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No Direction Home
by Elizabeth Burns

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Kindle Edition published 2017-05-20
Bestseller ranking: 81281

Product Description
Hunter Grayson flits from job to job, relationship to relationship, continent to continent until thetragic death of her parents brings her back to her childhood home.While trying to figure out how to move forward, she meets wild, fun Natalya Haven, who quickly becomes the sister she never had. But when Natalya moves in, their friendship unravels.
A second tragedy sends Hunter to a small town in New Mexico, a town out of her own past. For Hunter, that's more than a coincidence, that's fate. Natalya's family will fill the void in her life. Natalya's parents will become her parents. She and Natalya's brother will fall in love. But nothing is ever that simple....

Author Topic: Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?  (Read 220 times)  

Online Devyn Jayse

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Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?
« on: June 19, 2017, 10:05:35 AM »
I'd appreciate it if you could tell me if this blurb works or not. I think something's off but I can't pinpoint what it is exactly. Any help would be great!

***

I am Dare Valari. After being exiled from the castle, I'm on my own for the first time in my life - cut off from family, friends, and home. As if that wasn't difficult enough, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom is hunting me, intent on my death.

I ran away to the one place I know I can hide, a place so unsafe only the truly desperate remain there, led by the dangerous outlaw, Blaze.

In return for allowing me to remain in his territory, he's tasked me with a difficult job - protect his sister from seemingly random attacks. He doesn't know that he's just increased the danger to her - whoever's coming after me will also target her now. And I can't tell him of the risk without giving up my secrets.

I'm now in a worse position than I started. If Blaze finds out the truth of who I am he will deliver me himself to my hunter - the prince.

Can I keep my secrets and remain hidden or will the prince find me and extract his vengeance?


Offline German_Translator

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Re: Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 10:47:33 AM »
- "Dare Valari" -- man or woman?

- "one of the most powerful men in the kingdom" -- looks like this is the prince mentioned later on. Does he have a name?

- "I ran away to the one place" -- rather vague - is this a forest? a system of caves? a mountain?

Overall, I find it hard to visualize a story and identify with the characters. Maybe naming some things would help:

I am Grand Duchess Dare Valari. After being exiled from Castle Gryphonheart... As if that wasn't difficult enough, Prince Rupert, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom of Ruritania  is hunting me, intent on my death.

Just a few of the books I have translated (English <-> German)

Online RBN

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Re: Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 10:56:08 AM »
After being exiled from the castle for what? That's a prime opportunity to characterize the protagonist by his/her actions and set up the conflict with a couple of additional words.

Offline Quincy

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Re: Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 02:20:45 PM »
maybe something like:

I am TITLE Dare Valari and I am being hunted.

Exiled from my home at Castle NAME, cut off from family and friends, I fled to NAME, the one place in the kingdom I can find succor.  I am hiding among the desperate and the damned, forced to rely on the dangerous outlaw Blaze for protection.  In exchange for allowing me to remain in his territory, Blaze has tasked me with guarding his sister NAME from unknown attackers.

Now I'm dodging two team of assassins while also trying to keep Blaze from learning the truth- that the man after me is none other than Prince NAME, the most powerful man in the country.  With TRUSTED SIDEKICK/STEED/SOMEONE beside me, I need to find a way to save SISTER and myself without revealing ALL MY SECRETS/THE FATE OF THE WORLD/MY MOTHER'S MAIDEN NAME.


Online Devyn Jayse

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Re: Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 03:04:48 PM »
- "Dare Valari" -- man or woman?

- "one of the most powerful men in the kingdom" -- looks like this is the prince mentioned later on. Does he have a name?

- "I ran away to the one place" -- rather vague - is this a forest? a system of caves? a mountain?

Overall, I find it hard to visualize a story and identify with the characters. Maybe naming some things would help:

I am Grand Duchess Dare Valari. After being exiled from Castle Gryphonheart... As if that wasn't difficult enough, Prince Rupert, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom of Ruritania  is hunting me, intent on my death.

Thank you so much for your feedback, you asked some important questions  :)

After being exiled from the castle for what? That's a prime opportunity to characterize the protagonist by his/her actions and set up the conflict with a couple of additional words.

Thank you, I'll add that in.  :)

maybe something like:

I am TITLE Dare Valari and I am being hunted.

Exiled from my home at Castle NAME, cut off from family and friends, I fled to NAME, the one place in the kingdom I can find succor.  I am hiding among the desperate and the damned, forced to rely on the dangerous outlaw Blaze for protection.  In exchange for allowing me to remain in his territory, Blaze has tasked me with guarding his sister NAME from unknown attackers.

Now I'm dodging two team of assassins while also trying to keep Blaze from learning the truth- that the man after me is none other than Prince NAME, the most powerful man in the country.  With TRUSTED SIDEKICK/STEED/SOMEONE beside me, I need to find a way to save SISTER and myself without revealing ALL MY SECRETS/THE FATE OF THE WORLD/MY MOTHER'S MAIDEN NAME.

That's amazing, thank you so much for reworking it  :)

"My mother's maiden name" made me laugh.  What was the name of your first pet?   ;D

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Re: Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 03:09:22 PM »
Quincy, that's very good.
A side note to OP: I noticed you jumping back and forth between present and past tense in your posted blurb. You may want to double-check your manuscript to be sure the same thing isn't occurring there. I know how easy it is for those to slip by.


Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2017, 03:11:07 PM »
I'd appreciate it if you could tell me if this blurb works or not. I think something's off but I can't pinpoint what it is exactly. Any help would be great!

***

I am Dare Valari. After being exiled from the castle, I'm on my own for the first time in my life - cut off from family, friends, and home. As if that wasn't difficult enough, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom is hunting me, intent on my death.

I ran away to the one place I know I can hide, a place so unsafe only the truly desperate remain there, led by the dangerous outlaw, Blaze.

In return for allowing me to remain in his territory, he's tasked me with a difficult job - protect his sister from seemingly random attacks. He doesn't know that he's just increased the danger to her - whoever's coming after me will also target her now. And I can't tell him of the risk without giving up my secrets.

I'm now in a worse position than I started. If Blaze finds out the truth of who I am he will deliver me himself to my hunter - the prince.

Can I keep my secrets and remain hidden or will the prince find me and extract his vengeance?

I am Dare Valari - cut off from family, friends and home.

I'm being hunted, with nowhere to hide.

A dangerous outlaw agrees to shelter me - for a price. But the price is even more dangerous to him than it is to me.

I'm now in a worse position than I started and things aren't looking any better.

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Re: Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2017, 03:18:14 PM »
I'd appreciate it if you could tell me if this blurb works or not. I think something's off but I can't pinpoint what it is exactly. Any help would be great!

***

I am Dare Valari. After being exiled from the castle, I'm on my own for the first time in my life - cut off from family, friends, and home. As if that wasn't difficult enough, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom is hunting me, intent on my death.

I ran away to the one place I know I can hide, a place so unsafe only the truly desperate remain there, led by the dangerous outlaw, Blaze.

In return for allowing me to remain in his territory, he's tasked me with a difficult job - protect his sister from seemingly random attacks. He doesn't know that he's just increased the danger to her - whoever's coming after me will also target her now. And I can't tell him of the risk without giving up my secrets.

I'm now in a worse position than I started. If Blaze finds out the truth of who I am he will deliver me himself to my hunter - the prince.

Can I keep my secrets and remain hidden or will the prince find me and extract his vengeance?

I downloaded Blaze through one of the Instafreebie promotions, and overall, it left me wanting to read your novel when it comes out. This pitch, however, undoes some of the enthusiasm that I felt.

I think that, beyond the issues already pointed out by others regarding the need for more specific details, is that you don't convey an objective for the protagonist. Is it enough that the character is running from something or, to engage your readers, does the character need to be running toward something, too?

Hard to say definitively. I tend to prefer proactive protagonists, and this pitch doesn't give me that impression at all.

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Re: Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2017, 03:20:33 PM »
I'd appreciate it if you could tell me if this blurb works or not. I think something's off but I can't pinpoint what it is exactly. Any help would be great!

***

I am Dare Valari. After being exiled from the castle, I'm on my own for the first time in my life - cut off from family, friends, and home. As if that wasn't difficult enough, On top of that, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom is hunting me, intent on my death.

I ran away to the one place I know I can hide--NAME--a place so unsafe only the truly desperate live(?) remain there, led by the dangerous outlaw, Blaze.

In return for allowing me to remain in his territory, Blaze has he's tasked me with a difficult job - protect his sister from seemingly random attacks. He doesn't know that he's just increased the danger to her - whoever's coming after me will now also target her now. And I can't tell him of the risk without giving up my secrets.

I'm now in a worse position than I started. If Blaze finds out the truth of who I am he will deliver me himself to my hunter - the prince the prince, the man who's hunting me.

Can I keep my secrets and remain hidden or will the prince find me and extract his vengeance?  And what about (sister)--can I keep her safe and earn Blaze's trust?
Jena

Online Devyn Jayse

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Re: Can You Help Me With My 1st Blurb Ever?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2017, 03:47:31 PM »
Quincy, that's very good.
A side note to OP: I noticed you jumping back and forth between present and past tense in your posted blurb. You may want to double-check your manuscript to be sure the same thing isn't occurring there. I know how easy it is for those to slip by.

Thanks Sapphire, it's a bad habit of mine. Pretty sure I drove my editor crazy. For some reason I don't catch it when I do it, I need to work on that.  :)

I am Dare Valari - cut off from family, friends and home.

I'm being hunted, with nowhere to hide.

A dangerous outlaw agrees to shelter me - for a price. But the price is even more dangerous to him than it is to me.

I'm now in a worse position than I started and things aren't looking any better.

Thanks Laran!  :)


I downloaded Blaze through one of the Instafreebie promotions, and overall, it left me wanting to read your novel when it comes out. This pitch, however, undoes some of the enthusiasm that I felt.

I think that, beyond the issues already pointed out by others regarding the need for more specific details, is that you don't convey an objective for the protagonist. Is it enough that the character is running from something or, to engage your readers, does the character need to be running toward something, too?

Hard to say definitively. I tend to prefer proactive protagonists, and this pitch doesn't give me that impression at all.

Thank you! I appreciate your insight & I'm happy Blaze achieved its objective. :) Now I just have to rework this pesky blurb! Originally I thought it may be the last sentence that made her seem passive but now I see it's more than that.



Also thanks Jena! For some reason if I copy your reply it shows up blank  :)


Thank you everyone for your feedback, I really appreciate it! I've been dreading posting this so much you have no idea. All of you have made it such a good process :D Clearly I have some work to do and I'll be back with another version. 

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