Best Writing Forum

Workroom => Review My Writing - Getting Started => Topic started by: Dansinger on October 13, 2021, 08:39:04 PM

Title: blurb
Post by: Dansinger on October 13, 2021, 08:39:04 PM
Nearly done with the final edits of my MS, so I wrote a blurb. I'm not really looking for a critique, but I'd still appreciate your feedback. Esp. if you think I really messed up. The genre is fantasy.

A PRIEST, A KING, AND AN ANCIENT CURSE.
On the run from a homicidal king and his army of assassins, the aenigmatic priest Niels Bosch holes up in the Barlows, an insignificant township in pastoral Briscona. Cantor Beldenka, a resourceful woman in a wheelchair, helps him settle in, but her forward questions set him on edge.
Once his secret is out, Bel comes up with a plan to confront the mad king and deal with the attempts on Niels’ life. They set out on a life-altering quest where Niels learns that Bel has a dark secret of her own.
When they arrive in Ebaru and meet the king, Niels finds out that nothing is what it seemed, and the truth is more chilling than anything he ever imagined. Will he be able to dispel the night and reverse the curse?
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on October 14, 2021, 07:51:24 AM
I still struggle with these, so take this with a pinch of salt...

It reads too much like a quick summary of the book, which is not what a blurb/description should be.

Can't remember where I got this, but I look at it every time I work on a book:
The description should stir emotions to help readers sense the entertainment, enjoyment, or insightful change of perspective that the book produces. The description may raise a puzzling question about the main character – one that begs for an answer only to be found inside the book.
What not to do: Too many story elements; it reads more like a review; there are no stakes; the description too generic (like good vs. evil, from the shadows, thrown into an adventure).
The readers want to know who they’re spending time with and what’s at stake.

I'd also recommend looking at the descriptions of books you'll be competing against. Look at the best-sellers in your target categories.

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: ST on October 14, 2021, 04:55:24 PM
I always thought a blurp was more like a lil segment of your story, like they do for previews of movies.   I agree with Joe about it feeling more like a summary. I just need scene, something that makes me want to look for more.

One thing though I feel strongly about is the title of your blurp.  Not the words but more the article usage, how they sound when read.

A Priest, A King  (great so far)  but then    And an Ancient  -  the 'an' sound used 3x in a row, just made me feel 'and' wasn't worth it. I mean the 'comma' gives enough separation.

Good luck on your submission and congratulations on its completion.
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Dansinger on October 14, 2021, 09:03:53 PM
Thanks, guys.  :)
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Gyppo on October 14, 2021, 09:25:49 PM
Dan, I agree with the others.  The blurb is a 'taster' to hook a would-be reader, not a synopsis of the whole story like you have to send to a publisher.

I have mixed feelings about your use of aenigmatic as opposed to the more common word enigmatic.  But if it's a collective noun for an entire class of priests then ignore this comment.

In effect you need to tell the readers its a Quest, fraught with perils, and in a world of magic, secrets, and betrayal nothing is quite as it seems.

The names work well.  They're different enough to catch the bookshop browsers attention, but not so bizarre as, for example, iixatelia or similar, who most readers would be calling Ix, or Ixy by the end of the first chapter.

Gyppo
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Dansinger on October 14, 2021, 10:31:56 PM
Thanks, Gyp.

I've reworked the entire blurb. For the umpteenth time - but practice should at least make better.  ;D

Side note: the title of the book is "Night's Reign"



A secretive priest. A woman in a wheelchair. An ancient curse.

On the run from a cursed king and his army of assassins, priest Niels Bosch holes up in the Barlows, in hopes of finding at least some temporary relief. Instead, his new cantor, Beldenka Nadinov, barrages him with all sorts of intimate and unsettling questions. Questions he can’t risk answering.

Together with Niels’ friend and bodyguard Mikhandor and Bel’s protector Leks they set out on a quest to confront the mad king and deal with the attempts on Niels’ life. But Bel has a dark secret of her own. A secret that could endanger their entire mission.

Will Niels be able to dispel night’s reign and reverse the curse?
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Jo Bannister on October 16, 2021, 07:11:50 PM
This is a big improvement on the original.  Better focus, less quick-fire names and facts that, at this point, don't really matter.

Not sure about your closing sentence though.  Feels a bit at odds with what's gone before. 
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Dansinger on October 16, 2021, 09:40:06 PM
Thanks, Jo. Looking at it now, I'm not too sure about that last sentence either. Will need to come up with something better than that, I'm afraid.
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Jo Bannister on October 17, 2021, 09:12:07 AM
Maybe you should.  It's why we do all these rewrites, isn't it? - if somethings strikes us as out of place, who are mother and father to it, you can be sure it'll grate with people who are less invested.

Just for the record, it's a risky strategy to ask a question like that.  The reader is entitled to wonder, "If you the author don't know, why the hell are you asking me?"  It can work - but not nearly as often as it can fail.
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Dansinger on October 17, 2021, 06:07:11 PM
What would you suggest for that last paragraph?

Would something like this work?

When they finally face the king, Niels finds out that nothing is what it seemed, and the truth is even more chilling than anything he ever imagined.
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Jo Bannister on October 18, 2021, 12:38:56 PM
Going purely off what you've already said about the book - and making some assumptions that may not be justified - I'd be inclined to try something like this:


On the run from a cursed king and his army of assassins, priest Niels Bosch is seeking sanctuary.  What he gets is a barrage of intimate and unsettling questions from his new cantor, Beldenka Nadinove.  Questions Niels can’t risk answering.

Accompanied by his friend and bodyguard Mikhandor and Bel’s protector Leks, the pair set out to challenge the mad king.  But Bel has a dark secret of her own - a secret that could endanger the entire mission.

Even when Niels understands how profoundly he has been compromised, it's too late to turn back.  There's a curse to lift, and the reign of night to be brought to an end.


Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Dansinger on October 18, 2021, 12:47:59 PM
Ooooh, I like that!

Would you mind if I used that? I would probably need to do some minor tweaks (not sure if compromised is the right word), but it's almost perfect!

How about this:

An eccentric priest. A woman in a wheelchair. An ancient curse.

On the run from a cursed king and his army of assassins, priest Niels Bosch seeks sanctuary in the Barlows. What he gets is a barrage of intimate and unsettling questions from his new cantor, Beldenka Nadinov. Questions Niels can’t risk answering.

Accompanied by his friend and bodyguard Mikhandor and Bel’s protector Leks, the pair set out to challenge the mad king. But Bel has a dark secret of her own – a secret that could endanger the entire mission.

Even when Niels understands how profoundly he has been deceived, it’s too late to turn back. There’s a curse to lift, and the reign of night to be brought to an end.
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Jo Bannister on October 18, 2021, 04:07:34 PM
You're very welcome to use my small contribution, Dan!  Or adjust or play with it till it meets your needs.

But I would think again about introducing yet another name in the Barlows, which I'm guessing is some kind of a ghetto.  But the people reading this blurb don't know the names of any of your locations - it's just a bit extraneous at this point.  If you're determined to use it, I'd find a one-word description to at least begin explaining.

Anyway, best of luck with it.
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Dansinger on October 18, 2021, 05:04:49 PM
Thanks, Jo.
Still playing around with it, but I got some expert guidance now. That helps a lot.  :)


Maybe this:

A closemouthed priest. A woman in a wheelchair. An ancient curse.

On the run from a cursed king and his army of assassins, priest Niels Bosch seeks sanctuary in rural Briscona. What he gets is a barrage of intimate and unsettling questions from his new cantor, Beldenka Nadinov. Questions Niels can’t risk answering.

Accompanied by his friend and bodyguard Mikhandor and Bel’s protector Leks, the pair set out to challenge the mad king. But Bel has a dark secret of her own – a secret that could endanger the entire mission.

When Niels unearths the chilling truth and realises there’s much more at stake than just his life, it is too late to turn back. There’s a curse to lift, and the reign of night to be brought to an end.
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Michael Marnier on November 14, 2021, 10:40:41 PM
My two cents, after a long hiatus from this forum. My penchant for brevity in a blurb, while drawing in a reader, is applied to this rewrite. Always try to limit the number of adverbs and adjectives to speed up the blurb. Readers have little patience to understand enough to buy the book. Hope it helps. Sorry for the tardy reply. Of course, use it or lose it, as you see fit...

A closemouthed priest. A woman, a cantor in a wheelchair. An ancient curse., a cursed king.

On the run from the a cursed king and his army of assassins, priest Niels Bosch seeks sanctuary in rural Briscona, with help from his new cantor, Beldenka Nadinov. What he gets is a barrage of intimate and unsettling questions from his new cantor, Beldenka Nadinov. Questions Niels  he can’t risk answering.

Accompanied by his friend and bodyguard Mikhandor and, Bel’s and her protector Leks, the pairfour set out to challenge the mad king. But Bel has a dark secret of her own – a secretone that could endanger the entire mission.

When Niels unearths the chilling truth and realises there’s much more at stake than just his life, it is too late to turn back. There’s a curse to lift, and the reign of night to be brought to an end He must lift the curse and end Night's reign forever.

Here it is without edits shown to read more smoothly:

A priest, a cantor in a wheelchair, a cursed king.

On the run from the king and his army of assassins, priest Niels Bosch seeks sanctuary in rural Briscona, with help from his new cantor, Beldenka Nadinov. What he gets is a barrage of intimate and unsettling questions he can’t risk answering.

Accompanied by his friend and bodyguard Mikhandor, Bel and her protector Leks, the four set out to challenge the mad king. But Bel has a dark secret of her own –  one that could endanger the entire mission.

When Niels unearths the chilling truth and realises there’s much more at stake than just his life, it is too late to turn back. He must lift the curse and end Night's Reign forever.
Title: Re: blurb
Post by: Dansinger on November 15, 2021, 12:05:00 PM
Thank you. :)