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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to release my new epic fantasy novel, The Last Priestess. This is the first in the series and I'd be grateful for anyone's opinion on my blurb. Does it work? Its it too long/short, etc. Thanks muchly!

In the kingdom of Amaury, where civil war threatens, two fates collide.

Maegwin is a priestess. Compassion, wisdom, kindness: these are the qualities her goddess demands. Yet how can Maegwin show these things when her heart is shriveled by hatred? When all she dreams of is revenge against her temple’s enemies?

Rovann is a king’s man. He should be bold, honorable, wise. A leader of men. Yet how can he be all his king requires when guilt gnaws at him inside? When all he dreams of is the wife he failed to save?

But somehow they must learn to trust themselves and each other if they are to save Amaury from the terrible wrath of the Songmaker. For a dark power is brewing, one that threatens not only Amaury but the existence of reality itself.

And so a magical epic of darkness and redemption begins.
 

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I got a little lost inside some of the sentences and had to back up and re-read them (something a person browsing through many books probably won't do).  My impression when I finished was that it could be an interesting story, but not one I had an urge to buy right now.  I'm a terrible blurb writer, so I don't know how to fix it.  I know I've been of no help whatsoever.  Some of the people on here are very talented though.  Real help is coming soon.
 

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I think blurbs are soooo hard. Not only do they need to grab a readers attention and convey the book's idea, but be written with the same tone. What I'm not sure about from your blurb is whether the threat is from a civil war (countrymen fighting each other) or from another outside enemy. Here's a revision that tries to pull all the salient and compelling ideas together. After an attention grabbing opening, you can expand on it.


In the kingdom of Amaury, civil war threatens and the only two who can save it are Maegwin, the priestess whose only goal is revenge and Rovann, a king's man, ravaged by guilt over the wife he couldn't save. Maegwin and Rovann need to overcome their demons and work together before the Songmaker destroys Amaury and reality itself.


Again, I'm not an expert, so take my thoughts only if they make sense to you.
 

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I agree that the story sounds interesting, but it seems there's a lot to swallow. I liked your descriptions in the beginning, but the fourth paragraph made me confused:

smallblondehippy said:
But somehow they must learn to trust themselves and each other if they are to save Amaury from the terrible wrath of the Songmaker. For a dark power is brewing, one that threatens not only Amaury but the existence of reality itself.
Does the Songmaker relate to the civil war? Is the dark power another kind of evil, or does it also tie to the civil war? What is "the existence of reality"?

Also, how about bringing in the title into the blurb? For example, is Maegwin the Last Priestess? How does being the last priestess figure of importance in the story?

I'm bad at blurb rewriting, but hopefully what I've mentioned may help :)
 

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smallblondehippy said:
I'm getting ready to release my new epic fantasy novel, The Last Priestess. This is the first in the series and I'd be grateful for anyone's opinion on my blurb. Does it work? Its it too long/short, etc. Thanks muchly!

In the kingdom of Amaury, where civil war threatens, two fates collide.

Maegwin is a priestess. Compassion, wisdom, kindness: these are the qualities her goddess demands. Yet how can Maegwin show these things when her heart is shriveled by hatred? When all she dreams of is revenge against her temple's enemies?

Rovann is a king's man. He should be bold, honorable, wise. A leader of men. Yet how can he be all his king requires when guilt gnaws at him inside? When all he dreams of is the wife he failed to save?

But somehow they must learn to trust themselves and each other if they are to save Amaury from the terrible wrath of the Songmaker. For a dark power is brewing, one that threatens not only Amaury but the existence of reality itself.

And so a magical epic of darkness and redemption begins.
I have a hard time caring about names in blurbs, they tend to fend me off. DO we really need to know the kingdom's name before starting the book? The prietess's? The king's? How about rewriting them off and using their characteristics instead? (revengeful priestess, king full of regret?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aya Ling said:
I agree that the story sounds interesting, but it seems there's a lot to swallow. I liked your descriptions in the beginning, but the fourth paragraph made me confused:

Does the Songmaker relate to the civil war? Is the dark power another kind of evil, or does it also tie to the civil war? What is "the existence of reality"?
Isn't it weird how we become blind to our own work? I totally didn't see this but now you've pointed it out I can see how it's confusing. I'll look at it again. Thanks.
 

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Welcome to Wehatewritingblurbsville. Population: Just about all of us.

Let me see if I can help, though. I'll try a different tact. So:

They call it the Songmaker, and it is bringing Civil War to the once-peaceful kingdom of Amaury. For Maegwin, a bitter priestess, the path forward lies in forgiving her temple's enemies--or taking revenge. For Rovann, an elite knight, salvation might be found in the unthinkable: defying the very king he swore to protect. Unlikely alliances must be forged. Because if the Songmaker isn't stopped, there might be no one left to sing.
 

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Jonathan C. Gillespie said:
They call it the Songmaker, and it is bringing Civil War to the once-peaceful kingdom of Amaury. For Maegwin, a bitter priest[ess], the path forward lies in forgiving her temple's enemies--or taking revenge. For Rovann, an elite knight, salvation might be found in the unthinkable: defying the very king he swore to protect. Unlikely alliances must be forged. Because if the Songmaker isn't stopped, there might be no one left to sing.
This. Is. Awesome!
 

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Jonathan C. Gillespie said:
Welcome to Wehatewritingblurbsville. Population: Just about all of us.

Let me see if I can help, though. I'll try a different tact. So:

They call it the Songmaker, and it is bringing Civil War to the once-peaceful kingdom of Amaury. For Maegwin, a bitter priest, the path forward lies in forgiving her temple's enemies--or taking revenge. For Rovann, an elite knight, salvation might be found in the unthinkable: defying the very king he swore to protect. Unlikely alliances must be forged. Because if the Songmaker isn't stopped, there might be no one left to sing.
OMG, Jonathan. I know I've said it before, but you are so good at this. awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jonathan C. Gillespie said:
Welcome to Wehatewritingblurbsville. Population: Just about all of us.

Let me see if I can help, though. I'll try a different tact. So:

They call it the Songmaker, and it is bringing Civil War to the once-peaceful kingdom of Amaury. For Maegwin, a bitter priestess, the path forward lies in forgiving her temple's enemies--or taking revenge. For Rovann, an elite knight, salvation might be found in the unthinkable: defying the very king he swore to protect. Unlikely alliances must be forged. Because if the Songmaker isn't stopped, there might be no one left to sing.
Ooh I like that. I might just pinch some bits of it - the style is very different to what I came up with. All these great ideas is why I love KB!
 

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Jonathan C. Gillespie said:
Welcome to Wehatewritingblurbsville. Population: Just about all of us.

Let me see if I can help, though. I'll try a different tact. So:

They call it the Songmaker, and it is bringing Civil War to the once-peaceful kingdom of Amaury. For Maegwin, a bitter priestess, the path forward lies in forgiving her temple's enemies--or taking revenge. For Rovann, an elite knight, salvation might be found in the unthinkable: defying the very king he swore to protect. Unlikely alliances must be forged. Because if the Songmaker isn't stopped, there might be no one left to sing.
If you don't make it as a novelist, you have a great future in blurb writing. I'm sure there is a HUGE market ;D
 

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Thanks, folks. As long as it helps the OP, I'm cool with that.

I can't take full credit: I've had some help with blurbs before from some fantastic folks, like Susan Kaye Quinn, and I also study what successful authors have done. I like to give back, when I can.

Good luck with the book, smallblondehippy.
 

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Here's another thing about blurb writing that perplexes me.  One author advised me to name the main character in the first sentence.  Another said names aren't important and can detract.  One said introduce intrigue or mystery, leave questions.  Another said you have to tell the gist of the story.  One insisted I must end with a hook.  Another said hooks are cliche.  HELP!!!
 

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I look at the back of the books I liked...particularly if I bought them because of the blurb. Then I try to model what they did. I don't know that there are right or wrong answers, although it seems like names would be important if you're talking about multiple people. At least name your protagonist.

Blurb writing is like a carrot...the idea is to entice and lure with words, not simply tell what the book is about.
 

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Jonathan C. Gillespie said:
Welcome to Wehatewritingblurbsville. Population: Just about all of us.

Let me see if I can help, though. I'll try a different tact. So:

They call it the Songmaker, and it is bringing Civil War to the once-peaceful kingdom of Amaury. For Maegwin, a bitter priestess, the path forward lies in forgiving her temple's enemies--or taking revenge. For Rovann, an elite knight, salvation might be found in the unthinkable: defying the very king he swore to protect. Unlikely alliances must be forged. Because if the Songmaker isn't stopped, there might be no one left to sing.
Just weighing in... I really like what Jonathan has done. I think you can skip names if that helps with the flow. And as a reader, a hook in a blurb will make me take out my wallet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Jonathan C. Gillespie said:
Good luck with the book, smallblondehippy.
Thanks, Jonathan. I've made a note of everyone's suggestions and I'm off to do some more head-scratching. Coffee and chocolate needed I think!
 
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