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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Blurb Review - YA Sci-Fantasy

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message 1: by Tim (new)

Tim Soeder | 7 comments Pitch:
A girl and her sister live alone in an abandoned futuristic theme park cut off from humanity.


Blurb:
On any given day, Anna could soar on the back of a dragon, cross a misty portal into the Lost Worlds, or even sing along with dancing animatronic pickles live on stage. Life for Anna, however, has grown stale, every day much the same as the last. Ride, repair, rest, repeat. No matter how hard her and her sister Stella work, it is never enough to fix the quickly crumbling theme park, YOI.

Everything changes when a strange boy appears. Named Baylor, this boy is unlike any animatronic that Anna had ever come across, unable to even speak her tongue. Yet, she can’t bring herself to deactivate this clearly broken machine. When he next appears, Baylor brings along another animatronic, Malina, who can translate between them. They speak of a vast world beyond the boundaries of YOI where they make their home. However, no evidence for such a place has ever existed. If what they say is true, then the only reality that Anna and Stella have ever known would be a lie.


message 2: by Priya (new)

Priya Bhowal (priyalovingly) | 15 comments That's too detailed for a Blurb, in my opinion. And there's a little grammatical mistake


message 3: by G.R. (new)

G.R. Paskoff (grpaskoff) | 19 comments JR makes some good, subtle changes. The blurb can be tightened up even more: "Everything changes when Baylor and Malina appear, two animatronics unlike any Anna has ever seen who introduce her to the...."

I believe that you need to tighten it up as much as possible because...you need to add more! You need to tease the audience with what will happen if Anna and Stella don't venture beyond their border. Is YOI in danger? Are Anna and Stella in danger? There is intrigue but no real conflict.

Overall, it seems a beautiful premise that reminds me a bit of "The Invention of Hugo Cabret."


message 4: by Anita (new)

Anita McDivitt Barrios | 25 comments I'm not sure where the 100-150 word count is coming from, but I'm seeing it repeated a lot here. Janet Reid, aka The Shark, recommends the story blurb not go over 200. At 173, you're totally within range, but I'd focus more on communicating some of Anna's voice in the query. Right now, she does nothing, wants nothing, and has little / no voice. I'm absolutely certain that's not true of Anna in your story. What does she do, in the first 1/3rd of your story? And what are the stakes? If Anna fails at _____________, __________ will happen. If she succeeds, _____________ will happen. Write it first, then worry about word count. You can always chop and hack and get it down to 200 later. https://www.janefriedman.com/query-le...


message 5: by Marcus (new)

Marcus Spade | 11 comments Anita is right, the word count should be between 200-250 max. And spice it up more


message 6: by Dienekes (last edited May 13, 2020 04:48AM) (new)

Dienekes | 12 comments Here's why there is confusion on length. Traditionally, a "blurb" was what went on the back cover of a novel. What went into a query letter was usually called "a query synopsis" (not to be confused with a regular synopsis).

If you're writing a query, most successful query letters are around 350 words total. That includes the introduction, the blurb, and your biography.

If you're writing a back cover blurb, the accepted guideline I've seen repeated many times, and which is borne out by the books on my shelves, is 100-150 words.

Shorter is generally better, within reason. Long and rambling blurbs don't attract buyers or agents because they signal flabby writing and/or a writer who doesn't know how to edit.


message 7: by Tim (new)

Tim Soeder | 7 comments HERE IS MY UPDATED BLURB. THOUGHTS?

On any given day, Anna could soar on the back of a dragon, cross a misty portal into the Lost Worlds, or even sing along with dancing animatronic pickles live on stage. After many years living in YOI, the magic and mystery have long since vanished, replaced by the reality of the quickly crumbling theme park. Even then, her little sister Stella never lost that sense of wonder. Anne builds her own ride and repairs the damage caused by strange mole-like creatures, but it is not enough to satisfy her. Is this the purpose that she was always meant for?

Everything changes when two mysterious animatronics appear, Baylor and Malina. Both wear clothes that she had never seen before. One of them doesn’t even speak her tongue. In hope of finding her purpose, Anne follows them. They speak of a vast world beyond the boundaries of YOI where they make their home, but in what land is that? No evidence for such a place has ever existed.

What they say is impossible, contrary to everything she had ever known. Yet, they seem to know things about YOI that even Anne didn’t. If what they say is true, then the only reality that Anna and Stella had ever known would be a lie. Can life ever go back to how things used to be?


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