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message 1: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline McLean Francis | 17 comments Please give me feedback on my blurb for my first novel.
As Meg works as a physical therapist in a nursing home, she observes the process of recovery from physical illness and emotional trauma, and the need for emotional strength. This leads her to compare her elderly patients to her own now elderly mother, which triggers memories of her childhood with her parents and sister Maureen.
As she attempts to understand the effects of her childhood on herself, she continues to be drawn into the dysfunction still ongoing within her family. Meg continues to be a problem solver in her family, as she reaches out for resources and support to others, with grace and compassion.
The reader observes Meg’s life as narrated by Meg a middle-aged woman, contrasting with scenes narrated by Meg as a young girl, which help to illuminate how Meg faced the early adversity of a troubled family.


message 2: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4271 comments Mod
It's very passive and doesn't tell me a lot about what the story is actually about. All I really get is that Meg observes people and thinks about them. It feels like I'm trying to see this book through a dirty, out of focus lens. I get the sense that something is going on, but I'm not sure what.


message 3: by Dylan (new)

Dylan Callens | 193 comments I agree with Dwayne. And...

There are a number of errors and awkward phrases. For example, your first sentence has: "As Meg works as", the word "and" is used twice, and the last comma is an error ("the need for emotional strength" is not an independent clause).

Phrases like "As she attempts to understand the effect of her childhood on herself" can be written more succinctly.

Also, it is far too long.

The book sounds like it might be interesting, but it's hard to figure out what you mean because it's so wordy.


message 4: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Standafer | 57 comments Punch it up, make me care about Meg and the trauma she's dealt with. Right now, it reads more like a synopsis or a short book report written by one of my middle schoolers...and by that, I mean absolutely no disrespect, just trying to make my point that a blurb should grab the reader, make the reader feel invested in the character, and want to know what happens to the character, not merely give a recap of the story. Take a look at blurbs for some similar books, it may help.

Blurbs are hard to write. Write a dozen, then a dozen more, choose the best parts, and you'll have a good start!


message 5: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline McLean Francis | 17 comments Okay, is this any better?
Blurb take #2:
As the narrator Meg works as a physical therapist in a nursing home, she helps her elderly patients recover from physical illness and emotional trauma. This leads her to compare them to her own now elderly mother, which triggers memories of her childhood with her parents and sister Maureen.
In scenes narrated by Meg in a young girl’s voice, she recognizes early that there is something different about her mother.
Early feelings of anger, fear, and shame lead her to repeated confrontations. Meg attempts to be a normal girl, if not a perfect girl, despite struggling with the illogical dictates of her disturbed mother.
But she gradually assumes the role of family caregiver. Meg is angry at having to be self sufficient as an eleven year old. She gradually seeks out the resources of role models.
In alternating scenes of childhood and adulthood, Meg narrates her family story as she continues to struggle with the dysfunction still ongoing within her family.


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

Dwayne Fry | 4271 comments Mod
It's still very passive. As Margaret pointed out, it reads more like a book report than a blurb.

Some pointers: You don't have to tell us Meg is the narrator. The reader will find that out when they open the book. You mention it three times. This is the kind of thing that makes it feel passive. It needs to be dynamic. When you tell us over and over that Meg is narrating the story or reflecting on things in the past, you're not pulling us into the story.

You repeat Meg is angry twice, but give no real indication as to why. Maybe an example of the illogical dictates of her mother would help. As it is, all I'm getting is the mother is mentally ill and somehow that angers Meg.

Maybe it needs to start with something like this: "Meg is a physical therapist in a nursing home. Caring for her elderly patients often causes Meg's mind to drift to a time when she, as a young girl, had to care for her own mother..." It's not great, but it does a little better at actually taking a reader into the story, rather than viewing it from across the street.

It might help if we knew what the mother suffers from and why this causes so much trauma for Meg. I'm not able to connect those dots with what you have.

There are a few lines here and there that are meaningless to those of us who do not have the context of the story to fall on. "She gradually seeks out the resources of role models." Maybe a specific example of what kind of resources she's seeking and from whom might help.

You mention "parents" but we get nothing else about the father. Same with the sister. If you're going to include them in the blurb, help us see how they fit into the story. Or, if this is a story about Meg and her mother and the rest of the family has little to do with it, there's no reason to mention them.


message 7: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline McLean Francis | 17 comments Thank you Dwayne, Dylan, and Margaret for the feedback. This is my last blurb revision that I will ask you about.
Meg’s childhood memories are stimulated as she works in a nursing home comparing her patients with her now elderly mother. She still remembers vividly the first day of kindergarten.
Each boy and girl met their mother at the classroom door and left. I sat at the small table until I was alone. But I guessed that Mama would come when she was ready to come. That’s what she did. You just had to wait until she was good and ready to do something. Even though I was already hungry for lunch.
Why didn’t Mama know what time school was over? How did all the other mothers know when to come? Why was Mama different?


message 8: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4271 comments Mod
It's definitely an improvement.

I'm a little confused by why it starts in third person, then goes to first. I'd stick with either one or the other. You don't see many blurbs in first person, but the part you have is good. I get a little better sense of what the story is about than in your previous blurbs and definitely get more a sense of who Meg is.


message 9: by Dylan (new)

Dylan Callens | 193 comments I'd stick with the part in 1st person. It's unusual and intriguing. And well written.


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