Support for Indie Authors discussion

32 views
Blurb Workshop > Blurb Help – YA Fantasy – The Return of Dragons

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by R.R. (new)

R.R. Harper | 3 comments I’m looking for comments and feedback on my blurb - Thanks

At birth, Stone’s right hand was the most obvious sign he also carried the Black Dragon’s Curse. At first glance, people thought his fingers were abnormally long. Then they realized that the palm of his hand was half the normal size. The metacarpal bones normally found inside the palm were part of Stone’s fingers rather than inside his palm.

Dragons have returned to Narow and magic returned with them.

The Followers of Washaii had 850 years to prepare humans for the return of dragons. Their mission was to control magic and ensure humans and dragons would live together in peace.

Who were the Chosen and why had they spent the last 850 years trying to make sure that the Followers of Washaii failed?

Washaii had promised dragons a Protector. Was Kel their Protector? If he was, why did the Black Dragon want to Kill him?

If Kel was not the Protector of Dragons then who was?


message 2: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1122 comments It's kind of all over the place. Is there a main character? If there is, I would try starting with the MC. At first I thought it was Stone but toward the end it focused on Kel. In the middle there are statements about a number of things. It's more confusing than revealing.


message 3: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4334 comments Mod
Feedback as I read each paragraph:

At birth, Stone’s right hand was the most obvious sign he also carried the Black Dragon’s Curse. At first glance, people thought his fingers were abnormally long. Then they realized that the palm of his hand was half the normal size. The metacarpal bones normally found inside the palm were part of Stone’s fingers rather than inside his palm.

Great. A novel about an abnormal hand. I can't say I'm excited as I don't know what this has to do with anything. I assume the Black Dragon Curse is supposed to mean something, but I don't know what.

Dragons have returned to Narow and magic returned with them.

Why is this significant? I don't know who or what Narow is. I don't know why the dragons left. I don't know where the magic went. I don't know why I should care that they all came back.

The Followers of Washaii had 850 years to prepare humans for the return of dragons. Their mission was to control magic and ensure humans and dragons would live together in peace.

Well, that's nice.

Who were the Chosen and why had they spent the last 850 years trying to make sure that the Followers of Washaii failed?

Having no clue what Washaii is, I'm stumped. Why are you asking me who the Chosen are? The only answer I have is they are the ones who spent 850 making sure the Followers of Washaii fail. I don't know what that means, though.

Washaii had promised dragons a Protector. Was Kel their Protector? If he was, why did the Black Dragon want to Kill him?

I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. Who is Kel? Who is Black Dragon? I feel like I'm supposed to know all this stuff already, but I don't.

If Kel was not the Protector of Dragons then who was?

Who cares?

Seriously, I feel frustrated with this blurb. It's written as if I already know the history of your book. I don't. I'm looking for a plot and a character to care about. I'm not seeing it, other than dragons have showed up and some people want peace and some people don't. And there's somebody with a deformed hand and someone who may or may not be protecting the dragons. Don't expect the reader to already know your book well enough that the questions you're posing will have any meaning to them.

You will likely snare some readers by just saying, "There's dragons in this book. And magic." But, people looking for a story or characters to get interested in will need more.


message 4: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1122 comments I forgot to say the part I found interesting was about the bones in his hands.:) But it's too specific. If it's important and if he is an important character, you could say something more generalized:

Stone's hands were malformed. Too long, too uneven, they were the first sign of the Dragon Curse.


message 5: by Noor (new)

Noor Al-Shanti | 148 comments I agree with alot of the comments and questions already mentioned, but I'll add a couple of my own as well...

At birth, Stone’s right hand was the most obvious sign he also carried the Black Dragon’s Curse. At first glance, people thought his fingers were abnormally long. Then they realized that the palm of his hand was half the normal size. The metacarpal bones normally found inside the palm were part of Stone’s fingers rather than inside his palm.

I spend too long trying to picture this, which isn't what you want your readers to be doing when they read the blurb. I do agree with M. L. - it's interesting, but for your blurb we don't need details about it, just a hint that something is weird.


Also, The Black Dragon's Curse sounds very ominous and "cool" but how does it affect his life? Does this ominous sounding name seem ridiculous to him when compared to how mundane his problems with his hand are? Does he believe in dragons? Do dragons in this world's legends threaten people and destroy stuff or do they give those who handle/ride/live with the dragons a sense of status, etc?

Dragons have returned to Narow and magic returned with them.

I'm one of the people Dwayne mentioned who will be looking for the mention of the word dragon, but I still need something else to make me think this will be a good dragon story so you should add to this appeal by enhancing it with a strong indication of what to expect from the characters or plot.


The Followers of Washaii had 850 years to prepare humans for the return of dragons. Their mission was to control magic and ensure humans and dragons would live together in peace.

Who were the Chosen and why had they spent the last 850 years trying to make sure that the Followers of Washaii failed?

Washaii had promised dragons a Protector. Was Kel their Protector? If he was, why did the Black Dragon want to Kill him?

If Kel was not the Protector of Dragons then who was?


As the others said, this is too much random information that seems all over the place. What are you trying to convey by putting it all here? Leave the mysteries to be unraveled in your story, for now give readers a reason to care about the story and an indication of what kind of story to expect. You can even leave out the names and just say "a secret group dedicated to protecting dragons, etc"

Also, I feel like the most interesting thing is kind of buried among other less interesting things:

...why did the Black Dragon want to Kill him?

A dragon trying to kill someone? Now this is what I call interesting! I don't know if your story focuses on this a lot, but if it does then maybe give a bit more detail on it in the blurb as well!


message 6: by Jay (new)

Jay Greenstein (jaygreenstein) | 244 comments You’re trying to toss out interesting tidbits, but the reader lacks context to make them meaningful, and providing it would make the blurb too long. And in any case, that’s not how a blurb works.

The reader wants to know the kind of problem the protagonist faces, and why only s/he can solve it. They want to know what will happen if the protagonist fails. In short, they’re looking for something like the voice-over for the film version—something that focuses on big-ticket emotional issues, not detail and backstory.

You might want to take a look at QueryShark, where people send their queries to a pro for analysis. What’s said to them will be useful to you.


message 7: by R.R. (new)

R.R. Harper | 3 comments Thanks to everyone for the feedback.

I guess it’s back to the drawing board.


message 8: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 721 comments Mod
Rick wrote: "I guess it’s back to the drawing board."

Feel free to come back with the new version. Many of us needed to give it a few tries.


message 9: by R.R. (new)

R.R. Harper | 3 comments I've taken another pass at it. Please share your feedback.

New version:

For as long as fifteen-year old Stone could remember, he’d been trying to ignore the voice in his head asking him to kill Lord Baughn, the Dragon Lord of Narow. According to the voice, Stone was prophesied by Washaii as the Protector of Dragons. Telling him that Lord Baughn enslaved dragons to become the most powerful wielder of magic didn’t do much to motivate Stone.

Stone tunes out the voice and, despite his deformed left-hand, finds work as a blacksmith’s apprentice. No longer living in the back alleys begging for food, life is looking better.

When Stone discovers he can talk with dragons, all of Lord Baughn’s Dragon Riders begin hunting for him. It turns out that Washaii’s prophesy mentions the Protector can speak to dragons and Lord Baughn isn’t interested in having anyone freeing dragons.

Fleeing from the Riders, Stone can’t even return to the alleys because of the reward Lord Baughn has put on his head. Stone knows he is at the lowest point in his life when he turns to the voice in his head for help.


message 10: by Noor (new)

Noor Al-Shanti | 148 comments Wow, yes. This is so much better in my opinion.

I would stop at "... hunting for him." And replace the rest with generalized questions or some kind of pitch to read it now and find out if he'll survive or something. And maybe mention that there is a prophecy but don't explain exactly what it says.


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

this seems much better than the first version, though as Noor suggests, it could still be tightened that little bit more. The blurb should offer just the barebones of the plot and pose the dilema that will make the reader want to pick up the book and read more. Offer them too much and there's no point in them reading.

Perhaps consider something shorter such as:

Stone has been trying to ignore the murderous voice in his head for as long as he can remember.

The voice that prophesises him as the mysterious Protector of Dragons.

Deformed and penniless, he desperately tries to make a life for himself as a blacksmith's apprentice. But when Stone discovers he can talk with dragons, his entire world falls apart.

Now he's being hunted by those who would enslave the very beasts he is prophesised to protect.

With a bounty on his head and nowhere to turn, the voice is becoming harder to quiet...

hope that helps
Jacqui


message 12: by M.L. (last edited Jan 17, 2020 10:20AM) (new)

M.L. | 1122 comments The rewrite is so much better. It's good and you could go with it. You might also try raising the tension by putting it in present tense. I love dragons. Fire is one thing that comes to mind when I think of them. That could be something to emphasize or mention:

Stone is a young blacksmith apprentice. He works with fire and iron. But the forge cannot silence the voice in his head. It speaks of killing, it speaks of enslavement, it speaks to him and tells him he is the one to free the dragons from Lord Baughn who turns their magic and uses it. Stone ignores the voice, until Lord Baughn sends his men to kill him. With no one else to turn to, Stone must seek help from the same mysterious voice he's been running from. If he doesn't he will die, and a pretender will take his place.

I put the last part because in the first post you mentioned Kel and that's how I'm interpreting it right now (which of course changes the more I know the story). It sounds like a good story. I like the idea of a pretender or false savior on the rise. :)


message 13: by J.M. (new)

J.M. Jablowski (jmjablowski) | 5 comments Oh, your re-write is way better. I especially like your first line, it's a great hook. Like others have said, it can still be tightened up a bit. Some of it feels a little rambly.

I think you can cut some of it out such as

"Telling him that Lord Baughn enslaved dragons to become the most powerful wielder of magic didn’t do much to motivate Stone." -This doesn't seem necessary because we already know that Baughn is "Lord of the Dragons." That sounds pretty powerful as is so you don't need to explain how or why he's powerful.

"It turns out that Washaii’s prophesy mentions the Protector can speak to dragons and Lord Baughn isn’t interested in having anyone freeing dragons." - Again, I don't think this infomration is necessary to give your readers in your blurb. It's more of a hook to know the MC can talk to dragons and now he's being hunted. Why? If you leave this part out then I have to pick up the book to find out.

"Fleeing from the Riders, Stone can’t even return to the alleys because of the reward Lord Baughn has put on his head. Stone knows he is at the lowest point in his life when he turns to the voice in his head for help." - This part isn't bad, but it reads a little clunky to me.

Hope this helps! Like I said, your first line is a great hook! :D


back to top