No, I actually haven’t read it, though I’ve heard a lot about it. Do you recommend it? I just really love the way ‘Thwap’ sounds😂
I love your plot! It sounds really interesting! Your summary is quite good, though I do have a few suggestions since you asked for critique😊 I really love writing summaries, and it’s something I’ve done quite a bit of research on, so here are my opinions. (I totally get what you mean by telling too much or too little, I struggle with that too😂)
Do you think I should try to fix that, or just leave it as it is?
I think you explain plenty! The purpose of a ‘back cover’ summary is only to get your reader interested, not explain the entire plot and world. My favorite reply to questions of that sort is to look deeply mysterious and say: “All mysteries shall be revealed in time.” Or just, “You’ll find out in the book.” If you have an explanation in the book, it’s fine.
(Disclaimer, these are just my opinions! Feel free to completely ignore them and throw them out the window if I didn’t understand your plot correctly. I’m going to try to explain what works for me.)
I don’t know if you’re familiar with “Save the Cat!” Beats, so I’m going to put in a short explanation.
Here’s the basic formula for writing a summary. (If you go look at mine, you’ll see how I used them, and you can see them in most summaries)
Paragraph 1: Setup (Status quo in the world.), the flawed hero (The main character, mentioning one of their faults.) and Catalyst (Event that happens to the MC, starting the whole story)
Paragraph 2: Break into 2 (The main character’s decision/reaction to the catalyst. I don’t mean their emotional reaction, but what they do about the catalyst.)
Paragraph 3: Theme stated. (Okay, I’m terrible at the theme, so I can’t help you here😂) Midpoint hint/ All is lost hint ending in a cliffhanger. (Drop in a little hint about a plot twist or a disaster. If you have multiple, pick the biggest or your favorite.)
So, here’s how I would edit your summary: (My notes are in bold)
Every three years, the three dragon tribes send one of their own into an arena to fight to the death, in order to decide who will win the ___, an object shrouded in mystery and coveted by all the tribes. (Setup)
Now graduating the training course required for all dragons in her tribe, Rilyn is eligible to be chosen for the arena, as is her friend, Konyar. She only hopes that neither of their names will be drawn from the pool. (I think you should mention one of Rilyn’s major flaws. (Flawed Hero))
Days before the drawing, she is involved in an accident. A young dragon named Sirian is crippled for life, his only comfort is that he’s ineligible for the arena. (Catalyst)
Or so he thinks. (Good!)
His name is drawn, and one thing is certain: It wasn’t a coincidence. With his injury, he will meet certain death. (Remind of stakes) Someone’s out to murder him…but why? (Good!)
(Add Rilyn’s decision, and remember to mention Konyar, so he doesn’t get lost.)
Hatchlings and young dragons are vanishing without a trace, and nobody knows who will be next. (This might be a hint at a twist, if so, it’s good, otherwise, add that too.)
Suspicion is rising, tension is taut, and fear is spiking to a degree that Rilyn’s tribe has never known before. (Good cliffhanger!)
As you can see, I cut a few sentences and rephrased a few things.
Here are the sentences I cut and why:
–each choosing their contestants by different methods– This isn’t directly necessary to understand the basic plot, and it makes the sentence quite long, so you can leave it out.
–for another three years. You already mentioned it’s every three years, so you don’t have to mention it again.
two-year This isn’t needed to understand the character or the plot, so you can take it out.
now old enough, and therefore This is a bit repetitive, and not directly needed.
she accidentally causes an accident ‘Was involved in an accident’ is clearer, (I think, I’m not quite sure about this one.)
Rilyn is unsure whether it would be right for him to fight or not, (I think you can assume that it wouldn’t be right for him to fight. If there’s a character/worldbuilding aspect connected to this, you can mention it in the book, but it’s not needed in the summary.)
Around the same time. (It’s natural to assume it’s all happening at the same time, so I don’t think you need to mention this.)
and nobody seems to be able to figure out how. (If they’re disappearing without a trace, it’s obvious that nobody is able to figure out how, so you don’t need this.)
I hope this was of some help! Sorry if I info dumped a little.😅 The summary is already good, I just hope my opinions help you a bit.
That’s awesome! And yeah… it can be confusing. Like if you saw just the world “live” on a billboard, would it being saying, “Live, like a livestream on Youtube,” or would it being saying, “Live without regrets”?
IKR? My favorite example is ‘read’ (Present tense) and ‘read’ (Past tense).
Wow!! That’s a super great answer!! I love it! As for the counter-question.. Hmm. I think I would learn how to play an instrument REALLY well. It takes so much time and practice, so how nice would it be to be an instant master?
Thank you! That’s a really cool choice! What instrument would you like to know?
"I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." ~The Book Thief