Please stop boring me to death…

Marky Lazer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
2,856
People normally don’t buy books without looking at them. They read the blurb and often the first few pages in the shop (or library) before really taking them home. You need to catch them in the first few minutes, so you can’t be boring. But… you’re a Sci-fi or fantasy writer. You created this vast universe with rarities no one ever heard of before. Races which the light never has seen, technology or powerful magic beyond people’s wildest dreams, uncommon recourses, unique artefacts and weapons, etcetera. How can you be an interesting ‘textbook’?

You need to find a balance between information and entertainment. Let us have a go…


Assignment 2
Write a ‘chapter one’ or prologue for a fantasy or sci-fi story. In this chapter you include quite a bit information (from the previous assignment, where you created your Workshop World if you want to). What is indispensable for the readers to know already? Tell us! But don’t be boring!
 

Trimac20

Trimac20
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
27
An angeless kingdom confronts its own mortality as it stares into the first defeat it has encountered in its fifteen thousand year old history. Great bastions of tradition and a military-unity borne only borne out of antiquity crumble into the dusts of time, buffetted along by lonely winds that howl a tune for no one.
Its enemy remains unseen. Trapped within the shadows of their mind, which has encumbered them and forced a cage. The enemies schemes have finally been sufficient to wretch them out of their prison, and they emerge with burning red eyes, waiting with lascivious and vorasciousness written on their faces.
At the Kingdom's very zenith sits a young Princess. She knows not of the coming doom to befall her kingdom, nor of anything but her own whims and fancies. Her world does not extend beyond the gilded columns that surround the Sacred Chamber.
 

chrispenycate

resident pedantissimo
Staff member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
7,383
Location
West Sussex
Not boring ? I think that’s beyond my capabilities.;) In case of a marauding dragon, while you lot were annoying him by jabbing him with pointed objects, or attempting mighty works of sorcery, I’d just bore him to sleep and leave him superglued to the rock.:p
And how many words are required for a rear cover blurb? (that is what we’re writing, isn’t it? Not a synopsis for a potential publisher?) Different books here have wildly differing opinions, some preferring the “NY Times bestselling author“ technique, or the critics reports on previous books (or “earthshaking new author“ if he, she or it has no “previous“), while some try to save you the effort of actually reading the thing, or just “the book of the film“ it.

A world of water, where geography is as changeable as the weather, frontiers mutate with the tides, and treaties are as fluid as the medium on which they float. Cultures and laguages that travel and cross fertilise with the currents, alliances which can be split by a storm, emnities created by an extended calm
Into this arrives a ship from Earth, which has not only been travelling long enough that its internal politics are standardised, but has come from a planet that was itself essentially monocultural.
Their assumptions of moral and political superiority are soon to be shaken, as the fragmented planetry population appears to unify in one thing- rejection of the outsiders.
 

Theorycraft

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
Messages
13
Location
Vancouver, BC
Hey Trimac,

Apart from some spelling mistakes, I appreciate the effort, and the glimpse into your world. However, maybe you should try to simplify the synopsis a little bit, as I am a little bit confused by a couple of things.

1. "An angeless kingdom..." implies that the absence of angels is of great importance to this story. Is that why the kingdom has begun to crumble? Were these previously guardians that maintained the power paradigms, and prevented this onset of entropy?

2. The enemy - were they trapped within the minds of the populace of this town, and have now gained sufficient power to physically manifest themselves, or were they trapped inside their own minds? Who is trapping whom here?

Other than that, good intro to the Princess, i really sense that she will be the focus of the story as she must adapt to handle the coming crisis, and become a ruler in truth, beyond just a title. Good effort!
 

FelineEyes

Who Walks Through Walls
Joined
May 14, 2005
Messages
192
Location
I like cats, knives, cuddling, and expolsives. No
This is from a story I'm presently writing...and presently working on a title for.

Darshiek always thought he was carrying out his destiny of being a master thief. He was, after all, Darshiek the Thief.
But when he picks the wrong pocket of the wrong man he winds up in the company of a master judge with the power to alter actions and see the truth through lies--a Chosen of the Church of the One--for a cross-country journey that will take him from city to town, forest to field, from the light of day to the very edge of true darkness.
Because it is not Darshiek's destiny to be a thief, but to be a Dreamer--a human being with the ability to alter realty through dreams...
Suddenly Darshiek the Dreamer is tossed into a world of nobility, politics, betrayal, lies, smart-alecks, thousands of people wanting to kill him for just being alive, rather than for just being a thief, and one great ultimate evil that's just waiting to pounce...
But at least he's not alone--the Chosen, Querius Lin Query, is with him after all, and so is a short-tempered laundress, a journeyman mage who has a mean whomping ability with her goat-head staff, and of course, the madrid of things that want to be the one to kill him before someone, or something, else does.
And, with all that help, he's still likely to die.
But, then again, the Dreamers before him were warriors and churchmen, not thieves.
 

Aes

You Feel Fascinated
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Messages
416
Location
In a shoebox under the bed
This is the basic concept of the very story idea that pushed me to seek out a writer community in the first place. I don't know if I'll keep her name.

Oh yeah, and I missed the other workshop--ah well.

- - -

Princess Kaisana has everything she could ever need or want in the world; a life of luxury with servants to attend her every need, a beautiful courtyard to play in with other children, and a caring father who has named her to be the successor of their paradise kingdom. That's what she thought, anyway.

When her father passes away and her elder, scheming brother usurps her throne, everything she has ever known and had in the world turns to dust in her hands. She finds herself going from revered by everyone in the castle to being a hated fugitive and street urchin, fighting just to stay alive amidst the downtrodden commoners who suffered to provide everyone in the castle their perfect lives. Will she embrace her destiny and reclaim what was taken from her, even at the cost of her very soul, or will she die alone in the darkened streets of her former, anything-but-utopian kingdom?
 

Coolhand

Spiff's Stunt Double
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
495
Hi Feline Eyes. Nice blurb, it has a wry sense of humour that made me smile, and that kind of thing always gets my attention on book covers. Making me grin usually means your book is a serious contender for my cash.

Just a couple of points, more technical than anything else.

Suddenly Darshiek the Dreamer is tossed into a world of nobility, politics, betrayal, lies, smart-alecks, thousands of people wanting to kill him for just being alive, rather than for just being a thief, and one great ultimate evil that's just waiting to pounce...

That’s quite a long sentence, and in written form it comes across as a little rambling. It feels like there’s too many commas and words in it. Perhaps trimming some superfluous stuff about being a thief and a dreamer (already established), and the line about lies (already implied in betrayal) would make it flow a little better.

Suddenly Darshiek is tossed into a world of nobility, politics, betrayal, smart-alecks, thousands of people wanting to kill him for just being alive, and one great ultimate evil that's just waiting to pounce...

The other one is:

But at least he's not alone--the Chosen, Querius Lin Query, is with him after all, and so is a short-tempered laundress, a journeyman mage who has a mean whomping ability with her goat-head staff, and of course, the madrid of things that want to be the one to kill him before someone, or something, else does.



That’s another long sentence and blurbs need to be punchy and quick You could split it with full stops like this



But at least he's not alone--the Chosen, Querius Lin Query, is with him after all. So is a short-tempered laundress and a journeyman mage, who has a mean whomping ability with her goat-head staff.
Plus the myriad of things that want to kill him before someone or something else does.


(I’m assuming you meant myriad of things. Apologies if I’m wrong.)

Hope this helps.

 

Coolhand

Spiff's Stunt Double
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
495
Hi Aes.

Nice blurb, concisely sums up what the story is about. Just a coupe of points that might make it a bit sharper and more attention grabbling.

"When her father passes away and her elder, scheming brother usurps her throne, everything she has ever known and had in the world turns to dust in her hands. She finds herself going from revered by everyone in the castle to being a hated fugitive and street urchin, fighting just to stay alive amidst the downtrodden commoners who suffered to provide everyone in the castle their perfect lives. Will she embrace her destiny and reclaim what was taken from her, even at the cost of her very soul, or will she die alone in the darkened streets of her former, anything-but-utopian kingdom."

That paragraph contains a number of long sentences, and as a result nothing really stands out as well as it could. You could try cutting it up and losing some of the words. E.G

"When Kaisana’s father passes away, her scheming elder brother usurps her throne and everything she has turns to dust in her hands. She goes from being revered to being a hated fugitive and street urchin, fighting just to stay alive amidst the downtrodden commoners who suffered to provide everyone in the castle their perfect lives.
Will she die alone in the darkened streets of her former, anything-but-utopian kingdom? Or will she embrace her destiny and reclaim what was taken from her?
Even if the price of that success is her very soul?"

I just think that's a bit sharper, and more in the style of most blurbs.
Hope this helps.
 

Top