Beta Reader Group discussion

355 views
Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Blurb Feedback-Urban Fantasy

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Willow (new)

Willow Rousseau (wilrous) | 3 comments Hey everyone, new author here. I'm happy I finished my first book but blurbs are a nightmare to write, before I rip out more of my hair I need an extra pair of eyes on this.
-------------

Vampires are real and they want me dead.

Why? I have no freaking idea. Maybe because I’m a Fae, or it's because of this strange demonic power inside of me. Both I didn’t know existed until some weird cowboy attacked my brother and I forcing me to flee for my life.

Now hundreds of vampire hordes run amok, tearing through the city and drowning it with blood. And it turns out I might just be the key to ending them for good, provided I learn how to control this demon power which blisters and burns every time I use it.

On top of this sh*t sandwich, I end up running into the man who has haunted my dreams for over a year now. A man named Varick who twists my mind with half-truths and outright lies, who claims he is the only one who can protect me.

Well, he better be careful, because if I learn how to use this power, I might just hold him to that promise.


message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan | 20 comments Hi, Willow,

Overall, the plot sounds promising. The protagonist clearly has a problem to be discovered through the story. Blurbs are so hard. I think it's partly because, as the writer, we can't forget enough of the story to see it as an outsider.

Here are a couple of thoughts from an outsider's POV.

'Vampires are real and they want me dead.' - Is this something new to the protagonist, or have vampires always been real in this world? Do vampires want everyone dead or just the protagonist? In my opinion you could use these details to raise the stakes of the story without over telling the backstory. Admittedly the following is lacking and likely confusing. I only include it to give an example of what I mean about adding detail.

In twenty-four hours, I will be alive or dead. Vampires, normally tame and somewhat introverted, have taken an interest in me, a fourteen year old with awkward social skills and burning glass eyes, that have always held fire but can suddenly start fires.

'Maybe because I'm a Fae.' - I'm admittedly outside of your genre audience. So, some of my feedback could be simply that I'm not engrossed in the terms. After looking this up, I'm wondering, is the protagonist a girl or boy, 13 to 14 years old? With fairy skills aside from the demonic power? If so, those details would help me to relate to your protagonist. For whatever reason, reading the blurb the first time, I pictured a middle aged man. In my opinion, I'd feel the stakes were higher for a young kid in this position.

'end up running into the man' this sounds too coincidental to be intriguing. I suggest tightening it up. To show what I mean... "Varick, who had only lied to me in my dreams, suddenly appeared at the 7-Eleven claiming he can protect me."

I posted my blurb yesterday, and though I know it's out of your genre, I'd appreciate your thoughts on it, if you have a minute.


message 3: by Willow (new)

Willow Rousseau (wilrous) | 3 comments Here's a reedit:

On my twenty-first birthday, I will be alive or dead.

Vampires, creatures of myths and legends are real, existing within the dark corners of our world, and now they are taking over.

Hundreds of vampire hordes run amok, tearing through the city and drowning it with blood. And it turns out I might just be the key to ending them for good, provided I learn how to control this demonic power inside of me which blisters and burns every time I use it.

Which makes me their prime target.

On top of this sh*t sandwich, I end up running into a man named Varick who twists my mind with half-truths and outright lies, who claims he is the only one who can protect me.

Well, he better be careful, because if I learn how to use this power, I might just hold him to that promise.


message 4: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments Well, "On my twenty-first birthday, I will be alive or dead" is rather self evident, isn't it? I suppose it could be clever, but it felt obvious to me. Maybe if "I will be alive or undead" is relevant, that could be a nice hook.

As a general rule, blurbs are third-person. I don't think it's any sort of fatal flaw (indeed, I use first-person in one of mine), but it does put a bit of a straight jacket. The purpose of the blurb is to convert browsing readers into buying ones, which generally boils down to introducing the main character, outlining their goals and describing the obstacles to achieving those goals. Particularly the first aspect can be awkward. It's often not natural for people to describe themselves or aspects of their lives that are obvious to them, yet those are often the elements that are necessary for the reader to make a purchase decision.

"Vampires, creatures of myths and legends are real, existing within the dark corners of our world, and now they are taking over" feels like backstory, which should be seeped in as necessary, exactly like in the novel proper. When does your story start? After the vampires are running amok? Start your blurb there. When does Varick show up? If he's been there from near the beginning, it may benefit you to introduce him at the beginning.

I suggest you start with learning to control the power. Presumably the MC (male, female, age, what?) has experimented before the amok vampires. Then either the unreliable Varick, if he's there before the vampires, or the vampires.


back to top