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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright hive mind, please have at it! This is the fifth and final installment in my YA series. I haven't edited for grammar yet, I really just wanted to get the narrative out and see if it jives. Keep in mind it is the fifth book so I don't think I need to go into a ton of back story since my audience will be invested at this point so I'm really just focusing on the now of this particular book. But anywho! All suggestions are welcome. I'm on my way to bed so it'll be a few hours before I check in again.

No one, not even a guardian angel, is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna forgot to watch out for herself, trusting her abilities to keep her safe and all it took to bring her low was a mundane human. Now Shayna is trapped in the ether, among the dead but desperate to reach the living. No longer a guardian angel, Shayna turned away from the Light, wanting to stay with her friends. Jodi and Steven are beginning to fade, unable to cope with the death of their soul mate; Shayna is desperate to find a way back to the world of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate.

But the longer Shayna stays among the lost and the wandering wraiths, the father she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned, lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.
 

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I would:
Shorten some of the sentences
Make everything present tense
2nd para: You use desperate twice - I would change one
3rd para: You use lost twice - I would change one
3rd para: Farther is for physical distances. Further is for figurative distances http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/further-versus-farther.aspx
There are a couple of typos
I marked a couple of places where I would include some type of brief explanation.
I'm not your target audience, so you can ignore this comment. If you believe in angels, they live in the afterlife, so death wouldn't affect them.

No one, not even a guardian angel, is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna forgets to watch out for herself, trusting her abilities to keep her safe. All it takes to bring her low is a mundane human. (I would explain what happens here) Now Shayna is trapped in the ether, among the dead, desperate to reach the living. No longer a guardian angel, she turns away from the Light, wanting to stay with her friends, Jodi and Steven.(does she meet these people now? did she know them before?) When they begin to fade, unable to cope with the death of their soul mate, Shayna fights to find a way back to the world of the living to save them from a similar cold fate.

But the longer she stays among the wandering wraiths, the further she slips from sanity. If she cannot find her way back, she will be condemned, lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.
 

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Pretty good blurb, just one suggestion:

"Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna..."

The blurb's first mention of your main character-and her situation-should come in an active sentence, and not after a dependent clause.

 

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Let me take a stab at this...

Not even a Guardian Angel is more powerful than Death.

Shayna should have known better. She should have never given up her role as Guardian Angel - no matter how badly she had wanted to help her friends - Jodi and Steven.

Now Shayna is trapped among the Dead, desperately trying to save Jodi and Steven from a similar cold fate - but the longer she says amongst the dead the further her sanity slips.

With nothing to lose she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back to becoming a Guardian Angel - with or without her wings.
That's my philosophy.

Keep it tight and lean.
 

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I would change "bring her low" to "bring her down". Low could have different interpretations, but "down" is pretty clear.

Other than what HAGrant said, I think you have a good blurb.
 

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Great sounding story, I might have to give your books ago. The blurb is okay, useable without much critique but could be better. It's a little messy in places and hard to follow. I've had a crack, but I don't write blurbs, so I'd take on everyones advice.

Tagline: No one is more powerful than Death. Not even with wings./No one is more powerful than Death. Not even a guardian angel.

Shayna was always careful to watch out for others, so why not watch out for herself? Trusting her abilities to keep her safe, all it took to bring her into the below (bring her down - is also okay) was a mundane human.

Now she is trapped in the ether among the whispering (be playful with this, what do the dead do?) dead. Desperate to reach the living, but no longer being a guardian angel, Shayna must find a way back to save her friends Jodi and Steven from the same cold fate (from the below?) before time runs out and they fade with their grief.

But the longer Shayna stays among the lost and wandering wraiths, the farther she slips from sanity and the more lost she becomes. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lots of good suggestions, thank you! And, ugh, thanks for catching the typo.

Some suggestions wont quite work though. Shay actually died in the book before this one, so changing "forgot" to "forgets" implies she dies in this book. And she doesn't care if she comes back as an angel or not, just that she gets back to the world of the living. Like I said, this is the 5th book, so my readers know who Shay, Jodi and Steven are - I really think explaining that at this point is redundant and takes up valuable space.

She died in Fire, a guy who knows Shay has magical abilities and thinks she's a witch, kidnaps her, ties her up and leaves her in a house to die in a fire and she doesn't make it out in time. Jodi and Steven dispatch the guy though. She was being groomed to be a guardian angel, but didn't know that once dead the Powers that Be would take her away from her friends and family, refusing to let her watch out for them, which is why she turns away from the light and in doing so they take her wings. The three of them are all so closely tied, they're soul mates and when Shay dies it actually hurts the other two and their powers are fading and Shay realizes that if she can't get back to them, eventually they will fade themselves, not just their abilities.

So I've rearranged a bit and changed a few words. Not sure if this is stronger.

No one, not even a guardian angel, is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna forgot to watch out for herself, trusting her abilities to keep her safe. But all it took to bring her down was a crazed human, trapping her in a fire. Now Shayna is trapped in the ether, among the restless dead. Turning away from the Light to stay with her friends, Shayna loses her wings. Unable to cope with the death of their soul mate, Jodi and Steven are beginning to fade; Shayna must find a way back to the world of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate.

But the longer Shayna stays among the lost and wandering wraiths, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned, lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.
 

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Isn't to the point where I can give it a quick stab. Here are some notes:

No one, not even a guardian angel, is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, (do strike that, as someone mentioned above) Shayna (I'm assuming she's the guardian angel) forgot to watch out for herself, trusting (in) her abilities to keep her safe. But all it took to bring her down was a crazed human, trapping her in a fire. ('all it took' doesn't match the concept; that's all it would take to bring anyone down) Now Shayna is trapped (trapping her in a fire, trapped again here) in the ether, among the restless dead. Turning away from the Light to stay with her friends, (can't quite make this out: are they Jodi and Steven: is she staying with them or trying to return to them, as indicated in the next sentence, or are we talking about different people ... friends is not the equivalent of soul mates) Shayna loses her wings. Unable to cope with the death of their soul mate, Jodi and Steven are beginning to fade (what does 'fade' mean here?); Shayna must find a way back to the world of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate. (how exactly are they in danger?)

But the longer Shayna stays among the lost and wandering wraiths, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned, lost (second use of this word in this short paragraph) forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, (the remainder of her sanity is something to lose) she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.

Alternate recommendation: Have another look at Steve Vernon's suggestion. Fill out the skeleton he provided a bit if you like and I think you'd have a pretty good blurb.
 

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Steve Silkin said:
Alternate recommendation: Have another look at Steve Vernon's suggestion. Fill out the skeleton he provided a bit if you like and I think you'd have a pretty good blurb.
Hi, Shauna. I understand what you are saying about not wanting to rehash the backstory for the series, but I would also want to appeal to new readers. I second Steve Silkin's suggestion. I would take Steve Vernon's skeleton and flesh it out some. I like your last line about with or without wings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
HAGrant said:
Hi, Shauna. I understand what you are saying about not wanting to rehash the backstory for the series, but I would also want to appeal to new readers. I second Steve Silkin's suggestion. I would take Steve Vernon's skeleton and flesh it out some. I like your last line about with or without wings.
I'll try to tighten it up. The problem with Steve's version is that it isn't how the story went so I gotta wrap my head around how to cut down my own blurb.
 

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ShaunaG said:
So I've rearranged a bit and changed a few words. Not sure if this is stronger.

No one, not even a guardian angel, is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna forgot to watch out for herself, trusting her abilities to keep her safe. But all it took to bring her down was a crazed human, trapping her in a fire. Now Shayna is trapped in the ether, among the restless dead. Turning away from the Light to stay with her friends, Shayna loses her wings. Unable to cope with the death of their soul mate, Jodi and Steven are beginning to fade; Shayna must find a way back to the world of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate.

But the longer Shayna stays among the lost and wandering wraiths, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned, lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.
This is much better, I'd just do some tidying up. I understand the need to maybe create a back story for new readers, but the chances are if the blurb grabs them they'll go for the first in the series anyway, unless this is a free download at some point.

I'd focus on making it sound like an interesting read, rather than focussing on telling a back-story. Maybe work on it a little bit to tell more back-story but don't get obsessed with it.

Anyway, heres what I picked out:

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna forgot to watch out for herself, trusting her abilities to keep her safe. But all it took to bring her down was a crazed human, trapping her in a fire. (I don't like this, I preferred the previous version for this part) Now Shayna is trapped in the ether, among the restless dead. Turning away from the Light to stay with her friends, Shayna loses her wings. Unable to cope with the death of their soul mate, Jodi and Steven are beginning to (maybe mention their powers are fading before they do? like you stated) fade; Shayna must find a way back to the world of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate.

But the longer Shayna stays among the lost and wandering wraiths, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned and lost forever among the restless (you already used restless previously souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.

Thats it, other than that, I love it.
 

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humblenations said:
A blurb should be something, not to sell the plot, but the character.
Also: This is good advice. Worth considering.
 

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Here's what I came up with...hope it helps.

Dying in the fire released Shayna from earth, but bound her to the ether.

Desperate to save her friends from the same tormented fate, Shayna sacrifices her wings and turns away from the Light. She stands unprotected - trapped between the worlds of the living and dead.

The wraiths consume her sanity as she struggles to find her way back.

She only needs a whisper to save her friends, but those few seconds may condemn her to an eternal existence amongst the soulless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do appreciate all the help, and I am taking the suggestions into consideration. Unfortunately some of the suggestions include things that are incorrect as far as the story goes, so please don't think I'm ignoring anyone.

I know we like the idea of catching new readers' eyes but at the 5th book, and final in the series, I do have to go in with some sense that people know who this character is by now.

Here's a new stab:

Not even a guardian angel is more powerful than Death.

Putting too much trust her abilities to keep her safe, Shayna was cut down by crazed man. Now she is trapped in the land of the dead, watching as her two best friends suffer the consequences of her death; their powers are fading and soon they will too. Shayna is desperate to return to the land of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate. But to save her friends, Shayna must turn away from the Light and, in doing so, sacrifice her wings.

The longer Shayna stays among the dead, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned and lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.
 

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I know blurbs are frustrating. I actually like the first version better because it has an energy and emotion that is starting to seep out of this one. I would go with that, change the typo and a couple of small things like repeated words in the same paragraph. And you can always change it after it's up. My two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay, I've kinda combined the original and some tighter edits of the latest option. I think this one is pretty strong.

Not even a guardian angel is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna put too much trust her abilities to keep herself safe and has been cut down by crazed man. Now she is trapped in the land of the dead, watching as her two best friends suffer the consequences of her death; their powers are fading and soon they will too. Shayna is desperate to return to the land of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate. To save her friends Shayna must turn away from the Light and, in doing so, sacrifice her wings.

But the longer Shayna stays among the dead, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned and lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.
 

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Last blurb is good.

Just that first sentence needs changing. It's not a strong start to start with "Always careful to watch out for others," I'd start with "Shayna".

Contrary to my second post, I actually believe (and I don't know why and I have no evidence to back this up) using the name of the protagonist as the first word in a blurb of a series, is a good indicator for A.) the reader knowing they've picked up the right book, and B.) New readers are subliminally given the characters name straight away, they are straight into the story and know the character from the off set.
 

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ShaunaG said:
Okay, I've kinda combined the original and some tighter edits of the latest option. I think this one is pretty strong.
]
Not even a guardian angel is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna put too much trust in her abilities to keep herself safe and has been cut down by a crazed man. Now she is trapped in the land of the dead, watching as her two best friends suffer the consequences of her death; their powers are fading and soon they will too. Shayna is desperate to return to the land of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate. To save her friends Shayna must turn away from the Light and, in doing so, sacrifice her wings.

But the longer Shayna stays among the dead, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned and lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.
I like it. Added two missing words (bold). Can you replace one of "the dead" references with something else (repeat phrase nit)?
 
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