Blurb for "Into the Second World"

sknox

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I cringe more when I ask for feedback on blurbs than I do for the publication of the actual story. But it's important, so it's time to bite the bullet. (who would actually *bite* a bullet?)

All comments welcome.


Gabrielle Lauten longs to be taken seriously as a scientific journalist. Her big chance comes when she joins an expedition in search of an explorer lost in the deepest cave in the world.

But when she and her four companions plunge far into the heart of the planet, what they discover there changes everything.

Now Gabrielle, along with a professor and his adventurer nephew, a religious fanatic dwarf, and an ogre, must find a way to escape a world filled with powerful magic, fearsome monsters, and a race of elves who would keep them trapped forever in the Second World.

- An Altearth Tale
 

-K2-

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You know I'm unaccomplished-- yet, I'll share my impressions. If I wrote this, then read and reread it, this is what I might change:

Gabrielle Lauten longs to be taken seriously as a scientific journalist. Her big chance comes when she joins an expedition in search of an explorer lost in the deepest cave in the world.
Gabrielle Lauten longs to be taken seriously as a scientific journalist. Her opportunity arises, when she joins an expedition in search of an explorer, lost in the world's deepest cave.

But when she and her four companions plunge far into the heart of the planet, what they discover there changes everything.
When she and her four companions plunge deep into the heart of the planet, what they discover, changes everything.

Now Gabrielle, along with a professor and his adventurer nephew, a religious fanatic dwarf, and an ogre, must find a way to escape a world filled with powerful magic, fearsome monsters, and a race of elves who would keep them trapped forever in the Second World.
Filled with powerful magic, fearsome monsters, and a race of elves set on keeping them there, the team comprised of Gabrielle, a professor, his adventurous nephew, an ogre, and a religious fanatic dwarf, must now find a way to escape the Second World... or remain trapped below forever.

- An Altearth Tale


FWIW... you get what you pay for :sneaky: Sorry I'm not more skilled at this,

K2
 
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HareBrain

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The beginning is good. This is a bit of a lazy blurbism:

what they discover there changes everything.
Obviously it doesn't change everything, so, what does it change? Understanding of X?

I also think the third para could do with some idea of an antagonist figure (ideally an individual) and their goals. At the very least, why do the elves want to keep them trapped?
 

Brian G Turner

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Gabrielle Lauten longs to be taken seriously as a scientific journalist. Her big chance comes when she joins an expedition in search of an explorer lost in the deepest cave in the world.

But when she and her four companions plunge far into the heart of the planet, what they discover there changes everything.

Now Gabrielle, along with a professor and his adventurer nephew, a religious fanatic dwarf, and an ogre, must find a way to escape a world filled with powerful magic, fearsome monsters, and a race of elves who would keep them trapped forever in the Second World.
I found the third paragraph grating because nothing so far had led me to believe this was a fantasy world. I'd therefore suggest you put something in the opening one to make this clear.
 

The Big Peat

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I liked the first two paragraphs, although I agree with HB that "Changed Everything" is a lazy blurbism.

The third paragraph, it did not work so well. Leaving aside my confusion as to whether the professor's nephew was a religious fanatic dwarf, I think it concentrates on the wrong things and should be more about the specifics of the challenge and not her team.
 

tinkerdan

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I think you have the elements there; however the lines tend to create, in my mind a scattered view.
First:
Who would jump at that chance?
What does Gabrielle Lauten bring to the table that makes her important to this expedition?
Does she enjoy spelunking in her off time?
Is she good in tight spaces?
Is she expendable?
Or, is she just gullible?
We don't need to know all of these things; however it wouldn't hurt to know some to motivate us into reading the first few pages of sample where you really hook us.

For instance.
::
Who wouldn't jump at the chance to search dark and treacherous caves for lost explorers?

Gabrielle Lauten's boss suggested this assignment as her ticket to being taken seriously as a scientific journalist. Further thought on her research of speleology and her spelunking hobby made her the most logical choice.

Between her and the professor's adventurous nephew, they take the challenge; however what they find doesn't appear all that scientific and it just might change the way they look at everything, if they make it out.

Powerful magic, fearsome monsters, a race of elves and their ominous plans for the First World, stack up to keep them trapped forever in the Second World.
::
Of course I don't know your story nor do I know your character; however this should give you an idea of what I mean.
Also it seems there should be more than just their own freedom at risk here[which is why I mention ominous plans for the First World]--but maybe not in your story.

I dropped the dwarfs and ogres just because it may be introduction of more than necessary for the blurb's purpose.
 

Hummus

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I agree with most of what has already been said. Anyway, it sounds like the novel could be a thrilling adventure- so the blurb you already have did well in catching my attention.

What I'm missing is perhaps a clear sense of style/time/place. From the first paragraph I got an image of 19th-century style explorers, from the second I thought "oh - it's sci-fi", but at the end you mention dwarfs and elves - making me think it's actually fantasy?
 

sknox

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All great feedback. I struggle with how to let people know magic is involved; listing the team members was one way, but another would be to let a mention of drow elves do that work.

The story is a re-working of Jules Verne's A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Is that something that I should or should not include in a blurb?

Blurbing is a curious exercise. The Amazon summary is one thing, but it's really two, because you want the hook to be above the More... link. Then there's the back of the paperback. Then there's the blurb that goes up on Facebook and other social media. And I'm keeping the list short.

Hearing from you folks which pieces struck you and which you think expendable or confusing is a great help!
 

sknox

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I found the third paragraph grating because nothing so far had led me to believe this was a fantasy world. I'd therefore suggest you put something in the opening one to make this clear.
Point taken, but here's a follow-up question. Since this blurb is going to appear either in my social media feed, where the subscribers already know what I write, or on the Amazon site, where the cover plainly indicates this is fantasy, would that be sufficient to un-grate for you?

Otherwise, I'm considering sort of inverting the whole blurb--start with elves and underworlds. Not sure how to construct that, and it would probably just be a one-liner, to catch attention. I'll be back with revisions. Oh yes, I'll be back.
 

sknox

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Not a glutton for punishment, me, but a glutton for feedback. Heavily revised, not least because I took a look at how many words appear on the book summary of an Amazon page. It's only about 70-75. This version is 105 but I think that will be okay.

Gabrielle Lauten joins a scientific expedition in search of a legend. What she finds will test her courage, her strength, and her science.

The Queller Expedition is heading into the deepest caverns of Altearth, led by a crackpot professor and guided by a dwarf who claims secret knowledge. Traveling along forgotten paths, the expedition discovers a lost civilization of fabulous magics and fearsome monsters.

It’s the story of the century. But some civilizations don’t want to be found.

Into the Second World is a re-imagining of Jules Verne’s classic, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, with elves, dwarves, magic towers, and an ogre.


That last paragraph will definitely be "below the fold" but that's fine.
 

Jo Zebedee

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blah - flags. So many flags.
1. Avoid lists. They tell us nothing about the actual story
2 I don’t actually know what the story is. If it’s just finding a civilisation it’s not that exciting.
3. Look up Children of Ruin and see how it does something similar

Good luck!
 

zmunkz

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On the whole, I like it. Only thing missing for me is the stakes. Why do we care what they find? What’s the consequence?

I’d prefer a bit on that, over the comparison to Journey to the Center if the Earth. I think you can let other people draw those parallels, but advertising them doesn’t really get you anything.
 

sknox

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Take Three.

When Gabrielle Lauten is sent to cover the search for a missing explorer, it’s her big chance to be taken seriously as a journalist. What she finds will test her courage, her strength, and her faith in science.

The Queller Expedition is heading into the deepest caverns of Altearth, led by a crackpot professor and guided by a dwarf who claims secret knowledge. Traveling along forgotten paths, the expedition discovers a lost civilization of fabulous magics, strange peoples, and fearsome monsters. It’s the story of the century.

But some civilizations don’t want to be found.

Now, Gabrielle and her companions must find a way to get home again, before the Second World kills them all.


Not sure about that second sentence. I thought I should say something about what's at stake for Gabi personally. Maybe the first sentence is sufficient for that. I should also say that I'm trying hard to keep it short enough to be useful on an Amazon summary or for a book review summary. It also needs to be effective. But I also want to avoid giving away too many of the revelations contained in the story.

Thanks in advance for all who slog through this with (for) me.
 

Cathbad

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I'm not sure I would have included the description (2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence) of the discovered civilization, given the first paragraph's foreshadowing.

I think an exclamation mark is called for at the end of the 2nd paragraph. - Then again, I'm well-known for my overuse of them. -blush-

Other than that, I'm intrigued!
 

Eric Lewis

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Fresh eyes! I think it's mostly fine, just a few suggested edits:

Take Three.

When Gabrielle Lauten is sent sets out to cover the search for a missing explorer, it’s her big chance to be taken seriously as a journalist. What she finds will test her courage, her strength, and her faith in science. Use active voice!

The Queller Expedition is heading heads into the deepest caverns of Altearth, led by a crackpot professor and guided by a dwarf who claims secret knowledge. Traveling along forgotten paths, the expedition discovers a lost civilization, of fabulous magics, strange peoples, and fearsome monsters. It’s the story of the century. Keep consistent tense.

But some civilizations don’t want to be found.

Now, Gabrielle and her companions must find a way to get home again, before the Second World kills them all.



Not sure about that second sentence. I thought I should say something about what's at stake for Gabi personally. Maybe the first sentence is sufficient for that. I should also say that I'm trying hard to keep it short enough to be useful on an Amazon summary or for a book review summary. It also needs to be effective. But I also want to avoid giving away too many of the revelations contained in the story.

Thanks in advance for all who slog through this with (for) me.
 

sknox

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Thanks for the comments, Fresh Eyes. I agree with active voice, but she was sent by her newspaper. I realize I left off that clause which leaves the verb ambiguous. Rather than add the clause back in, I'll take the "sets out." She angled for the job anyway.

I distinguished between the leader and the guide. Not important? Because there's another fellow, the professor's nephew, who is more of a leader than is the dwarf. I'll have to chew that one over.

I'm keeping the "of" but I realize now that the preceding comma has to go. It's a civilization of magic. I'm going to wait for other voices on the strange peoples. I wanted to indicate there were people here, not just monsters. Specifically, elves, duergar, and gnomes. I've had them listed before, but went for the more general phrasing because these elves, duergar, and gnomes are not the same as the ones on the surface.

Anyway, thanks so much for the specific feedback. Most helpful!
 

sknox

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Well, in Altearth they're dürgar, so I'm clear. I just didn't feel like finding the umlaut in the post. It amused me to make the conversion.
 
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