Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Writing Wibbles: Pick a Blurb!

At long last, I’ve received the edits for White Pickups. Or half of them, at least. It’s not that I’ve done nothing while waiting—she gave me some general things to look for a while ago, and I finished those last night. Now it’s on to the marked-up edits!

My #TuesdaySerial wrapped up Season (Chapter) 3 of Accidental Sorcerers yesterday. The story itself is complete, as a 30,000 word novella, and I think I’m going to publish it after a little cleanup. (I’ve run half of it on the blog so far.) There will be sequels—one is already half-formed in my head—but I have other nuts to crack before I can tackle that. But I can try to nail down a blurb while waiting for betas, cover art, and editing to happen, right?

For your consideration, I give you three possible blurbs. There is some overlap, of course. What I would like is your honest opinion: which one would most likely get you to say, hey, that sounds interesting, I think I’ll download it? (Keep in mind that this is a YA Fantasy work.) What edits would make it stronger? This isn’t a strict one-two-three choice, though—if you think two or all three have good parts, and you want to combine them, that’s a valid choice too.

So here they are…



1
Now comes the hard part…

The Age of Heroes is a distant memory. Folk are increasing in numbers and knowledge, and sorcery is slowly fading. When an untrained boy awakens an ice dragon to defend his village from an invasion, living to tell the tale was the easy part. Now Mik is apprenticed to the kindly but clumsy sorcerer, Bailar the Blue. He has found a calling in sorcery, and love with the sorcerer's daughter Sura.

A sorcerer's life is supposed to be sedate in this age. But Mik, Sura, and Bailar find themselves facing unlikely hazards—and learn that the bonds of loyalty and love are stronger than any foe.



2
Invaders across the river. A powerful spell hidden in a child's rhyme. When a boy awakens an ice dragon to protect his village, and lives to tell the tale, not even the Conclave of Sorcerers can predict what happens next.

Accidental Sorcerers is a story of sorcerers living in an age when sorcery is on the wane, and learning that love and loyalty is magic that never loses its power!



3
“Maybe there’s other kinds of magic.”

When Mik awakened an ice dragon, he had no idea of what he unleashed. He just wanted to protect his village from invaders. Surviving the attempt, he becomes an apprentice to the kind but clumsy sorcerer, Bailar the Blue. He and his fellow apprentice, the sorcerer's daughter Sura, soon find that there are other kinds of magic.

A sorcerer's life is supposed to be sedate, but the three of them are soon beset by unlikely hazards. In their struggles, they learn that love and loyalty is the strongest magic of all!



Oh, and “go back to the drawing board, they all suck” is a valid answer. I hope I don’t hear it though. ;-)

Finally, I kind of like When a boy awakens an ice dragon to protect his village, and lives to tell the tale, not even the Conclave of Sorcerers can predict what happens next. as a logline. Thoughts?

7 comments:

  1. It's number 2 for me. I like the "When a boy..." sentence, too, both in itself and as a logline.

    ReplyDelete
  2. OK, a few quick initial thoughts. I'll let the blurbs sink in and come back with something more solid tomorrow.

    Blurbs should be as concise as possible, you want to hit them with the exiting key points...
    So I think
    "When an untrained boy awakens an ice dragon to defend his village from an invasion"
    Only needs to be
    "When an untrained boy awakens an ice dragon to defend his village"
    or if you want more I think
    "When an untrained boy awakens an ice dragon to defend his village from invaders" (or raiders)
    is more immediate. 'an invasion' feels kind of large and impersonal.

    I also think the really positive ending (of all 3) kind of takes some of the punch out of it. You're saying 'love triumphs!' but I think 'will love triumph?' is more of a hook. I mean, we're pretty sure we know love will triumph, but you're just telling us how it ends right there in the blurb.

    So from the first one,
    "But Mik, Sura, and Bailar find themselves facing unlikely hazards—and learn that the bonds of loyalty and love are stronger than any foe."
    Maybe something like
    "But when Mik, Sura, and Bailar find themselves facing unlikely hazards, will the bonds of loyalty and love be strong enough to carry them through?"

    (also, 'unlikely hazards' could probably be more powerful... 'sudden dangers', 'uncommon danger', something like that maybe?)

    I think, overall, I like the snappiness of number two best. Sorry to throw a quick comment and run, but gotta sort my cake out!

    Hope those are helpful comments, will try and pop back tomorrow to have another look! =)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Obviously I'm distracted this week. Tried to provide some constructive feedback, though.

    All three sound more like Middle Grade blurbs to me. All three say that magic exists and a boy gets a dragon. None of the three set up a clear conflict from the premise, and 1 and 3 present "unlikely hazards" as afterthoughts. Rather than picking one of these, I'd take whichever of the three intros you find most compelling and add on what the sorcerers actually do (or have done to them).

    Qualify the above with me not being a YA reader at all, so I don't know the audience's tastes for promo.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like number two. It's clean and simple and powerful. Number one was a little complicated – too much information. But the last part of number two doesn't quite ring true... maybe this:

    Accidental Sorcerers stirs the deepest realm of imagination with magic, love and loyalty, reinventing fantasy with a story you may never forget.

    ?????
    Best of luck, Larry!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks all! I'm glad to see a general consensus toward #2. I'll take the fixes into account and have something up.

    As research, I went through the top-selling Fantasy titles in the Kindle Store to see what their blurbs looked like, and I think it helped. I also got an email from Amazon for "Best-selling Fantasy" ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks again for all your help—here's what I have now:

    Invaders just across the river. A powerful spell hidden in a child's rhyme. When an untrained boy awakens an ice dragon to protect his village, and lives to tell the tale, not even the Conclave of Sorcerers can predict what happens next.

    Accidental Sorcerers brings to life an unforgettable tale of love and loyalty in the world of Termag. Feel the magic!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like this one, although maybe still needs a little tweaking. I think maybe your short punchy lines should be separate, and would it work better to have three? Although I'm thinking more about how they would appear on the back of a book rather than on Amazon...

    Invaders across the river.

    A powerful spell hidden in a child's rhyme.

    An ice dragon awakened by an untrained boy.


    When Mik unwittingly dabbles in powerful magic, and lives to tell the tale, not even the Conclave of Sorcerers can predict what happens next.

    Accidental Sorcerers brings to life an unforgettable tale of love and loyalty in the world of Termag. Feel the magic!

    ReplyDelete

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