Expedition Blurb

Discussion in 'Critiques' started by ralphkern, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. ralphkern

    ralphkern Well-Known Member

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    Expedition is now off with my editor. I'm really pround of it - I think it has some of the most visceral and emotive writing I've done yet. But that means I can turn my attention to things like the blurb.

    This is what I have at the moment -


    The sins of the past echo into the future.


    An uneasy peace has descended over the strange new world in which Atlantica has been thrust into. The first, tentative steps are being taken towards survival, even prosperity.


    But for Karl Grayson, soldier, spy and traitor, there can be no forgiveness for his actions. Nor is his mission over. Those responsible for the Locus and its terrifying repercussions are here, and they will do anything to protect their secrets.


    When an expedition to the mainland crashes, a rescue must be mounted. Former enemies will become allies, and old friends will reveal themselves to be the deadliest of foes.


    Jack Cohen, caught between Grayson and his prey, will be called upon to sacrifice his morals, and face losing the woman he loves.


    Amid betrayal and lies - The fleet will once again be engulfed in a devastating war, and this world may yet prove itself to be more hostile than they could ever imagine.


    Have at it, if you please.
     
  2. tinkerdan

    tinkerdan candycane shrimp

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    This seems a bit stiff to me. Coming at it from not reading the first book I'd be put off by both the jagged unconnected sentences that either assume having read the first or are simply difficult to connect the thoughts or I'm too tired so I'll go lie down a bit and come back later to retry parsing through the sentences.
    in a nutshell and possibly fewer words you might be trying to say this.
    However I'm not really certain.


    Uneasy peace descends in the strange new world where the ship Atlantica survives.

    For Karl Grayson, soldier, spy, and traitor there is no forgiveness nor is his mission complete while those behind Locus and its terrifying repercussions stop at nothing to protect their secrets. Jack Cohen, caught between Grayson and his prey, faces losing the woman he loves and possibly compromising his morals.

    Amid betrayal and lies--former enemies become allies while longtime friends prove deadliest of foes and the fleet once more faces devastating war in a world that is more hostile than any of them imagine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  3. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Inspired. Or possibly insane. Could go either way. Staff Member

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    The sins of the past echo into the future.
    (For some reason, I keep seeing this as having a doubled-up word in there somewhere with "echo" and "into" -- there's not, but my eyeballs insist.)

    An uneasy peace has descended over the strange new world in which Atlantica has been thrust into. The first, tentative steps are being taken towards survival, even prosperity.
    (In which it has been thrust into. Should be either "world which Atlantica has been thrust into" or "world into which Atlantica has been thrust".) (I would lose the comma between first and tentative.)

    But for Karl Grayson, soldier, spy and traitor, there can be no forgiveness for his actions. Nor is his mission over. Those responsible for the Locus and its terrifying repercussions are here, and they will do anything to protect their secrets.
    (Sounds odd -- for Karl Grayson, there can be no forgiveness for his actions. Three uses of "for" there, for one thing. I read it as meaning Karl doesn't feel there can be any forgiveness for his actions -- if that's not the intent, it would need rewording.)

    When an expedition to the mainland crashes, a rescue must be mounted. Former enemies will become allies, and old friends will reveal themselves to be the deadliest of foes.


    Jack Cohen, caught between Grayson and his prey, will be called upon to sacrifice his morals, and face losing the woman he loves.


    Amid betrayal and lies - The fleet will once again be engulfed in a devastating war, and this world may yet prove itself to be more hostile than they could ever imagine.
    (Odd fragment there -- the dash doesn't really belong between "Amid betrayal and lies" and the start of a new sentence, "The fleet will...". I think I would try "Amid betrayal and lies, the fleet will once again be engulfed in a devastating war -- and this world may yet prove itself to be more hostile than they could ever imagine."

    The whole thing definitely seems to be aimed at someone who's read the previous book and knows what's going on. But the key there, I think, is solely in "the Locus and its terrifying repercussions" -- everything else seems to explain itself reasonably well to a newbie.
     
  4. Martin Gill

    Martin Gill Well-Known Member

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    Slightly rushed but I'm in editing mode at work so here you go. Comments in ()...

    The sins of the past echo into the future.

    An uneasy peace has descended (slightly passive) over the strange new world into which Atlantica has been thrust. (passive voice and what is Atlantica? A ship?) The first, tentative steps are being taken (passive voice) towards survival, even prosperity. (who are/is taking these steps)

    But for Karl Grayson, soldier, spy and traitor, there can be no forgiveness for his actions. (what actions?) Nor is his mission over. Those responsible for the Locus and its terrifying repercussions are here, and they will do anything to protect their secrets. (who are they? What is the Locus? Delete “are here, and they”. I’d start with this. Its about a person I may care about, not an abstract concept like prosperity.)

    When an expedition to the mainland crashes, a rescue must be mounted. Former enemies will become allies (Delete “former” – we can assume that, and possibly “will”), and old friends will reveal themselves (again slightly passive – old friends will become the deadliest of foes?) to be the deadliest of foes.

    Jack Cohen, caught between Grayson and his prey, will be called upon (passive voice – by whom?) to sacrifice his morals, and face losing the woman he loves. (Why, how? This is frustratingly vague rather than tantalizing.)

    Amid betrayal and lies – The (no capital T) fleet will once again be engulfed in a devastating war (passive voice – “a devastating war will engulf the fleet), and this world may yet prove itself to be more hostile than they (who?) could ever imagine.
     
  5. ralphkern

    ralphkern Well-Known Member

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    Good points, as ever. The basic requirement of this blurb isn't necessarily to direct new readers into this book (the trilogy is a continual plot arc rather than sequential individual stories). It needs to either entice those readers who have read Book 1 back for this one, or if readers stumble on this one first (bearing in mind the cover and surrounding bumf will clearly indicate this is Book 2) direct them back to Unfathomed. There is also the factor that I don't want to give up the plot twists for Unfathomed, so there are elements which will be kept mysterious - but enticing enough that someone wants to know what it means.

    Therefore, the measures of success will be whether someone who reads this cold would be curious enough to go back to look at Book 1's blurb, or having read Unfathomed, pick up this one.

    *************************************************************************************************


    Expedition, the explosive second novel in the Locus series.

    The sins of the distant past echo far into the future.

    An uneasy peace settles over the strange new world into which the M/S Atlantica has been thrust. The cruise ship leads her war-weary fleet on its first, tentative steps beyond simple survival. But an expedition to the mainland changes everything, sparking a chain of events leading to a devastating new conflict.

    For Karl Grayson, soldier, spy and traitor, there is no forgiveness for the murder and destruction he brought on the Fleet. Nor is his long mission over to hunt those responsible for the Locus and its terrifying repercussions. His prey will do anything to protect their secrets.

    Jack Cohen, who fought so hard to protect Atlantica, is caught between Grayson and his quarry. Cohen’s decisions will test his morals, and may cost him the woman he loves.

    Amid betrayal and lies, enemies become allies, old friends become the deadliest of foes, and the ships of the Fleet clash in battle.

    And this world may yet prove itself to be more hostile than they could ever have imagined.
     
  6. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    I quite like this second version. It feels more direct and less generic than in the opening post.

    However, I think the following line aims to do too much telling, rather than raise questions:

    I'd suggest simplifying that to create uncertainty, rather than attempt grand drama - ie, something like:

    I think there's enough suggestion of conflict to not need to mention any battle. From what's already written in the lines above, I presume there are going to be a few sharp encounters.
     
  7. tinkerdan

    tinkerdan candycane shrimp

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    This reads better, however I'd be hard pressed to say if it was because I decoded it earlier or it's that much improved.
    However I will try to express a few points that may all devolve down to personal preference.

    I understand your set goal; however (and it pains me to admit I've not yet read the previous book) this does not give me interest in either reading this one or reading the previous one and I would suggest working strongly on something that will draw a reader's interest to the book he has in his hand. The previous book may not be available where ever they encounter this one(except possibly in terms of e-books).

    It might be I'm not your target audience.
     
  8. Serendipity

    Serendipity Well-Known Member

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    I definitely like the second version better... it has more of the 'buy me' feel to it. Whether it reflects what the novel is about, only you can say.

    The only stumbling block for me is the paragraph starting, 'An uneasy peace...'. My first question is, 'what peace?' and my second question is 'why is it uneasy?' If you are aware of book 1, I suspect it's fine. But if you're coming to it cold, it would be another matter. My suggestion would be (again in ignorance of the novel's content):

    'The cruise ship, M/S Atlantica, leads her war-weary fleet on its first, tentative steps beyond simple survival in the strange new world. But an expedition to the mainland changes everything, sparking a chain of events leading to a devastating new conflict.
     
  9. Martin Gill

    Martin Gill Well-Known Member

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    Much better. Its not really my genre so I'm most likely not your target audience - but grammatically and pace/punch wise it's way better now.
     
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