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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I recently wrote my book's description, and I'm just looking for some feedback. I don't want to get too deep into the details of the book. Any comments are appreciated!

Seventeen-year-old Norman's dreams seem to come true when he meets Zach, a bad-boy who takes him under his wing and introduces him to a new life filled with girls, sex and drugs. But the closer Norman gets to him, the more his life spins out of control, for Zach has dark secrets, secrets that form a unique worldview that will shape Norman's life for years to come. As Norman falls deeper and deeper into Zach's world, he becomes lost in a maze of murder, deception and lies…

A Song After Dark is a pulse-pounding, fast-paced horror novel that takes the reader on a terrifying journey into darkness that he won't soon forget.
 

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sal79paradise said:
Seventeen-year-old Norman's dreams seem to come true when he meets Zach, a bad-boy who takes him under his wing and introduces him to a new life filled with girls, sex and drugs. But the closer Norman gets to him, the more his life spins out of control, for Zach has dark secrets, secrets that form a unique worldview that will shape Norman's life for years to come. As Norman falls deeper and deeper into Zach's world, he becomes lost in a maze of murder, deception and lies…

A Song After Dark is a pulse-pounding, fast-paced horror novel that takes the reader on a terrifying journey into darkness that he won't soon forget.
I don't know anything about Norman, other than a) male, and b) 17-years-old. I have no reason to dread for him and want to read the book to satisfy the dread. The bold items are places I've embellished. Pay careful attention to those areas because I may be telling a different story than you intended.

Here are my quick edits... take them with a grain of salt, two aspirin, and a margarita shot.

Seventeen-year-old Norman is your typical high school kid. All of his dreams seem to come true when he meets Zach, a bad-boy who takes him under his wing and introduces him to a new life filled with girls, sex and drugs. His mother insists that Zach is a bad influence, but Norman can't seem to walk away as Zach frames him for someone's murder. But the closer Norman gets to Zach, the more his life spins out of control. Zach's secrets form a unique world view that shape Norman life and put his life at risk. As Norman falls deeper and deeper into Zach's world, he becomes lost in a maze of murder, deception and lies…

A Song After Dark is a pulse-pounding, fast-paced horror novel that takes the reader on a terrifying journey into darkness that he won't soon forget.


A: I get a git more of him. He's in high-school (not a dropout).
B: Why doesn't he just tell Zach where to put it when things go bad? Oh.... he's being framed and blackmailed.
C: Now, I care about Norman. I dread that he won't get out from under Zach's twisted world. How does he get around the blackmail and the set-up? I don't know! I must read it to find out!!

Do you see? Does that help?
 

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I like jhanel's edit. I would change it up a bit though:

Seventeen-year-old Norman is trying to make his way through high school--a place where he has no friends, and everyone avoids him as if he has some sort of contagious disease. Life at the bottom of the social ladder changes when he meets Zach, a bad boy who takes him under his wing and introduces him to a new life filled with girls, sex and drugs.

Norman's overbearing mother insists that Zach is a bad influence, but Norman can't seem to walk away--even when things start to get out of control. While Zach promises him the world and a life-long friendship. Norman gets a glimpse into Zach's world and sees how Zach always gets what he wants. It's a world full of secrets, danger, and temptation. The more that is revealed, the harder it is for Norman to resist a power he has never had before.

When Zach asks him to take the blame for a murder Norman never commited, he realized just how deep he has fallen into Zach's web. Lost in a maze of murder, deception and lies and with no one to turn to, Norman has to find a way to break free from Zach before it's too late.

A Song After Dark is a pulse-pounding, fast-paced horror novel that takes the reader on a terrifying journey into darkness that he won't soon forget.


It's not perfect, and excuse the assumptions I made about the story. I just wanted to illustrate how a few more details here and there can help make the reader care about the main character and what he is facing within the story.
 

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sal79paradise said:
Yes, that does help. Thanks! I'm discovering that writing book descriptions is an art in its own right.
Amen. The art comes in giving specifics of the story without giving too many spoilers. I think the tendency of the author is to cling to specifics because he wants to give the reader the full enjoyment of discovering them during the natural course of the book. The problem is that it doesn't let the reader know what it's about. You have to trust that the reader will still be interested even knowing a plot point. If you take a classic like The Count of Monet Cristo, the blurb reveals that Edmun Dantes goes to prison and that he's betrayed. Those are spoilers, but the reader doesn't get the whole story. So, if the reader likes stories about guys who are thrown in prison unjustly, he'll pick it up. You can't "surprise" readers with what the story is about, because, if you don't tell them in the first place, they won't pick up the book. You have to trust that they'll want to read a story about what you've written.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the help, everyone!

Does this sound better?

Seventeen-year-old Norman is a straight A student trying to make his way through high school without any friends. His overbearing parents insist that he spend all his spare time studying, but he knows that the night is alive, vibrating with energy, and he yearns to escape their vice-like grip on him.

Life at the bottom of the social ladder changes when he meets Zach, a bad-boy who takes him under his wing and introduces him to a new life filled with girls, sex and drugs. Blinded by his desires, Norman's drawn to him, despite his instincts telling him that there's something off about Zach, something dangerous, unhinged. And the closer he gets, the more his life spins out of control, for Zach has dark secrets, secrets that form a worldview in which killing is the norm, and Norman is his new apprentice. As Norman falls deeper and deeper into Zach's world, he becomes lost in a maze of murder, deception and lies…

A Song After Dark is a pulse-pounding, fast-paced horror novel with a thrilling conclusion that will leave the reader reeling.
 

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sal79paradise said:
Thanks for the help, everyone!

Does this sound better?

Seventeen-year-old Norman is a straight A student trying to make his way through high school without any friends. His overbearing parents insist that he spend all his spare time studying, but he knows that the night is alive, vibrating with energy, and he yearns to escape their vice-like grip on him.

Life at the bottom of the social ladder changes when he meets Zach, a bad-boy who takes him under his wing and introduces him to a new life filled with girls, sex and drugs. Blinded by his desires, Norman's drawn to him, despite his instincts telling him that there's something off about Zach, something dangerous, unhinged. And the closer he gets, the more his life spins out of control, for Zach has dark secrets, secrets that form a worldview in which killing is the norm, and Norman is his new apprentice. As Norman falls deeper and deeper into Zach's world, he becomes lost in a maze of murder, deception and lies…

A Song After Dark is a pulse-pounding, fast-paced horror novel with a thrilling conclusion that will leave the reader reeling.
Much. I'd like to read that, now that you mention it. Sounds interesting. =)
 

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It's much better!

Here's how I would tweak it:

Seventeen-year-old Norman is a straight A student trying to make his way through high school without any friends. His overbearing parents insist that he spend all his spare time studying, but he knows that the night is alive, vibrating with energy. He yearns to escape their vice-like grip on him by going out and having some fun.

Life at the bottom of the social ladder changes when he meets Zach, a bad boy who takes him under his wing and introduces him to a new life filled with girls, sex and drugs. Blinded by the chance to escape his boring life, Norman is drawn to Zach, despite his instincts telling him that there's something off about his new friend, something dangerous, unhinged.

The more Norman becomes a part of Zach's inner circle, the more his own life spins out of control. Norman learns Zach has dark secrets--secrets that form a worldview in which killing is the norm. Now, Norman is his new apprentice. As he falls deeper and deeper into Zach's world, he becomes lost in a maze of murder, deception and lies…

A Song After Dark is a pulse-pounding, fast-paced horror novel with a thrilling conclusion that will leave the reader reeling.


Hope that helps.
 

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All my instincts tell me to start this one in media res, something like this:

Norman pressed the knife hard under the jeweler's neck while Zach stood behind him holding a .45. "Open the safe now or die," Norman whispered. Zach raised the pistol and pointed it at the jeweler's head ... (of course, you'll want to use a sentence taken from your text here instead)

But this wasn't your typical diamond heist. (ditto) A few weeks ago, Norman was a straight-A student chafing under the strict discipline of his parents. But then he fell under the influence of Zach, who introduced him to the thrills of sex and drugs. Suddenly, they're heading deeper into a maze of murder and deception.

(you'll notice that a lot of what i left what was the 'value-judgment' stuff ... hope this helps.)

 

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Screenwriter's log lines, which serve the same function (hook 'em!), have 3 essential elements, if I remember correctly: main character, main character's goal, and the obstacle / conflict. I think you've got two of out of the three.
 

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I definitely would lose: A Song After Dark is a pulse-pounding, fast-paced horror novel with a thrilling conclusion that will leave the reader reeling.

Unless you're quoting a review that can be linked to... It sounds great, but nothing an author should be saying about his own book.

For whatever it's worth, I played around with your cover copy... it's always cool (IMHO) if you can work your title into the text. (except i just noticed i didn't get the title right lol!)


Norman thought he'd hit the jackpot when he met Zach, trading his boring straight A lifestyle for one filled with sex, drugs, and more girls than he ever imagined he'd meet in his entire life.

But there’s something dangerous about Zach, something not quite right. For Zach has a dark secret, that once revealed will drag his newfound sidekick into a nightmare world mired in death and destruction, where killing is the norm, and Norman is his new apprentice

Be wary of strangers, and careful what you wish for.

Sometimes a song in the dark is one you don't want to hear.





 
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