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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Blurb feedback on Sci-Fi Thriller

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message 1: by Niviradamus (new)

Niviradamus | 11 comments Hi! I've finished my seven book series 'Box' after nine years of grueling work! I'm still in high school, but I plan on publishing this series... eventually. I'm currently rewriting the series from the first book, but I would like to get some feedback on the revised blurp for book one to see if this blurp gets people interested.

Thank you in advance!

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'God does not exist in a universe where aliens do. By extension, magic does not exist in a universe governed by science and technology.'

This was what Rivin thought, until one day, he is contacted by a mysterious voice who tells him that there is a cure to Rivin's clinical sickness - and that to get this 'cure', Rivin would need to meet with four of his own doppelgangers all over the Earth.

Being a fifteen year old alien refugee with unimaginable powers, it was no surprise that Rivin would go try to meet with his doppelgangers, if not just for fun... While disobeying his mother's wishes and dragging his alien sister, Samantha, along for the trip.

It was supposed to be a relaxing trip to Chicago to find a doppelganger, get a cure for Rivin's sickness, and perhaps determine whether God really does exist in this universe brimming with life.

However, Rivin and Samantha were refugees. There was a reason why this family of three were forced to hide on Earth, intermingling with Humanity.

Because the Aerilosacs - the ones who forced the family to abandon their home planet - are also here on Earth, and they are absolutely livid at one of Rivin's doppelgangers for stealing their wares.

In this suburban Chicago where a hundred year old foul-mouthed sniper Sister, aliens with the power to command crystalline puppets, and godly voices in dreams are all unfortunately present, Rivin and Samantha must quickly understand the true nature of this suddenly unfamiliar Earth that they live on, or hell hath no fury like the Aerilosacs scorned...

The first book of the seven in the Box: Detach and Foresee


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Please, do not be gentle with me. Absolutely rip this blurp to pieces if you so desire. I really want to make this first book as gripping as possible. For more information, this series is 18+, aimed for Sci-Fi thriller lovers, and really... I think everyone can get something out of this story of mine. Once again, thank you in advance!


message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex | 139 comments The one compelling idea: A sick boy learns he can cure his illness by meeting four other boys who are physically identical to him. Each boy gives him a task he must complete before he is cured (just a suggestion). Then see if you can tie in all the other high flying stuff.


message 3: by Niviradamus (new)

Niviradamus | 11 comments Ah, I'm not looking to change the story events, as things are already set in stone.

As it is right now, how is the blurp itself? Any feedback on this blurp and how I can improve it?


message 4: by Kiley (new)

Kiley (kileyraica) I really like your summary of the story. One thing to keep in mind, publishers and editors don't spend a ton of time reading through queries/story blurbs. Your summary is descriptive and gives a good idea of what is going, but I would agree with Alex's comment. You need a line or two that pulls the reader in and makes them want to read the rest of the summary. A one, maybe two-liner. Best of luck to you.


message 5: by Alex (new)

Alex | 139 comments I think the blurb is taking too much for granted and violates cause and effect, which is essential for sentences, blurbs and novels.

Being a fifteen year old alien refugee with unimaginable powers (What is an alien refuge? What are unimaginable powers?) , it was no surprise that Rivin would go try to meet with his doppelgangers (Why is it not a surprise? Does the subordinate clause support the main clause? Do alien refugees with unimaginable powers always meet their dopplegangers?) , if not just for fun (trivializes the action) ... While disobeying his mother's wishes (What are her wishes? ) and dragging his alien sister, Samantha (irrelevant. I don't know enough about Riven to care that he has a sister, much less that he's taking her ), along for the trip.


message 6: by Niviradamus (new)

Niviradamus | 11 comments Thank you for the feedback, Alex. I can't figure out if editing the original post is a thing on this site, so I'll simply post an updated version of the blurp below:

*

'God does not exist in a universe where aliens do. By extension, magic does not exist in a universe governed by science and technology.'

This was what Rivin and Samantha thought, until one day, Rivin is contacted by a mysterious voice who tells him that there is a cure to Rivin's clinical sickness - and that to get this 'cure', Rivin would need to meet with four of his own doppelgangers all over the Earth.

Being reckless fifteen year-old aliens with the power to disappear from the world, the siblings were undoubtedly going to try to meet Rivin's doppelgangers that 'God' told them of... While disobeying their mother's wish for them to forever stay in their little town.

It was supposed to be a relaxing trip to Chicago to try to find a doppelganger, get a cure for Rivin's sickness, and perhaps determine whether 'God' really does exist in this universe brimming with life.

However, the family of three were refugees. There was a reason why they were forced to hide on Earth, intermingling with Humanity.

Because the Aerilosacs - the alien race that forced the family to abandon their home planet - are also here on Earth, and they are absolutely livid at one of Rivin's doppelgangers for stealing their wares.

Now, boxed in within this suburban Chicago where bizarre sniper priests, aliens with the power to command crystalline puppets, and godly voices in dreams are all unfortunately present, Rivin and Samantha must quickly understand the true nature of this suddenly unfamiliar Earth that they live on, or hell hath no fury like the Aerilosacs scorned...

The first book of the seven in the Box: Detach

*

Apologies if I'm making giving feedback more annoying than it has to be. Again, thank you, Alex, for pointing out the causality issue in the blurp. I will continue to think on the one-liner hook and post an update... Hopefully without having to resort to replying to my own post!


message 7: by Laura (last edited Sep 30, 2020 07:34AM) (new)

Laura Engelhardt | 24 comments So a few tips that I've received over the years:

1- keep it to 150 to 200 words.
2- the tagline should be succinct & capable of being used as a 1-liner on a Facebook/Bookbubs/Amazon Ad-like post.
3- You don't need to summarize the story, all you need to do is hook the reader into opening the book for a sample chapter.

Right now, the more compelling aspects of your book are lost in the description. Keep it simple and focus on one aspect of your book (even if it's a multi-dimensional philosophical sci-fi story). What will entice the reader most? If you want, you can do a fake one-liner from a reader to highlight another significant aspect, like "It made me think about the spiritual meaning of life" (obviously not trite like that, but you know what I mean). Here, I see doppelgangers, refugees, illness, metaphysics ... Pick one. For me, the doppelganger would be the most appealing thing because that's not something I see every day.

Hope that helps! Good luck, Laura

PS-I assume that's a pseudonym you're using (good job with internet privacy, I hope my own kids are smart enough to do the same). I am extremely impressed that you've managed to write SEVEN books and are still in HS + realize the need to go back and revise them.


message 8: by Niviradamus (new)

Niviradamus | 11 comments Thank you, Laura!

I'll work on cutting down excessive words and trimming the fat from the blurp, though, regarding the tagline: What do you think of the current one, i.e. the first statement in the blurp?

I understand that the opening line in the blurp needs to have that 'wham!' factor to hook readers in, as well as provide readers with the setting and tone of the story. By opening with 'God cannot exist in a...', I'm trying to indicate that the story will have both fantasy/mythical and Sci-Fi elements. Does the opening line tell you enough about how the story will be written? If not, do you have any advice on picking out a tagline from a story? I've been thinking hard about it to no avail, but maybe I just need to go sleep and come back tomorrow.

Again, thank you for the feedback!


message 9: by A.C. (new)

A.C. | 16 comments Alex wrote: "I think you're on the right track. BTW, it's blurb not blurp."

Trimming the fat from the blurp sounds like a really disgusting meal on an alien planet.


message 10: by Laura (last edited Oct 02, 2020 03:42AM) (new)

Laura Engelhardt | 24 comments Hi. So the “God does not exist...” would be better as a 1-sentence tag line, as opposed to multiple. The “By extension...” made this sound less like a tag line and more the opening to a debate question or essay to me. Tag lines should hook readers into the book - you need to think about what aspect of your story might appeal to the readers you want to attract and use that.

For example - my first draft of a blurb is posted in this forum for feedback also. My book is about sooo much more than the one character I single out. But I had to think about which audience I needed to try to hook. I didn’t lead with the philosophical questions that make my story interesting to me - what is freedom? Do the ends ever justify the means?, etc - because those will not hook a reader into a fantasy novel, even readers who want to explore such topics in fiction.

For me, your hook doesn’t work because it seems like a false equivalence- what does the existence of God have to do with aliens? But instead of finding that juxtaposition intriguing, it just seemed off. If you want to highlight the spiritual journey as a hook for target readers, maybe go more introspective. “The aliens want us to think they killed God, but Rivin knows he will find her” would appeal more to me. Hope that helps.

Laura


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