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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » A blurb for a new Novel

   
Author Topic: A blurb for a new Novel
LDWriter2
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I am very close to getting out a new Indie novel- Learning Curve X2

I have just realized that I need a blurb for the cover. I spent time yesterday and tonight working on it but would like a couple of opinions about it.

The novel is a second novel in a series--my Above My Pay Grade X2 is the first. I realized very few here have read Above so may not catch everything here but I think most of it is clear. I will say that Crazy Billy attacked drugged and attacked her in the first book. She still has issues with that but also wants to make sure he gets off the streets for a long time. He is selling pot and witch hazel and has a girl friend he is abusing.

So anyway here is the blurb.

Once again NA is called upon to stop a deadly event, this time though it wouldn’t be only her friends that would be killed but the whole city of Boulder. But her ability is misfiring-doing more that she wants or nothing, she has problems getting enough V-nergy to fill her and her emotional issues are still there confusing her relationships with her friends. Not to mention a sword she formed that won’t go away and an up surge in Mythos into Boulder, many which are hungry. There are rumors of a giant and a dragon on the loose and the pranksters of mythos-fairies. The head Mage of Boulder suspects NA of evil doings and hiding things.
She battles two ghouls, finds a bridge Troll in a park and a unicorn in a dark alley. NA duels twin abusers who use illusions in their abuse. She takes time to spy on Crazy Billy while she figures out how to take him down.
Along the way of trying to figure where all of those myths are coming and why it is raining so much, NA has to confront a growing Ability and at the same time figure out how to handle her issues and what it means to be a friend, which means repairing a damaged relationship while fighting a Mytho that can control dead bodies. Oh and an acquaintance, who won’t take no for an answer, gives her a puppy that grows and grows…


Any help is appreciated

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Denevius
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I was reluctant to comment on this, LDWriter, but I don't want it to sit here without comments. However, I did only get past the first line and a half. The sentence construction is quite awkward, and I'm fairly sure grammatically incorrect. The first line should be two:

quote:
Once again NA is called upon to stop a deadly event.

This time it wouldn’t be only her friends that would be killed, but the whole city of Boulder

Even with this change, though, concerns remain. This sounds more like a commercial than a written blurb. I can imagine these same lines, but with them would come the addition of a pretty girl with a serious expression on her face, and then shots of her friends all wearing distressed expressions at some unknown danger off the screen, then the idyllic city of Boulder.

This first line without those images comes off as generic, which doesn't inspire me, at least, to want to read further. You might get different reactions from other readers, however.

Best of luck!

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LDWriter2
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Denevus. Thanks for the comments.

I used blurbs I have seen for models but I could easily be doing something wrong with that beginning.

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LDWriter2
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Thank you IR for the comments and your time that took a while.

Back to the drawing board.

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LDWriter2
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Forgot something

No mentioning she has Emotional issues?

That is a major part of the story. Some of those issues is why there is a times two in the title. I could easily by wrong but I recall that other Urban Fantasy books have mentioned that-I am going to have to look over some blurbs, my memory could be playing tricks with me however.

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LDWriter2
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Much of it was talked about in the first book so I didn't want to go into too much descriptions. That could take a quite a few words too.


Would it it be better if I said Emotional baggage? Or is that the same thing to most people?

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Denevius
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quote:
No mentioning she has Emotional issues?
I think you can mention whatever you feel is important for the blurb, but my central concern actually wasn't the content. It's the writing itself, which needs a lot of work.

IRwhite's observation was quite interesting, and I started to comment on it a couple of days ago, but then didn't. However, your preamble to the blurb is concisely written.

quote:
I have just realized that I need a blurb for the cover.
Perfect, short, to the point sentence. Now, your first sentence to the blurb:

quote:
Once again NA is called upon to stop a deadly event, this time though it wouldn’t be only her friends that would be killed but the whole city of Boulder.
Notice the huge difference. 12 nice, concise words when you're talking about the blurb, 28 quite muddled words for the blurb itself.

Talk about emotional baggage if you wish, but keep the sentence construction concise.

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LDWriter2
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So again back to the drawing board.
with something concise

Thanks all for the various comments

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LDWriter2
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A new try:

After that last fight NA deserves a rest, after all she just wants to help people and work at the Rusty Bean. But her geas is back and there are a number of new Mythos running loose in Boulder. Some like the lost bridge troll are hungry. There are also fairies and a unicorn running loose. On top of it the weather has been very wet lately and someone is using up all of the special energy she needs to do her Tricks.

What is a girl, who still thinks she is a freak, to do? Especially when her ability keeps misfiring or over firing when she needs it the most and she doesn’t know why she can’t fill up on that energy. And to top it off the head Mage of Boulder thinks NA is keeping secrets and might somehow be involved with the missing energy.

Oh, and an acquaintance, who won’t take no for an answer, gives her a puppy that grows and grows…

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Denevius
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Nice effort. Try reading the blurb aloud to yourself. Even record it on your phone. You might be surprised how it sounds off the screen.

Best of luck!

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LDWriter2
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Okay a new one


NA deserves a rest. She recently fought and won a very hard battle with her inner self and second one with a mage bent on revenge. All she wants to do is make some extra money substituting in a band. However she finds Boulder is crawling with new Mythos, some of whom are hungry, it’s raining hard and there is less of the energy she needs to do her Tricks. Her ability is over firing or not working and she can’t fill her inner tank up on what energy there is.

Along with two new mysteries she needs to solve, she needs help with her friendships and how to be a good friend. On top of that the special Geas is back and someone she knows, who won’t take no for an answer, gives her a puppy that grows and grows…

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Denevius
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Wow, that's a *significant* improvement. I'm not sure if you see the difference between this and your first version, but the prose is much clearer just by being much simpler.

I'm genuinely curious if the above suggestions got you to this draft of the blurb, or did someone else help with you with this edit? It simply seems really different from any of the previous blurbs you posted.

Either way, with another edit or two, I think you're on to something.

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LDWriter2
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quote:
Originally posted by Denevius:
Wow, that's a *significant* improvement. I'm not sure if you see the difference between this and your first version, but the prose is much clearer just by being much simpler.

I'm genuinely curious if the above suggestions got you to this draft of the blurb, or did someone else help with you with this edit? It simply seems really different from any of the previous blurbs you posted.

Either way, with another edit or two, I think you're on to something.

Thank you.

To answer your question; both.

What advice I was give here and somewhere else. I am going through a video workshop on Discoverability put on by Dean Wesley Smith. Last night I got to the video talking about covers and blurbs. It was short-he has a separate workshop for blurbs-but I think he said much the same thing as some of the advice but in different and less words. I can't recall the exact wording right now but basically it is you are not telling the whole plot just what the story is about.

Not sure on what other changes though. I better think on that.

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dmsimone
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OK, so your submission above is for the book cover? Or do you mean inside the book jacket? Not having read your first book, I should be able to pick up the second book and understand at least the blurb…so here is my feedback. I hope it is useful:

The first sentence was greatly improved on your rewrite.
Second sentence feels like it needs to be two sentences.
Some missing commas in the third sentence.
I have no idea what “Tricks” are, but I know they are special because it is capitalized – maybe a brief explanation is needed?
The last sentence is hard to understand…feels like you need some commas in there.
In the second paragraph, please use the name “NA” somewhere to establish who “she” is.
First sentence in the second paragraph is redundant (talks about friendships and being a good friend – I think you only need to state that once).
The final sentence is intriguing, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. Assuming it would help if I read your first book.

Good luck!

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M.D. Nelson
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Hi there! I'm very new here, so please let me know if anything I mention is confusing, vague, or simply unhelpful, or if my critique is going in a wrong direction entirely. I hope I can help out in some way!

I think the first sentence is good and catchy.

In the second sentence, this part trips me up:

  • "...a very hard battle with her inner self and second one with a mage"

It's just a lot of information very quickly. I also feel like it's missing a verb somewhere, or the verb is too far away from the subject. Perhaps look into subject/verb agreement in general?

I feel like when I'm reading a blurb, I'll skim it sometimes, just to see if it catches my interest, and if it packs in too much information at once, I often don't catch it or it slides through my brain. It's the difference between reading the thesis statement for a technical research paper and then reading a romance novel blurb. One is meant to be analyzed very closely, the other is meant to catch the interest of all who pass by (Or at least, the romance lovers!)

  • "All she wants to do is make some extra money substituting in a band."

This line feels kinda formula to me. "All she wants to do is: blah"

Almost list-like. It lacks feeling I think. I would suggest to write it in a more emotional way? I have some suggestions on how, but they're based on how I write and I don't want to impose!

  • "However she finds Boulder is crawling with new Mythos, some of whom are hungry, it’s raining hard and there is less of the energy she needs to do her Tricks."

As a new reader this sentence might put me off, because it assumes I know Boulder and Mythos. I don't really feel like the way its written makes the place/idea seem interesting to read about either. But I know you mentioned this is the second book, and I am certainly no master of how to market second books, but as a new reader I would probably put it down.

Also "it's raining hard" feels kinda out of place, like you're describing a single scene, and not the overarching story.

Perhaps hyphenate "over firing" so it's read as "overfiring" instead of "over.......... firing." (just rolls oddly to me)

And then:

  • "... over firing or not working and she can’t fill her inner tank up on what energy there is"

Because this is a blurb, I would suggest you choose *one* way to describe that her ability isn't working. In this sentence you describe three ways that her ability isn't working 1) over firing 2) not working and 3) can't fill her inner tank. All of these bring to mind a catch in the wheel, so perhaps making it more concise will give you more words to use on other parts of the blurb.

You do the above here also:

  • "... she needs help with her friendships and how to be a good friend"

It's kinda repeating the same idea.

And then the final sentence:

  • "On top of that the special Geas is back and someone she knows, who won’t take no for an answer, gives her a puppy that grows and grows… "

I think a comma is needed after "on top of that". Also, interjecting "who won’t take no for an answer" interrupts the flow of the sentence for me.

I think this is a much better version than the first one, so it's certainly improving! Keep pushing, I think you're going in the right direction!

Anyway, I hope this was helpful to you!

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