line into two sentences to remove the comma splice.

She’d rather settle down now, in 1995, perhaps even right here, in London.

This makes it sound as if she's a time traveler. If so, you've achieved your objective. If not...

I'd drop the "perhaps." given that we don't know why here and why now, or anything meaningful to the choice—or even if there is one.

Hope this helps.


message 30: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments great, Jay. Once again, many thanks


message 31: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 885 comments Let me add my two cents for what it worth.
I like the first line as I get it: Cassie would rather be insane than gifted.

The rest are subtle changes with punctuation.

She'd rather have a normal life. One without demonic visitations, or the scary glimpses of earthquakes, car accidents and landslides she keeps encountering on her rootless, globetrotting existence. She’d rather settle down. In 1995. Perhaps even right here, in London.

The rest was good. Let me know the title when you publish. It sounds intriguing.


message 32: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments Thanks, B.A. I appreciate your input. Changing punctuation like you did makes this feel like a jazz improv.... ;) Same notes, different phrasing. I'm a sucker for stuff like that.
As far as publishing is concerned I hope that'll happen within a couple of months or so. When the time comes I'll get word out in the adequate forums.
Thanks again


message 33: by Frances (new)

Frances Fletcher | 46 comments How about:

Cassie would rather be insane than gifted.

She'd rather have a life without demonic visitations, and she could do without scary glimpses of earthquakes, car accidents and landslides she encounters on her rootless, globetrotting existence. She’d rather settle down now, in 1995, perhaps even right here, in London.

But when she wakes in a stranger’s bed, a thirty-hour hole in her memory, she finds her abilities (be a tad more specific) have made her the target of a powerful man whose intentions are anything but honourable, entangling her in a deadly game that threatens all those she holds dear.


message 34: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments Hi Francis
first of all, many thanks. I like what you did to the first (proper) paragraph.
As to being more specific about her abilities, I'm a little weary because that very question is a twist very late in the novel (hence my initial line 'she's extraordinary and she doesn't know the half of it').
Having said that, how about '...she finds her gift has made her the target..'.?


message 35: by Frances (new)

Frances Fletcher | 46 comments So, how about just inserting paranormal in front of ability or gift so the reader has a general idea of the subgenre?


message 36: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments well, the book is called 'Ungrounded - a paranormal mystery' so I won't use that word again in the blurb. I could go with '...she finds her unexplored abilities have made her the target...'


message 37: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 344 comments Magnus, If I were you I would say I have seen just about every reasonable piece of advice. The time has come to read through it, choose what you want and go with it. If you try to please too many, you will end up with a hotch potch that pleases nobody.


message 38: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments Hi Ian
I have basically made my decision, but that doesn't mean I can't change a word here or there. I do appreciate people taking the time to offer their input so I will always try and get back to them. It's only common courtesy, right?


message 39: by Ian (last edited Dec 30, 2018 01:21PM) (new)

Ian Miller | 344 comments Of course. My advice was because at the end of the day you have to do something, and I was thinking it was about time for you to choose your approach and live with it. Frees up time to do something else more productive :-)


message 40: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 177 comments you're absolutely right. It's basically locked down, and I'm handing over the manuscript to the editor in a couple of days, which means I can attack the second draft of my next book. It's all good. Thanks again :)


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