Blurb Critique Thread

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

  1. WaywardDreaming

    WaywardDreaming Level 6 (Footpad) Citizen Aspiring Writer

    78%
    Messages:
    42
    Likes:
    64
    xp:
    91
    Zone:
    CST
    LitCoin:
    30,220
    Zorkmid:
    11
    A kid left home alone defending a house, no, absolutely not. But, say, a guy luring unwitting PVPers into his seemingly defenseless base only to murder them in unique, trolly ways as they try to make it through... I think the basic idea is distant enough that it wouldn't be plagiarism, just clearly inspired by.

    But now we're getting way off topic lol
     
    Alexis Keane likes this.
  2. TravisBach

    TravisBach Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

    21%
    Messages:
    448
    Likes:
    635
    xp:
    621
    LitCoin:
    9,442,695
    Zorkmid:
    324
    Thanks! I was only half of it though. @Alexis Keane really brought it together.
     
    Alexis Keane likes this.
  3. Conor Kostick

    Conor Kostick Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen

    94%
    Messages:
    170
    Likes:
    284
    xp:
    416
    Zone:
    Dublin, Ireland
    LitCoin:
    2,632,333
    Zorkmid:
    206
    Hi, feedback on these blurbs would be very welcome. they are for the first two Level Up books, scheduled for April. Stephen Landry's Star Divers and my own The Dragon's Revenge.


    Star Divers


    In the last two years, Breq has lost his parents, his home, and now his best friend. To discover the truth about what happened to Damien, Breq is going to have to dive deeper into the virtual world of Bane Online than anyone has gone before. Discovering the truth means staying alive whether exploring the depths of planet-sized dungeons or the far reaches of space. First things first, Breq has to level up. And in a game where death means losing everything, that’s not going to be so easy.


    The Dragon’s Revenge


    The promise of incredible, immersive experiences in a fantasy world of stunning beauty and magical challenges has attracted millions of pre-launch subscriptions for Epic 2. But there’s a problem with the game. Mikarkathat, an AI dragon, has departed from her script: organising armies of dark elves, ogres and goblins to conquer the game world. The dragon has to be stopped.

    Enter Tyro, a teenager from one of the poorest parts of Dublin, headhunted along with his team of Epic players to help take the dragon down. The challenge: to level up an entire raiding party in just a month.


    Cheers, Conor
     
  4. Alexis Keane

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

    62%
    Messages:
    443
    Likes:
    594
    xp:
    562
    LitCoin:
    88,469
    Zorkmid:
    587
    The "in the last two years" seems a bit unnecessary of a starting point. Second sentence seems overly wordy. Breq's name is repeated too much as well, imo. Discover appears twice when not necessary. "First things first", aka "First". IMO, on the whole, words are being wasted and the stakes aren't being spelled out sufficiently

    Star Divers



    Breq has lost his parents, his home, and now his best friend has disappeared as well.

    To discover what happened to Damien, he'll have to dive deeper into Bane Online than anyone before him. To find the truth, he will need to scour the depths of planet-sized dungeons and survive the dark expanse of deep space.

    First, however, Breq needs to level up. And in a game where death means losing everything, it also means losing Damien forever.
     
  5. Alexis Keane

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

    62%
    Messages:
    443
    Likes:
    594
    xp:
    562
    LitCoin:
    88,469
    Zorkmid:
    587

    Not sure if it's just me, but this blurb rubs me the wrong way. It feels to me more like a press release than anything else. It feels extremely sterile and clinical to me.


    The promise of incredible, immersive experiences in a fantasy world of stunning beauty and magical challenges has attracted millions of pre-launch subscriptions for Epic 2.

    I don't want you to tell me how amazing the world is, I want you to show me. This feels like reading a newspaper.

    But there’s a problem with the game. Mikarkathat, an AI dragon, has departed from her script: organising armies of dark elves, ogres and goblins to conquer the game world. The dragon has to be stopped.


    Mikarka- what now? What's important about the name of Mikarkathat the Unpronouncable? Unless the name is truly vital to giving a summary of the story, it's not necessary, especially with how much of a mouthful it us. "Has departed from her script" is such a boring way of saying things, there's no dynamism, to drama, no tension. "Dark elves, ogres and goblins", The animals went in two by two, Hoorah! Hoorah! The animals went in two by two, Hoorah! Hoorah! Why is a list of the monsters being fought important to a reader buying the book?

    Enter Tyro, a teenager from one of the poorest parts of Dublin, headhunted along with his team of Epic players to help take the dragon down. The challenge: to level up an entire raiding party in just a month.

    I get it, 'poor boy done good', just not sure why this is important to telling the story succinctly and enticingly to the browsing reader. "The challenge: to level up an entire raiding party in just a month"... you have just spent 90 words telling us how the dragon needs to be taken down, then you suddenly shift to talking about leveling up a raiding party, while it's not, it certain feels like a non-sequitur. There was the possibility of including epic (pun intended) stakes here to end any built up momentum on a hanging high where the reader wants to know more, the ending feels a little bit like running one's car into a drainage ditch.

    ===========================================

    Epic 2 has taken the world by storm. And the game hasn't even launched yet.

    There's just one problem. A dragon and its AI controller have gone rogue, threatening to conquer the world before millions of players even get a chance to experience it.

    Tyro has been recruited to help fight through hordes of monsters and take the dragon down. If he and his team stand a chance at saving the world before it's even started, they'll need to level up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  6. Alexis Keane

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

    62%
    Messages:
    443
    Likes:
    594
    xp:
    562
    LitCoin:
    88,469
    Zorkmid:
    587
    I never actually noticed this, oops :p
    damn spoilers, lol...
    112 words, coming right up XD

    They just wanted a moment’s peace. Instead, they found a city burning.

    Tina and James have reunited in Bastion as blood flows through the gutters and the holy king cowers in his fortress.

    Attempts to broker an uneasy peace instead explode into all-out war as ancient enemies circle the imperiled capital.

    However, it’s not just the city that’s divided.
    Old differences resurface and James is forced to flee from Tina and find proof of an impending invasion.

    While James fights to win the king’s confidence, Tina must face off against a vengeance-driven madman.

    Doom approaches and one thing is certain. They must all stand together or die alone.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    TravisBach likes this.
  7. TravisBach

    TravisBach Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

    21%
    Messages:
    448
    Likes:
    635
    xp:
    621
    LitCoin:
    9,442,695
    Zorkmid:
    324
    Thanks for the help.

    I'm sorry for the super-slow reply. My life has been busy down to the dang minute for several days. I took several of your ideas and lines above and rolled them around in my blurb for a bit to come up with something new. And I was going to post it, but now that I'm re-reading the thread, I hate what I made hahaha. I'm going to chew on this a bit more before I repost the next version.
     
    Alexis Keane likes this.
  8. David M Zahn

    David M Zahn Level 10 (Filcher) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

    16%
    Messages:
    142
    Likes:
    151
    xp:
    258
    LitCoin:
    2,386,281
    Zorkmid:
    152
    Need the helps. I'm terrible at these things. I've almost finished the first draft so I figured I should get working on my blurb.

    Working Title: The Phoenix of Altria (Digital Sorcery: Book Two)


    Having completed their quest to “rescue” Turin from Maleuhur. Ryland and his companions journey south into Altria where they find themselves trying to figure out what is going on in the village of Roselake.

    Roselake, the quintessential Altrian town. It has everything a tourist would want to see: a crappy tavern, a lake, and a disappearing populace that somehow can’t message the outside world for help.

    Will our group figure out what is going on in town before they too are captured? Will Eldertits blow their cover (along with several other people in town)? Can Rondo learn to love a priest? Will Elaria restrain herself from killing Eldertits? Can Ryland overcome his incompetancy in time to become a useful member of society. These things are unlikely but…

    The only things for certain are that a clan will be formed, goblins will be fucked, and in the end, a phoenix will rise.
     
  9. Paul Bellow

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

    100%
    Messages:
    8,628
    Likes:
    6,802
    xp:
    5,313
    Zone:
    Midwest, US
    LitCoin:
    9,516,661
    Zorkmid:
    412
    I'm no expert, but here's my late night take.

    Comma instead of period. "find themselves trying to figure out what is going on" is clumsy (?). Maybe "...journey south into Altria where they must uncover the mystery of Roselake village..."

    In Roselake, the quintessential Altrian town, has everything a tourist would want to see: a crappy tavern, a lake, and a disappearing populace that somehow can’t message the outside world for help.

    The info is buried deep at the end maybe?

    Who are these people all of a sudden? The companions? I guess it's a decent way to lay them all out.

    I keep going back to @Alexis Keane's sage advice:

    Tagline.
    Setup.
    Twist.

    Amazon might ding you for the f-bomb in the description. I know they watch romance carefully. A rep told me they don't care what's on the inside, but they want the outside / customer facing stuff (cover/blurb) to be customer friendly. You'll see lots of examples of it being used, but in general, I'd keep it out of the blurb.

    You need a tagline. Maybe a modified (shorter) version of the last line?

    Hopefully, @TravisBach of one of the master-level blurbists (blurbites?!) can help you more.

    Good to be thinking about it early, though. Covers and blurbs sell books.
     
    David M Zahn likes this.
  10. Paul Bellow

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

    100%
    Messages:
    8,628
    Likes:
    6,802
    xp:
    5,313
    Zone:
    Midwest, US
    LitCoin:
    9,516,661
    Zorkmid:
    412
    Core Punk: A Post-Apoc LitRPG

    Discover the dark cost of survival in a post-apocalyptic world on the brink.

    After months in a frozen virtual wasteland, Scout still has no answers about how she got trapped. Most inhabitants believe their world and the underground shelters that keep them alive are real, but Scout knows the truth.

    With no clues about her situation and no way to escape the game, she has only one option; build a better world inside the game simulation for herself and her new found friend, Missy. She puts her plan into action.

    Along the way, she meets Harrison, a man who runs the Shelter 42's only black market. Rumors surround the mysterious broken beacon he's trying to pawn off on someone, but Scout thinks it's important.

    Scout claws her way to the top of the hill and must prove she has what it takes to lead and defeat the long list of people and mutants wanting to kill her. Is she up to the task? Oh yeah.

    Once she achieves enough power, she can turn her attention to how and why everyone is trapped in the worst survival game she had ever played.

    RimWorld meets Fallout with a mix of Mad Max in this post-apoc, Sci-Fi LitRPG, the first in the new Chronicles of the Core LitRPG Saga.

    -----------------------

    I think it has a bit more detail now? @Alexis Keane, any thoughts?

     
  11. Paul Bellow

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

    100%
    Messages:
    8,628
    Likes:
    6,802
    xp:
    5,313
    Zone:
    Midwest, US
    LitCoin:
    9,516,661
    Zorkmid:
    412
    Core Punk: A Post-Apoc LitRPG

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

    After months in a frozen virtual wasteland, Scout still has no answers about how she got trapped in a twisted simulation. Most inhabitants believe their world and the underground shelters that keep them alive are real, but Scout knows the truth.

    With no clues about her situation and no way to escape the game, she has only one option; build a better world inside the game simulation for herself and her new found friend, Missy. When rumors about a mysterious broken beacon lead Scout deep into Shelter 42's black market, she learns more about Harrison and is pleased to find the shrewd racketeer anxious to unload the strange device on anyone as his ticket to a better life.

    Scout goes along, but she has other plans of her own. Once she achieves enough power, she can turn her attention to how and why everyone is trapped in the worst game ever made. Discover the dark cost of survival in a post-apocalyptic world on the brink.

    RimWorld meets Fallout with a mix of Mad Max in this post-apoc, Sci-Fi LitRPG, the first in the new Chronicles of the Core LitRPG Saga.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  12. Alexis Keane

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

    62%
    Messages:
    443
    Likes:
    594
    xp:
    562
    LitCoin:
    88,469
    Zorkmid:
    587
    I don't really know much about conversational blurbs and I haven't done humor in a while, but I'll give it a swing.

    That start is weak, imo. Perfect participles just lack the necessary punch in most cases to really make a blurb shine, particularly the first sentence. The following sentence just really robs any momentum "where they find themselves trying to figure out what's going on". Seriously, you won't find mouthfuls like that anywhere outside of a gay bar. You're putting too much information into it that already exists later on and doesn't need to be repeated. Is the fact that Roselake is in Altria so important to the plot that it bears repeating twice.

    The quest to "rescue" Turin is over. However, as Ryland journeys south, he and his companions stumble into the village of Roselake.

    With Turin "rescued" from Maleuhur's clutches, Ryland and pals bumble their way into Roselake.


    Another large mouthful "and a disappearing populace that somehow can’t message the outside world for help", might be better to break this up. Also, decide whether it's a town or village, you called it a village previously, now you're calling it a town.

    Roselake, the model Altrian settlement, boasting a rickety tavern, a lake, and a situation straight out of a horror show. The population is under siege by an unknown threat, vanishing into thin air, unable to contact the outside world. There's only one reasonable choice. Run away.

    Incompetancy is misspelled.

    Instead, the group go to town. As they investigate the disappearances, Eldertits threatens to blow their cover, and half the town along with it; Rondo has to foster a relationship with the clergy, despite being past puberty; Elaria must resist shoving something hard and pointy into everyone's favorite elf; and Ryland faces his greatest challenge yet. Achieving a basic level of competence.

    Will they succeed?

    Probably not.

    I'm not even certain this part is necessary. But if it is...

    The likelihood is on par with Eldertits taking a vow of chastity, but hey, stranger things have happened. The priest might just fall for Rondo.

    ===

    With Turin "rescued" from Maleuhur's clutches, Ryland and pals bumble their way into Roselake.

    Roselake, the model Altrian settlement, boasting a rickety tavern, a lake, and a situation straight out of a horror show. The population is under siege by an unknown threat, vanishing into thin air, unable to contact the outside world. There's only one reasonable choice. Run away.

    Instead, the group go to town. As they investigate the disappearances, Eldertits threatens to blow their cover, and half the town along with it; Rondo has to foster a relationship with the clergy, despite being past puberty; Elaria must resist shoving something hard and pointy into everyone's favorite elf; and Ryland faces his greatest challenge yet. Achieving a basic level of competence.

    Will they succeed?

    Probably not.

    The likelihood is on par with Eldertits taking a vow of chastity, but hey, stranger things have happened. The priest might just fall for Rondo.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
    David M Zahn likes this.
  13. TravisBach

    TravisBach Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

    21%
    Messages:
    448
    Likes:
    635
    xp:
    621
    LitCoin:
    9,442,695
    Zorkmid:
    324
    I have been summoned. Though dunno if I can do better than Alexis's version. I'm gonna toss out a different pattern here instead to help expand the pool of options.

    On the outside, the town of Roselake's only danger to travelers is its crappy tavern.

    Having “rescued” Turin from Maleuhur, Ryland and his companions' journey south stops over in the quaint Altrian village - only to discover that it's residents are cut off from the outside world. As the mystery deepens, the population of the town vanishes.

    They will have to overcome love, concealed identities, and Ryland's incompetence lest they join the lost.


    IDK if this helps or is just counter-productive. I'm quitting caffeine right now (blood pressure) and it's really messing with my ability to word good. Z___Z
     
    Alexis Keane and David M Zahn like this.
  14. David M Zahn

    David M Zahn Level 10 (Filcher) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

    16%
    Messages:
    142
    Likes:
    151
    xp:
    258
    LitCoin:
    2,386,281
    Zorkmid:
    152
    Admittedly that first crack at it sucked, but that's why I ask for help on these things. Here's crack number two with a tagline and maybe a slight improvement thanks mostly to the ending I took from @Alexis Keane and his suggestions.


    The Phoenix of Altria: Digital Sorcery Book Two

    Witness the rise of a phoenix or at least the world’s worst gamer learning to make use of his stat page.

    Caught illegally crossing the border into Altria, our heroes are politely asked to investigate why the population of Roselake is disappearing. No one has heard from the disappeared, they can’t even send messages, and now two guards have vanished as well.

    Sure the governess might be sending them there thinking they will be sacrifices but that won't stop the crack team of Ryland and co. from trying to get to the bottom of this critical investigation.

    As they investigate, Eldertits threatens to blow their cover, and half the town along with it; Rondo is desperate to foster a relationship with the clergy, despite being past puberty; Elaria must resist shoving something hard and pointy into everyone's favorite elf; and Ryland faces his greatest challenge yet. Achieving a basic level of competence.

    Will they succeed?

    Probably not.
     
    Alexis Keane and TravisBach like this.
  15. David M Zahn

    David M Zahn Level 10 (Filcher) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

    16%
    Messages:
    142
    Likes:
    151
    xp:
    258
    LitCoin:
    2,386,281
    Zorkmid:
    152
    What you you all think of the tagline:

    Dive into the series that combines irrelevant adult humor with gaming and fantasy adventure.
     
    Paul Bellow likes this.
  16. WaywardDreaming

    WaywardDreaming Level 6 (Footpad) Citizen Aspiring Writer

    78%
    Messages:
    42
    Likes:
    64
    xp:
    91
    Zone:
    CST
    LitCoin:
    30,220
    Zorkmid:
    11
    Is that for the entire series, or just book two? I mean, either way my initial response was "You mean Oglaf?" A lot of people make presumptive statements like this one to lure in readers, and there's evidence that it works--could be I'm just not one of the people it works on. If that's what you're going for it could work, but it may also inspire thoughts of completely unrelated series. Personally, I prefer tag lines which mean something to the book(s). Such as, for your PoA, "He's the world's worst gamer, but he never gives up."
     
    Paul Bellow likes this.
  17. David M Zahn

    David M Zahn Level 10 (Filcher) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

    16%
    Messages:
    142
    Likes:
    151
    xp:
    258
    LitCoin:
    2,386,281
    Zorkmid:
    152
    Yeah it would be for the whole series. Paul got me thinking about taglines the other day. Damn you @Paul Bellow!
     
    Paul Bellow likes this.
  18. Alexis Keane

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

    62%
    Messages:
    443
    Likes:
    594
    xp:
    562
    LitCoin:
    88,469
    Zorkmid:
    587
    Do you mean irreverent?
     
  19. TravisBach

    TravisBach Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

    21%
    Messages:
    448
    Likes:
    635
    xp:
    621
    LitCoin:
    9,442,695
    Zorkmid:
    324
    I'm with @WaywardDreaming on this one. This sort of stuff doesn't work for me because it's all telling and no showing.

    Something that would get me to click would be more like "Dive into the series where four drunken adults make a mess of fantasyland."

    But as for the broader market, I cannot speak as to which is better. This is all IMHO and YMMV.
     
  20. David M Zahn

    David M Zahn Level 10 (Filcher) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

    16%
    Messages:
    142
    Likes:
    151
    xp:
    258
    LitCoin:
    2,386,281
    Zorkmid:
    152
    Haha that would be a hilarious tagline.

    Maybe I'll just experiement on amazon and see what happens.

    maybe I should go with:

    Yes is is that series with the overly Titty elf. Will she offend you? Dive in and fine out!

    Haha
     




Share This Page