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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Evangeline -- blurb, first 13

   
Author Topic: Evangeline -- blurb, first 13
enigmaticuser
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When the emperor of the humans died, his daughter Evangeline found comfort knowing her brother would rule.

Eleven days later, he was assassinated by a shadowy inter-species aristocracy, passing the throne to her.

Unprepared, Evangeline reluctantly takes the mantle of the Nine Hundred Worlds. With her advisors' help, she struggles to keep the empire from a fourth war with the bellanoi while securing against the growing wind of sedition backed by her brother’s killers.

A web of ulterior motives closes around her, can she set a course that protects her people from all threats, including her own power? Or even protect herself? Into her circle, comes a clone bred to protect her, capable of seeing through lies, but incapable of humanity.

Is he the answer to her prayers? Or the embodied sin of her empire?


----

This the jacket blurb for Evangeline. What do you think? The book is epic sci-fi, 120k.

[ April 08, 2013, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: enigmaticuser ]

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History
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Suggestions (just for consideration)

Line 2: "...and the scepter passed to her" or "throne", though that would be heavy to "pass". [Wink]

Line 3ff.: change of tense. Lines 1 and 2 use past tense (e.g. "died", "found", "assasinated"). Here it is present tense (e.g. "takes", "struggles").

I expected this to be the opening 13 lines of the novel, but this seems part of a query, blurb, or pitch for which you should therefore change all to present tense.

Storywise, it looks very interesting, reminescent of the opening of Brandon Sanderson's epic The Way of Kings or Frank Herbert's Dune.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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enigmaticuser
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Dr. Bob, thanks for insights. It is the jacket blurb, not the opening 13.
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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by enigmaticuser:
When the emperor of the humans died, his daughter Evangeline found comfort knowing her brother would rule.
Eleven days later, he was assassinated by a shadowy inter-species aristocracy, passing the throne to her.
Unprepared, Evangeline reluctantly takes the mantle of the Nine Hundred Worlds. With her advisors help,

should be advisors'

quote:
she struggles to keep the empire from a fourth war with the bellanoi while securing against the growing wind of sedition backed by her brother’s killers.
This sentence is a little long and possibly trying to do too much. Consider breaking it into two sentences--one about avoiding a war and the other about sedition. Oh, and it's not clear just what she's securing against the "winds of sedition".

quote:
A web of ulterior motives closes around her, can she set a course that protects her people from all threats, including her own power? Or even protect herself? Into her circle, comes a clone bred to protect her, capable of seeing through lies, but
Clearly, there's supposed to be more here. You don't have to stop at 13 lines for queries, blurbs, etc.

I'd be careful of using questions.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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As Meredith said, you don't need to stop at 13 lines for blurbs, synopses, and such, enigmaticuser.
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enigmaticuser
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Thanks for the reminder, I uploaded the full copy.

Meredith, for clarification, I have the sense you're right on the questions, though I can't put my finger on why.

Would they would be more agreeable as what-if setups? "...she can set a course to protect her people, but only if she can reign in the power of her own empire. And only if she can stay alive."

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Meredith
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One reason is that agents hate questions.

You've said that this is a jacket blurb, not a query, but I'd still approach questions with care. They irritate agents for a reason. You might get away with one. You currently have four.

Yes, I think you could rephrase them.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Originally posted by enigmaticuser:
but only if she can reign in the power of her own empire

Do you mean "reign in" as in rule inside or within? Or do you mean "rein" as in control (rein in a horse)?
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enigmaticuser
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Thanks Meredith,

Kathleen, I did mean rein. A pox upon those similar words!

All, as I am headed for self-pubbing, I am also interested to know what kind/flavor of story this blurb suggests to you?

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Meredith
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quote:
All, as I am headed for self-pubbing, I am also interested to know what kind/flavor of story this blurb suggests to you?
Hmm. Space opera?
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enigmaticuser
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Do you mean space opera, good or space opera bad? I've heard two definitions.
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Meredith
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I personally have no objection to a good space opera. [Smile]

Then again, I write almost exclusively fantasy. Maybe someone who writes science fiction can give you a better subgenre.

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enigmaticuser
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I've read (since the term was new to me until recently) those words can either mean epic/romantic sci-fi (dune, maybe star wars). Or kind of nostalgic, 'genre fic' like (in my estimation) "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" or John Carter or that sort of thing. So I was trying to figure out which this sounded like. I'm guessing the questions, make it lean to the latter, but I was hoping for the former.
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Meredith
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Well, I meant the former, but, like I said, ask someone who writes sf. I read some, but I don't write it at this time.
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Christian Behr
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Enigmaticuser, your book sounds interesting. I'd be willing to swap first chapters for reading and critiquing if you're interested. christianbehr2@gmail.com
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Denevius
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I actually think that the blurb needs something a bit more distinctive. Though I get what you mean by the first line, for instance, because I knew/know nothing else about the novel, it seems a bit odd. All emperors are emperors of humans. Line two, we get a hint of characters that are possibly something more than human, though again, it's not clear, and the line doesn't reveal something unique about your specific fictional universe or its species.

I guess ultimately that's my take from it. The blurb can use more specific details from the world(s) you've created and the intrigue you're going for. What's here seems like it needs to be taken up a notch.

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