Blurb Critique Thread

Discussion in 'Works in Progress' started by Paul Bellow, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    No, but I watched the video for it today. This is more along the lines of Frost Punk meets RimWorld meets Shadowrun? ;)

    The Fallout game looked kinda cool, though.
     
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  2. TravisBach

    TravisBach Level 13 (Assassin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Rimworld and Shadowrun are two of my favorite things. ^_^ (GMed Shadowrun for 10 years)

    Now I have to go play Frostpunk!
     
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  3. Andre Pisco

    Andre Pisco Level 8 (Thug) Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    It looks amazing.
    I'll be seeing how the book goes and I might tweak it a bit
     
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  4. TravisBach

    TravisBach Level 13 (Assassin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    So I've had to start work on FFO2's blurb. I thought about keeping it internal with Rachel, but where's the fun in that?

    Also, I need help. I'm trying to pack 225,000 words worth of story (6 acts...whatwasIthinking?) into about 3 paragraphs of not-too-spoilery marketing prose. It's a beast.

    Here's what I have so far. Be warned though- this is spoilers for book 1 and 2. (If no one participates, I'm not gonna be offended. So many spoilers.)

    Trapped when the game world of FFO became real, Tina and James have reunited and made it to the former game’s largest city - Bastion. Everyone longed for the safety of the game’s capital and they dreamed of getting their gold from the bank and the well-deserved party that would follow.

    Instead, they have stumbled into a burning city where players and NPCs paint the alleys in each other's blood. All while the holy king hides in his castle and lets chaos rule the city in his absence.

    Faced with atrocities heaping the side-streets high, Tina and the Roughnecks take the protection of their fellow players directly in hand. A move made for reasons of justice, but which leads them down a path of rebellion and open war.

    James fears the Once King will invade while heroes on both sides slay each other. But the old rift between him and Tina tears open and his case falls on deaf ears. He escapes her, seeking help, but the NPCs don’t believe him because he’s a player and their enemy. Desperate, James and Ar’Bati go on a suicide mission to get the letters of proof into the Holy King’s hands personally.

    Meanwhile, Tina has run afoul of the Captain of the Royal Knights--the four-skull rated Malakai--and she finds out just how deadly the power of a raid boss becomes when it is concentrated into the form of a vengeance-driven madman.

    Meanwhile, James discovers that the Holy King Gregory, aka “the Buffoon King”, is an honorable man ignorant of what transpires outside his castle. James must breach the prison of fear that enshrouds Gregory to gain his help. The king is a five-skull raid boss who could turn the tide of the war against the Roughnecks.

    The city is torn by the king’s armies laying siege to players who cower behind the Roughnecks’ protection. As the conflict escalates towards mutually assured destruction, it looks like even the King may not be able to avoid their collective doom.

    Can Tina hold out and protect the low-level players from genocide at the hands of Malakai?
    Can James find a solution to end the war and save Tina?
    Will there be anyone left to stand against the Once King, or will the survivors' reward be serving for an eternity of undeath?

    And there's oh so much I've not included. What's posted above is already omitting things I couldn't figure out how to work in. Hehe, a lot happens in book 2.

    This is my blurbing style, btw. I write up a hooky synopsis of the plot and then condense it down to the desired size of blurb.

    I need to figure out what parts are the most important. James and Tina both have MC status so I have to mention them equally. That's the real challenge. It's basically a split blurb but it can't actually be two blurbs in length.
     
  5. Thomas Davidsmeier

    Thomas Davidsmeier Level 9 (Burgler) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yeah, the atmosphere of the Fallout game would be nothing like what you're describing. I was thinking more along the lines of tasks and geography so to speak. Don't think I'm making sense, but such is life.
     
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  6. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    No worries. I get what you're saying - use the mechanics not the vibe. Thanks again. I'm thinking the second one is gonna be like those two new games where you build a raft-city out in the ocean mixed with the good parts of Waterworld. ;)

    Back to blurbs!

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Snow Punk: Chronicles of the Core Book 1

    She’s one of only a few who remembers it’s just a game…


    After months of no answers after her perfect virtual world turned to a frozen wasteland in an event remembered as the Great Freeze, Scout worries she might never find the truth about her dire situation. While the game screens, stats, and combat notifications are normal to most citizens, Scout remembers the truth. They're all trapped in a simulation: a kill or be killed world of survival.

    Tired of waiting around for something to happen, she takes her future into her own hands and forges ahead in the game. She strives to create a better life for herself and Missy, the intellectually limited woman she's taken under her wing. With no apparent way out of the game, she has to make the best of a bad situation and level-up to a position of power. Only then would she have an opportunity to solve the bigger mystery.

    As she puts her plan into play, she crosses paths with another person also looking for a way out of his situation. Harrison enlists her help for the black market as he tries to sell a mysterious, non-functioning beacon for a shelter that probably doesn't exist. The strange black box sends them on a journey that will change everything. Can Scout rise to the role of a leader in a shelter of her own? Or will Orlando with his mohawk, mask, and half-nose stop her?

    Come explore the dark costs of survival on an apocalyptic, virtual world thought by most to be real…

    This LitRPG (RPG in a narrative format) is great for fans of Frost Punk, RimWorld, ShadowRun, and similar games.
     
  8. Alexis Keane

    Alexis Keane Level 14 (Defender) Roleplaying Beta Reader Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Tagline.
    Setup.
    Twist.



    Weak start
    If her enemies can't kill her, the cold will...


    Overly wordy, too much infodumping. save it for the story. the blurb is not the place to build your world, it's where you sell your book.
    After months trapped in the frozen wasteland of a virtual paradise, Scout still has no answers. Most inhabitants believe their world is real, but Scout knows the truth.


    "intellectually limited", it's almost like you're trying not to say overtly say retarded but still hinting at it anyway... this entire paragraph is basically trying to say one thing...
    With no clues about her situation and no way to escape the game, she has only one option. Build a better world for herself and her friend, Missy.


    This entire paragraph is confusing and convoluted, and there's no reason to care about Orlando's wardrobe mishaps. Also, for the love of the flying spaghetti monster, don't end with a question, it's irritating.
    Along the way, she meets Harrison, a man with a broken beacon that might help her find a shelter of her own. However, if she wants to fulfill her ambitions Scout must prove she has was it takes to lead and defeat those who would stop at nothing to kill her.


    "Thought by most to be real"... there is nothing technically grammatically wrong with this, it just hurts me deep inside.
    Frostpunk meets Mad Max. Discover the dark cost of survival in a post apocalyptic world on the brink...

     
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  9. TravisBach

    TravisBach Level 13 (Assassin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Not to derail, but I'm super curious why you feel this way. Is it personal taste or professional?
     
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  10. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    *Dusts off +12 Robes of the Writer*

    Thanks! ;) Seriously, this is very helpful. I forgot the basics. I will try again.
     
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  11. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Me too. Is it just laziness on my part? I've always heard questions work well in marketing.
     
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  12. Alexis Keane

    Alexis Keane Level 14 (Defender) Roleplaying Beta Reader Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    A bit personal, a bit professional.
    Good questions work well, but bad ones are poison. Cliffhangers are admittedly the same, but the negative effects are less if they're done badly. Overly long questions, questions that mix the message, questions that lead readers on a wild goose chase, questions that come unnaturally, they can all shut people down. I find that cliffhangers do everything that questions do, with far less of the volatility.
    Split testing is always a good idea, if you can manage it and keep your tests fair.
     
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  13. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I wish they let us do split testing on book detail pages. Maybe someday?

    I tweaked yours a bit, but it's a lot closer than I was...

     
  14. TravisBach

    TravisBach Level 13 (Assassin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Hot damn that took the blurb to the next level!
     
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  15. WaywardDreaming

    WaywardDreaming Level 6 (Footpad) Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Gosh I'm nervous, but I'm considering tossing the short story up on RR soon so I need a blurb for it. I'm having some problems, though, figuring out how to blurb something that is...probably closer to slice-of-life than heavy plot. Anyway, this is what I have:

    With the PVE servers shutting down, it's PVP or go home.

    DUSKFALL, a survival horror crafting VR game, built its reputation on privately maintained servers. That's about to end. With the impending launch of a PVP-only megaserver, all third-party server access is being revoked. That means the denizens of the “WOLVES IN THE WOODS [PVE]” server have a difficult choice to make.

    Winston came to DUSKFALL for the crafting. He made a name for himself creating implausible, yet impenetrable fortresses envied across the playerbase. Now, thanks to the changeover, he may as well blow his latest creation to smithereens. PVP is a whole different ball game, and he doesn't know if his love for the crafting mechanics is worth dealing with the hassle of other players.

    But those are worries for another night. Tonight—their final night—is for partying. And there's no better way to send off the server like staging the naked, drunken mob fight to end all mob fights...no matter who it upsets. ​
     
  16. TravisBach

    TravisBach Level 13 (Assassin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Slice-of-life blurbing... interesting. I'm not sure how much of the usual rules apply. Like, the blurb still needs to be hooky and all that, but going high-tension might not be the right route. I know I don't read slice-of-life for the "...he has 24 hours to...or else...the world!"

    Hmmmm... My gut says that this is a pretty good blurb already. Though I also feel like you get to Winston too late in it. Usually, we want to set up the MC's life/problem and then the twist at the end of the blurb endangers it without having to back-explain.

    Since this is SoL though, what about focusing more strongly on the fun/premise of the story instead? That's what people are coming to it for-- low-stakes good times. If we shorten the blurb like this, there might be more room to focus on that final line - the epic party.

    With the PVE servers shutting down, it's PVP or go home.

    Winston came to DUSKFALL for the crafting, and the survival horror. He made a name for himself creating implausible, yet impenetrable fortresses envied across the playerbase. Now, thanks to the shutdown, he may as well blow his latest creation to smithereens. PVP is a whole different ball game, and he doesn't know if his love for the crafting mechanics is worth dealing with the hassle of other players.

    But those are worries for another night. Tonight—their final night—is for partying. And there's no better way to send off his beloved server like staging the naked, drunken mob fight to end all mob fights...no matter who it upsets.​

    IDK if I made it better or worse...^_^ I'm just trying to put more focus on the MC and his blow-out bash. That's the core of this segment of the story right? The party I mean.
     
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  17. Alexis Keane

    Alexis Keane Level 14 (Defender) Roleplaying Beta Reader Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    This is good, if I had to make one change, which is more personal - it would be to terminate the blurb with the party:

    With the PVE servers shutting down, it's PVP or go home.

    Winston came to DUSKFALL for the crafting, and the survival horror. He made a name for himself creating implausible, yet impenetrable, fortresses envied across the playerbase. Now, thanks to the shutdown, he may as well blow his latest creation to smithereens. PVP is a whole different ball game, and he doesn't know if his love for the crafting mechanics is worth dealing with the hassle of other players.

    But those are worries for another night. There's no better way to send off his beloved server like staging the naked, drunken mob fight to end all mob fights...no matter who it upsets.

    Tonight, the world ends with a party.
     
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  18. nightwriter

    nightwriter Level 7 (Cutpurse) Citizen

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    So sad this isn't Home Alone set in VRMMO.
     
  19. WaywardDreaming

    WaywardDreaming Level 6 (Footpad) Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    @TravisBach

    Holy crap you guys are good! You're right, this absolutely took it to the next level. I had a feeling I was getting over-explain-y. I might change one line to "...the game's impending shutdown" as I'm not sure it quite makes sense without it, but this is still fantastic. Thank you both so much! Now to finish my last editing pass and get the cover art done. @.@

    @nightwriter
    ....Gah. There are legal ramifications to writing that now that you've said it, but absolutely IS something Winston would do...
     
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  20. nightwriter

    nightwriter Level 7 (Cutpurse) Citizen

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    Nah, one could write that story without legal issues.
     
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