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Author Topic: WAR OF MAGIC blurb
Meredith
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I am reminded that it's not too soon to start working on the blurb for WAR OF MAGIC, which I hope to publish next month.

This is the fourth and last book in the Dual Magics series.

Here's what I've got to start:

In the final book of the Dual Magics series, Vatar finds himself at the vortex of war.

His enemies form a dangerous alliance that threatens to overwhelm everything he holds dear. At the same time, his adopted city is torn by unrest, forcing Vatar to take up power he has never wanted in order to save his second home.

But the real danger is on the plains, where the magic-fearing people of his birth have no way to stand against the magic that will be brought to bear against them. Unless Vatar and his friends and allies defend them.

But that may cost Vatar his first home, his identity, and half his family. Because if he reveals his magic, he may never be able to go home again.

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dmsimone
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Wow, this is for your fourth book! That is amazing.

Here are my few comments:

Should Vatar find himself "in a vortex of war", instead of "at the vortex of war"?

For some reason, I don't like that you used the word "magic" twice in the sentence "But the real danger is on the plains..." Can you substitute "powers" for the second instance of "magic"?

You have two sentences start with "But" - you can probably not use the first "But" and just say "The real danger is on the plains..."

Would I have to read the first three books in the series to understand what's going on? Is this pure fantasy?

Thanks,
Danielle

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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by dmsimone:
Wow, this is for your fourth book! That is amazing.

Here are my few comments:

Should Vatar find himself "in a vortex of war", instead of "at the vortex of war"?

For some reason, I don't like that you used the word "magic" twice in the sentence "But the real danger is on the plains..." Can you substitute "powers" for the second instance of "magic"?

You have two sentences start with "But" - you can probably not use the first "But" and just say "The real danger is on the plains..."

Would I have to read the first three books in the series to understand what's going on? Is this pure fantasy?

Thanks,
Danielle

Thanks, Danielle.

To answer the last question, no . . . and yes. I try very hard to make each book in the series have it's own story as well as be part of the overall character arc. But, by the fourth book, it's unavoidable that a lot of what has gone before has been building to this. And things that have happened in previous books will be referenced. It's one reason I have the series number on each cover. [Wink]

ETA: However, one of my critique partners read only this book. I like to get at least one who hasn't read the others to tell me what I've left out or assumed that might be confusing. Her main confusion seemed to be with the magic system, not the plot. And I think I've fixed that issue.

[ August 07, 2016, 11:58 AM: Message edited by: Meredith ]

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dmsimone
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Oh, I'm glad you spent time working out the mechanics of your magic. I detest when a "magical" person can simply chant a spell and poof! they've turned their enemy into a frog.

I spent a great deal of time defining who can perform magic as well as ensuring there are boundary conditions and limitations to that magic. There needs to be rules. Makes it so much more believable.

Thanks for sharing.

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extrinsic
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From the series' start, the want of substance has been Vatar's intent to avoid revelation to his kinship group he's a potent mage. The decision to reveal or conceal has been the prime moving force throughout, to me. Presumably, that is the complication outcome, too; he decides one way or another and lives with the consequences.

For me, though, that complication magnitude is lower than I think is ideal. A series of events transpires, mostly involving Vatar and external problems victimizing him. He reacts proactively yet, as of this installment, his only personal concern is the revelation of his ability.

That concern is personal, though isn't to me tangible enough, for the prospective audience and for me. The main complication is on the heavily abstract side. It does have a moral contest premise, somewhat selfish and somewhat selfless, an ignoble means to a noble end. Pride is on point, as well is due diligence, their opposites, respectively, humility and sloth, too. Those features are artfully constructed, for this installment and overall; however, a more tangible complication I believe is indicated for best reader effect and most appeal.

Perhaps the time is over ripe for the above commentary, though possibly a consideration for future projects; that is, public and private, and tangible and intangible motivations and likewise congruent public, private, tangible, and intangible stakes.

Now, tone, attitude toward a topic or subject, part from charged language, part from charged motivations and stakes: the blurb is both forced and tepid to me. The language, as it were, forces charge, on one hand; and, on the other, uses the same everyday empty emphasis as the general mediocre crop of self-published promotional content.

For examples:

"Vatar finds himself at the vortex of war." "vortex" intends emotional charge, though could be stronger if positioned differently or another word used.

"finds" is the everyday slang idiom of discovery and its like, as if by happenstance or coincidence. This is late in a saga to still be discovering by happenstance and coincidence. And the final war has been brewing for the whole series. The sentence's syntax overall is stale, too, a state of being statement, albeit a somewhat more dynamic verb than "is."

The "at," too, is a faulty preposition use. The intent is //at the _brink_ of the vortex of war//, or threshold or the like, though that is also faulty -- wordy -- from the double object and twice "of" preposition. The pronoun "himself," too is wordy and unnecessary. A recast might enliven the sentence. War, for example, is the true sentence subject, not Vatar.

//War propels Vatar toward (or into) its vortex.//

Likewise, the remainder, stale and forced language:
"His enemies form a dangerous alliance that threatens to overwhelm everything he holds dear. At the same time, his adopted city is torn by unrest, forcing Vatar to take up power he has never wanted[,] in order to save his second home.

But the real danger is on the plains, where the magic-fearing people of his birth have no way to stand against the magic that will be brought to bear against them [--] [u]nless Vatar and his friends and allies defend them.

But that may cost Vatar his first home, his identity, and half his family. Because[,] if he reveals his magic, he may never be able to go home again."

Wordy, unnecessary connector words; emphasis on state-of being-statements, where process statements move more dynamically; some unnecessary passive voice, and clichés.

A recast to demonstrate:
//War propels Vatar toward the vortex.

Dangerous [Names] alliances threaten all Vatar cares about. Unrest disrupts his adopted city, [Name]. Vatar takes up the power he has avoided, to save his chosen home.

A greater danger arises from the [Name] Plains. Magic-fearing [Name] of his birthplace cannot deflect the violent spells cast against them -- unless Vatar and allied friends defend them.

Sorcery war risks Vatar's new-found and family homes. If he reveals his potent magics, he could forever be denied from any home.//

[ August 07, 2016, 02:34 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Meredith
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Thanks.

Here's another version:

In the final book of the Dual Magics series, Vatar is thrust into the vortex of war.

Enemies unite to move against his adopted city, just when that city is torn by unrest. Vatar started the turmoil by revealing secrets that had been kept for six hundred years. Now, he’s forced to accept the responsibility and power he’d rejected in order to bring the population together against this threat.

And the greater challenge is still ahead, when the enemy turns their attack onto the plains. The magic-fearing tribe of his birth have no way to stand against the sorcery that will be unleashed against them. Unless Vatar and his friends defend them.

But that may cost Vatar his first home, his identity, and half his family. Because if he reveals his magic, he may never be able to go home again.

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Disgruntled Peony
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On the second read-through of the summary I noticed that almost every sentence in paragraphs three and four begin with conjunctions, and that the last sentence of paragraph three is a fragment. I'd recommend revising those last two paragraphs a bit to bring them more in line with the first two paragraphs from a grammatical perspective.

Overall, I do feel your second summary is stronger than the first. There's more tension and emotional impact. It could still use some tweaking, but it caught my interest much better this time around.

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