Kindle Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

Registered
Joined
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, everyone.

Preparing to publish my next novel. It is directed at the young of heart: The Adventures of Nuno and Figo. What do you think of the book description below? I'm open to any change.

Do you love adventures of unlikely heroes? Then this story is for you.

Nuno, an Iberian Lynx from a poor area of eastern Portugal, learns about a place called Southern California, where the rabbits are fat, slow, and many. He boards a tramp steamer in Lisboa that takes him to many exotic ports along the way. On board he meets Figo, a world-travelled ship rat. They form a very unlikely friendship. Will their friendship last the perils and dangers of their voyage? What awaits in California?
 

Registered
Joined
1,176 Posts
thmurray3 said:
Preparing to publish my next novel. It is directed at the young of heart: The Adventures of Nuno and Figo. What do you think of the book description below? I'm open to any change.
Not sure who you are aiming this at - you say the 'young of heart'. I think you mean 'young at heart' in which case it is not a children's book. However, it sounds like a children's book from your blurb. In any case, I think you need to come up with a better opening line. Also Lisboa is more usually called Lisbon in places like the USA and UK.
 

Registered
Joined
449 Posts
On the surface your blurb appears good but the teaser question you pose at the end must be preceded by mentioning about the motive, one more dangers encountered enroute. Which is why I get an empty feeling after reading it. I hope you get the subtle point I'm trying to convey. Your story is very interesting, by the way!
 

Registered
Joined
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My story is not a "children's" story, though it would fall into the YA genre. But it is an excellent story for adults who don't mind main characters being animals dealing with real life issues. Lisboa is the name of the capital of Portugal. The story begins and ends there. The main characters are from there. They would never call their city "Lisbon". It's close enough to not cause confusion. If it does, then maybe the reader will learn something.

I am more concerned about the hook. This is not a thriller or suspense story. Should I drop completely the opening two sentances? "Do you love adventures of unlikely heroes? Then this story is for you." Thanks for your input.
 

Registered
Joined
1,557 Posts
It doesn't entice me at all. (Sorry.) Here are some random thoughts as to why...

The slugline is directed at the reader, not a reflection of the story. I wouldn't recommend that. If you want to explicitly talk to the reader, save that for the end once you've hooked them with the story. (Stuff like "for fans of x" and trigger warnings, mature content warnings, series lists, etc all goes last. Major awards or movies in production are reasonable exceptions to this guideline.)

Mentioning a poor area seems odd for a lynx. That implies some understanding of money?

I don't agree with your assessment of "Lisboa" as mentioned by Kathy. You aren't using the Portuguese name for linx or anything else, so why the city?

"takes him to many exotic ports" is about the least evocative way to describe a travel story.

You don't need "very" in front of "unlikely." It's a weasel word that expresses nothing more than a lack of confidence in the word that follows.

The two questions at the end are bland. If the story is about whether their unlikely friendship can survive the trip, paint a picture of their conflict, expressing what each needs and implying why they both can't get what they want. I have no idea where your story goes but you need to sell it with something like "Can [rat] ever convince [linx] that he's more valuable as a guide than as lunch when he can hear [lynx's] empty belly rumbling?"
 

Registered
Joined
121 Posts
I think it has good potential. I have played around - just suggestions.

A poor Iberian Lynx travels by steamer to Southern California, where the rabbits are fat, slow, and many, in hope of a better life (or why is he going? knowing his motivation may help here). On board he meets Figo, a world-travelled ship rat and their journey is beset by (list the exciting perils and perhaps what is at stake here). A story of friendship, unlikely heroes and overcoming the odds (or whatever is more true to your story).

The bits I really like are 'where the rabbits are fat, slow and many' and 'well-travelled ship rat', I would keep those in.


 

Registered
Joined
48 Posts
Do you love adventures of unlikely heroes? Then this story is for you.

Nuno, an Iberian Lynx from a poor area of eastern Portugal, learns about a place called Southern California, where the rabbits are fat, slow, and many. He boards a tramp steamer in Lisboa that takes him to many exotic ports along the way. On board he meets Figo, a world-travelled ship rat. They form a very unlikely friendship. Will their friendship last the perils and dangers of their voyage? What awaits in California?


Just my opinion here but I'm afraid it doesn't grab me either. I'm not keen on the opening question myself - it reminds me of throwaway sales copy ("Are you looking for great quality clothing? You've come to the right place!"). I think if you can paint a picture of it being an adventure of unlikely heroes then your potential readers will know it's for them.

I don't think you need to be so specific with where Nuno is from, or that he's an Iberian lynx. For your blurb it's enough to just say Portuguese lynx. I also agree with the previous poster about the line "takes him to many exotic ports along the way". You could replace that with something a bit snappier, like how his adventure begins before he even arrives. Likewise for the description of Figo. World-traveled sounds a bit formal. Maybe he could just be "Figo, the street-wise rat" or something (presumably he's spent a lot of time running around the streets of all the different places he's visited).

The final section could be snappier as well - things like the "very unlikely friendship" and the double question at the end. Again, this is off the top of my head, but perhaps something about how even if their unlikely friendship is able to make it through the journey, there's no guarantee it will survive the destination.

By implying that something dangerous will be in California, it give us the impression that the action will ramp up even more when they get there and creates a bit more intrigue than just asking the reader to imagine what's there.
 

Registered
Joined
1,176 Posts
I think your book is a kind of allegory. If so, you would do well to compare your blurb with the one below ...

One boy, one boat, one tiger . . .

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan -- and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.
You will probably recognise it as the blurb for the epic The Life of Pi. Notice in particular, the difference between your first line and the one from this book. See how this first line draws you in?
 

Registered
Joined
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How about this?

One water rat, one ship, one hungry lynx 鈥

Nuno, an Iberian Lynx, needs to escape from his hard endangered life in scrubland eastern Portugal. He learns about a place called Southern California, where the rabbits are fat, slow, and many. He boards a tramp steamer that takes him to many exotic but dangerous ports along the way. On board he meets Figo, a streetwise ship rat. Despite the odds, they form an unlikely friendship, but will it survive the journey? Will they survive the different perils waiting for them at every port? If they do, what dangers await them in California?
 

Registered
Joined
522 Posts
Kathy Dee said:
I think your book is a kind of allegory. If so, you would do well to compare your blurb with the one below ...

You will probably recognise it as the blurb for the epic The Life of Pi. Notice in particular, the difference between your first line and the one from this book. See how this first line draws you in?
Wonderful catch.
 

Registered
Joined
1,557 Posts
Slugline is way better. Blurb is slightly better.

Specifics....

ship, rat, linx is a better order?

"clever" better than "water" rat?

What the heck is "hard endangered"?

"about a place called" = "of"

"He learns..." "He boards..." repetitive construction.

"exotic but dangerous ports" is only marginally better than before. Still vaguer than a list like "encountering pirates, con-artists, and ninjas" (or whatever they really encounter) along the way" Be precise about the exotic and dangerous things and the reader will decide if they are actually exotic and dangerous. Very basic proof you can show, not tell as an author.

Better sentence order, boards ship, meets rat, visits ports.

First question OK, second is repetitive and should be replaced or cut--you could use something about their internal/emotional conflict if it's in the book, third is okay in concept but perhaps could be rewritten to not be so blandly phrased.
 

Registered
Joined
334 Posts
thmurray3 said:
How about this?

One water rat, one ship, one hungry lynx …

Nuno, an Iberian Lynx, needs to escape from his hard endangered life in scrubland eastern Portugal. He learns about a place called Southern California, where the rabbits are fat, slow, and many. He boards a tramp steamer that takes him to many exotic but dangerous ports along the way. On board he meets Figo, a streetwise ship rat. Despite the odds, they form an unlikely friendship, but will it survive the journey? Will they survive the different perils waiting for them at every port? If they do, what dangers await them in California?
One quick bit of advice: Instead of "Nuno, an Iberian Lynx..." I'd recommend starting with something like:

"When Nuno, an Iberian Lynx, decides to escape his risk-filled life in Portugal, he learns about a place..."

For me as a reader, the "when" beginning engages me more than strict narration of the plot. I suspect you can consolidate a little more as well (as shown in my example). :)
 

Registered
Joined
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. What about this?
One clever rat, one ship, one hungry lynx 鈥

When Nuno, an Iberian Lynx, decides to escape his struggling endangered life in scrubland eastern Portugal, he learns of Southern California, where the rabbits are fat, slow, and many. He boards a tramp steamer where he meets Figo, a streetwise ship rat. Figo introduces him to the different exotic cultures, music, and cuisines of the ports they visit along the way.

Despite the odds, they form an unlikely friendship, but will it survive the journey? Will they survive the different perils lurking around every corner? If they do, what worse dangers await them in California?
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top