PDA

View Full Version : If this was on the back of a book would you read the book?


SFFWorld.com
Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum


Pages : [1] 2

almostreal
August 29th, 2003, 11:07 AM
**

;-The Dewblood Witch-;

Jaren is a young boy who's parents were murdered when he was a baby. Sir Guy of Quinson, a paladin, took him in and under his wing and trained him in the ways of his dying profession. But now, decades later, as Sir Guy lays on his death bed after falling victim to a deadly virus, Jaren is forced to stop training and jump into the armor he has yet to have experience with, wield a sword he has yet to have fought with, and trek across the lands to find the only person who can save his mentor, The Dewblood Witch.

**

This is, of course, just a first draft, but my hopes are to make someone say "Hey, I want to read more now!" So, does it work?

Thanks for your feedback!

Chlestron
August 29th, 2003, 11:46 AM
Alright, a few comments. I don't think that the "when he was a baby" is necessary.

Two, unless this is some sort of alternate reality story, people have NO notion of viruses or bacteria or other disease carriers. Change virus to disease and it gets stronger.

Three, decades later sounds ... well like too much time. Apprenticeships last for a long time, but not 20 years. At about age 18 or so, I would think Jaren would have either rebelled against his mentor or been declared something. It makes no sense for an almost 30 year old squire to have never worn armor or fought with a sword.

Lastly, I think emphasizing the danger of his trek across the lands would be better. I assume that this is no jaunt across a peaceful park but a quest through perilous and mysterious lands.

KatG
August 29th, 2003, 12:14 PM
Well, it could be a lot shorter:

When his teacher, Sir Guy of Quinson, falls ill, young Jaren must take up the paladin's armour and sword and travel across the land to find the only person who might save his liege knight, the Dewblood Witch.


And I agree with C. that the trek needs some copy, since presumably something happens during it, and that a thirty year old apprentice who's never fought anything is strange. After all, in a medieval landscape, assuming that's what you have, average life spans were around 25-30 years. A medieval page typically trained for seven years (approx. 7-14 years of age,) then was a squire for seven years (approx. 14-21 years of age.) Then he was expected to become a knight. If you want Jaren's training to be unfinished, it might make sense to make him 17 or 18 years old.

Of course, in your fantasy realm, people might live a very long time and not be expected to become paladins or knights until their forties. In which case, you have to account for it in your cover copy or not mention time spans at all, I would guess.

almostreal
August 29th, 2003, 12:41 PM
Okay, I took some advice (thank you very much, by the way) and have rewritten it to this:

**

;-The Dewblood Witch-;

When Jaren's parents were murdered, Sir Guy of Quinson, a paladin, took him in and under his wing, training him in the ways of his dying profession. However, as Jaren's apprenticeship nears its completion, Sir Guy suddenly falls victim to a terrible disease. Now to save the only parent he ever knew Jaren must take up the paladin's armor and sword and trek across the lands in search for the only person who can save his liege knight, The Dewblood Witch. But his journey is quickly interrupted as he accidently unfolds the truths behind his mentor's disease...

**

Hmm, that 'however' looks kind of out of place, and the last sentence is a bit... Crappy. What do you think?

Stewart
August 29th, 2003, 01:12 PM
A little advice. A blurb isn't supposed to give away too much to the plot. By simply reading what you've written it is somewhat easy to picture what the rest of story will turn out to be and even if my picture of is wrong it makes me lose interest. Try and make it sound more mysterious and epic. For example,

He was orphaned by fate, saved by a warrior and raised to fight in the ways of a dying belief. Now a man he must take up arms to save the one person he cares for and against terrible odds he must learn the secrets behind a mystery brought before him in accident.

Not the best I know, but it says pretty much what yours says without giving away as nearly much information.

Julian
August 29th, 2003, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by almostreal

;-The Dewblood Witch-;

When Jaren's parents were murdered, Sir Guy of Quinson, a paladin, took him in and under his wing, training him in the ways of his dying profession. However, as Jaren's apprenticeship nears its completion, Sir Guy suddenly falls victim to a terrible disease. Now to save the only parent he ever knew Jaren must take up the paladin's armor and sword and trek across the lands in search for the only person who can save his liege knight, The Dewblood Witch. But his journey is quickly interrupted as he accidently unfolds the truths behind his mentor's disease...

reveals

Okay. I thought KatG's version excellent, but rather succinct. You've tightened things up, but I feel it could run a little more smoothly. And since I suspect you don't mind a few dramatic effects, here's a new alternative:

"Having lost his parents when still a baby, Jaren is taken in by Guy of Quinson. For years, Guy trains Jaren in the almost forgotten arts of the paladin. But before Jaren's apprenticeship is even close to completion, Guy is overcome by a mysterious disease.
Feverish and hardly coherent, Guy whispers of a possible cure, and the terrible secret that surrounds it.
In desperation, Jaren takes up the paladin's sword and shield. Unexperienced and ill-prepaired, he sets out across the crumbling kingdom of Fell, searching for the very thing that has haunted people's memories since the dawn of time - the Dewblood Witch."

Stewart's right in saying such a "teaser" shouldn't give away too much. Hopefully, though, I've left enough room for plot development. After all, who is Guy anyway? What's wrong with Fell? Why is the Dewblood Witch such a horrific collective memory?

Anyway, hope this helps.

almostreal
August 29th, 2003, 02:26 PM
Hmm, I like it. How about starting it off like this:

After his parents were murdered, Jaren was taken in as apprentice to one of the last paladins alive, Sir Guy of Quinson. Now, as his apprenticeship nears completion, their roles have switched as Sir Guy is rendered helpless to a life-threatening disease.

Then to wrap it up... Hmm..

Ouroboros
August 29th, 2003, 02:44 PM
I'll break with the others and answer the question posed in the subject title: if I read that blurb, would I want to read the book?

Well, I've just read the blurb, and I personally would be inclined to pass on the book. Less because of how the blurb is written, and more because of what it tells me about the book.

The first two lines sent my mind tumbling back through about a bizillion other pulp fantasy novels which involve the similar ABC building blocks of pulp fantasy novels: a young, untried hero coming of age; a fragile old mentor; murdered parents; a quest... and a connected big bad evil witch/warlock/tyrant/monster/curse/invading army.

Then again, you might be aware of all that, and not really care about your inclusion of all these staples: hell, maybe your book is intended as a really great homage to all the heroic / coming-of-age fantasy writers you admired .... which is fair enough.

Even if it isn't, there's still a market for this kind of thing :)

Julian
August 30th, 2003, 03:39 AM
Originally posted by Ouroboros
I'll break with the others and answer the question posed in the subject title: if I read that blurb, would I want to read the book?

I have to admit to some stupidity here. I always thought a "blurb" referred to a short quoted comment from someone talking about a book (like Anne MacAffrey repeating stating she'd stayed up all night to finish this or that).

Is a short synoposis of a book's contents also a blurb?

Anyway, you're right when saying that one might well pass the book almostreal wants to write by. But you never know, do you? And the thing is, if almostreal is trying to write anything, I for one would want to heartily encourage him (or her, for that matter).

To almostreal: don't let anything of this discourage you. Keep at it. Even if - and perhaps especially if - people seem to respond disparagingly.

Holbrook
August 30th, 2003, 03:59 AM
Never thought of writing the blurb from the back of a book/story.

*g*

Seriously get the story written, get it out of your head. No matter how much you outline and plot, I personally have found a story never, ever goes the way you think it should. Ok you will get from A to B, but you might end up visiting Z before you are finished.

Once done, work on your basic synopsis, which this seems to be. The teaser you attach with the thick pile of paper that costs a fortune to post to a publisher.