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Fantasy Writers

New book blurb – thoughts?

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #123580
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Hey guys 🙂

    In preparation for launching my epic fantasy novel The Songkiller’s Symphony this year, I read a great book on writing blurbs called Book Blurbs Unleashed. It’s definitely the best resource I’ve found on writing blurbs.

    Anyway, something he gave me a hankering for trying out an experimental style and I rewrote my blurb. I’d love to hear your thoughts. I especially care about the opinion of those who regularly read epic fantasy. 😉

    Previous blurb:

    In the beginning, the Songkiller sang chaos into the fabric of the world. Now he’s returning to finish his dark symphony…

    Exton hunts for redemption at the throne of the immortal Songkiller who caused his mother’s death. Journeying with a world-weary bard, a battle-hungry ranger, and a best friend who begins to doubt him, Exton aims to drag the Songkiller from his throne and sever his head.

    But he’s a thousand years too late, and more helpless than when he watched his mother die. This time, he doesn’t get a second chance. No one escapes the Songkiller or his song of power…

    The song that turns men to monsters.

    New blurb:

    You may hate me when this ends. For the crimes I committed. For crimes I couldn’t dare commit. I have seen the face of God a thousand times and buckled beneath his blows. But I made him bleed as He bled my heart.

    I am a hero. They say.

    Have you ever run in terror from your perfect past? Do you dare to kill the Immortal or bring back the dead?

    Are your dreams filled with damnation, or has the offer of a free wish broken your soul?

    No?

    Then let me tell you the story. A bard offered this young man the chance to destroy the Songkiller and preserve the world. It’s only looking back that I perceive devilry of the song that made us fools. The monsters we fought bore our faces.

    😀
    👕👍
    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    #123596
    claire
    @claire-h

    @daeus-lamb

    First off, both of those blurbs are very cool. 🙂 But personally, I had trouble understanding the rewritten one. It was more vague and mysterious, but I don’t know if it was a good kind of mysterious… As a piece of writing, it was really good. But as a blurb, maybe it is too vague. I thought the first one did a better job of giving me a feel for what the book was about and why I should care. Honestly, it made me want to read the book more than the rewritten one did.

    a flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it.
    it just blooms.

    #123597
    Arindown (Gracie)
    @arindown

    @daeus-lamb

    I have to say that the new one is more intriguing, but I find the first-person voice a little unclear at points. Especially the last paragraph.

    I am a hero. They say. Have you ever run in terror from your perfect past? Do you dare to kill the Immortal or bring back the dead?

    This part (above) is by far my favorite piece. It gives me internal conflict, and the irony of it.

    The first blurb was more clear on what the actual story is about: who the characters are, what the stakes are, and why it matters. The second one sounds more professional and probably gives me more of an idea of the story’s voice.

    Hope that makes sense. I thought they were both really good.

    Not all who wander are lost.

    #123599
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    @daeus-lamb

    I think the second blurb is AMAZING!  (Jealous.)  I did, however, see a few structural snags.

    Each question / list is better as it’s own paragraph.  Example:

    “Have you ever run in terror from your perfect past?

    “Do you dare to kill the Immortal or bring back the dead?

    “Are your dreams filled with damnation?

    “Or has the offer of a free wish broken your soul?”

    In the last paragraph: you switch the 1st and 3rd person.  It’s better to go:

    “Then let me tell you a story.

    “A bard offered a young man the chance to destroy the Songkiller and preserve the world. It’s only looking back that he perceived devilry of the song that made them fools. The monsters they fought bore their faces.”

    And – personally – I would cut out a few sentences (read this understanding my current obsession is micro- and flash-fiction ^.^).

    Blurbs are hard, but yours TOTALLY piques my interest!

    Is it safe to assume the story is first person?  What tense is the book in?

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

    #123603
    Ella
    @writergirl101

    @daeus-lamb

    Those are both amazing!!!!  (I do read epic fantasy, as well as write it 😉)  I agree with @arindown and @claire-h that the second one is slightly vague.  If you somehow combined them to introduce Exton and his friends/fellow travelers, it would probably be more clear for the reader.

    I personally liked the first half the best:

    You may hate me when this ends. For the crimes I committed. For crimes I couldn’t dare commit. I have seen the face of God a thousand times and buckled beneath his blows. But I made him bleed as He bled my heart.

    I am a hero. They say. Have you ever run in terror from your perfect past? Do you dare to kill the Immortal or bring back the dead?

    Maybe you could write a transitional sentence after this section, then introduce the characters, setting, and theme of the story…?  I just think that a reader would want to know that before reading.  The second one was worded beautifully, though!!!!!  I would read that book with either blurb!! 😉

    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

    #123606
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @daeus-lamb

    I really like both!! I do agree with pretty much everyone else that the second one is too vague. Perhaps if you took a few details from the first one and added it to the second? I love how the second one really makes you think. I myself would be more likely to read the book with the second blurb. (Not that the first one is bad, I just really love the mystery in the second ;))

    #123625
    imwritehere1920
    @imwritehere1920

    @daeus-lamb

    Hi!  I think both blurbs are intriguing.  Personally, as a casual observer (please note, I’m not an expert on epic fantasy), I really like the first blurb the best.  The structure is similar to what I might see if I was browsing books at a bookstore or on Amazon; BUT it has a great hook, the plot grabs my attention because it sound unique; and the first blurb hints more at what the character’s internal struggle is.  That makes it much more compelling for me to pick off the shelf.

    It sorta bugs me when a book’s blurb doesn’t hint at what the internal conflict is, or just gives a superficial/cliche conflict, like ‘they must find themselves’, or something like that.  Both blurbs suggest deep internal conflict; however, I feel like the first blurb defines it better, or rather, makes it clearer.  Also in the first blurb, you hinted that the other side characters would have their own struggles (i.e, a best friend who doubts the MC, which is a cool twist), which adds another dimension to the story to make it stand out.

    The second blurb is intriguing because it’s unexpected and catches your attention.  However, I felt a little lost as to what exactly was going on, or who was talking to me.  I agree with @hannahrenner about the 1st person to 3rd person viewpoint shift (that may be what was throwing me off).

    I hope this was helpful  🙂  (do you have a release date yet for your book?)

    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

    #123656
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    @daeus-lamb

    I like both but agree that the second one is vague. So what if you combined them?

    For instance, what if you took the beginning part of the second one from “You may hate me…” to “I am a hero. They say.” Then put the first blurb starting with the second paragraph (“Exton hunts for redemption”). I say that because the second blurb intrigued me more, but I liked how informative the first one is. By combining them, you get the best of both (and on the back cover the first part could be in italics, and the rest in regular font). One pulls the reader in, the other clarifies in general what’s going to happen.

    I feel like I’ve seen something like that done a lot on fantasy books. Like with The Way of Kings, my paperback has a blurb that’s a lot more like your second one. But Amazon has a more informative one like your first blurb.

    Randomly, if you chose to go with the first blurb, and if your book doesn’t have a prologue or a brief preclude, the second blurb would work really well for that. Because it hooked me very, very quickly. 🙂

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #123999
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    @claire-h @arindown @hannahrenner @writergirl101 @erynne @imwritehere1920 @morreafirebird

    Thank you, one and all!

    Since the new one personally geeks my little heart the most and since the consensus is slightly more behind that one, I chose that as my base but I tried to integrate more substantial descriptions of the internal conflicts and external plot from the first blurb.

    What do you think?

    You may hate me when this ends. For the crimes I committed. For crimes I couldn’t dare commit. I have seen the face of God a thousand times and buckled beneath his blows. But I made him bleed as He bled my heart.

    I am a hero. They say.

    Have you ever run in terror from your perfect past?

    Do you yearn for redemption for the time you failed your dying mother by severing the father of evil’s head?

    Are your dreams filled with damnation, or has the offer of a free wish broken your soul?

    No?

    Then let me tell you my story. Venturing with a world-weary bard, a battle-hungry ranger, and a best friend who soon doubted me, I set off to destroy the Songkiller. It is only looking back that I perceive devilry of the song that made us fools. The monsters we fought bore our faces.

    😀
    👕👍
    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    #124000
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    Ooops, I just realized the redemption line is confusing. Is the beheading what cause the failure or is it what will cause the redemption? 😛

    I’ll be back with a rewrite.

    😀
    👕👍
    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    #124003
    Ella
    @writergirl101

    @daeus-lamb

    That last line is just SO. AWESOME. 😃😃😃  (and yes, the rewrite is much better 👍😉)

    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

    #124006
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    OKAY. With that one line clarified.

    You may hate me when this ends. For the crimes I committed. For crimes I couldn’t dare commit. I have seen the face of God a thousand times and buckled beneath his blows. But I made him bleed as He bled my heart.

    I am a hero. They say.

    Have you ever run in terror from your perfect past?

    Do you yearn for redemption for the time you failed your dying mother? Will you sever the immortal father of evil’s head to get it?

    Are your dreams filled with damnation, or has the offer of a free wish broken your soul?

    No?

    Then let me tell you my story. Venturing with a world-weary bard, a battle-hungry ranger, and a best friend who soon doubted me, I set off to destroy the Songkiller. It is only looking back that I perceive devilry of the song that made us fools. The monsters we fought bore our faces.

    😀
    👕👍
    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    #124037
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @daeus-lamb

    That sounds fantastic! Very intriguing! I love how you give away enough information that the reader has an idea of what it’s about, but you still keep it very mysterious, which makes the reader want to read it right then and there. Great job 😉

    #124040
    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @daeus-lamb Having read a previous draft, this sounds like a blurb for the second or third book in the series, not what I read. Unless you’ve changed the book in character, tone, and content to be at least three or four times more Mistborn-ish, I don’t see this actually describing the story.

    As far as its job selling the reader, I find it pretty hard to follow, and I think that’s mostly because of the punctuation. The heavy use of sentence fragments feels like a car jerking forward in traffic two or three feet at a time.

    If I had a single suggestion, it would be to truncate that last paragraph into “Then let me tell you the story of how the monsters I fought bore my own face.”

    My reasoning is the blurb is striking and intense, getting us effectively into Exton’s head, but the intensity plummets as we rattle off three companions with only serial adjectives building them up. Compared to Exton’s fire, that’s a very mild way to leave the blurb, when I assume we want the reader to passionately spam that 1-click-buy button.

    "...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

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