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Here goes:

Past and present collides when a mysterious stowaway triggers an event that forces Captain Dangard to face his long-buried secrets.

Before the legend of this feared pirate even began, a young military officer chooses honor over duty. His actions will lead to betrayal and then exile to the worst prison planet in the galaxy. Within this forsaken world, there are infinite ways to die, but only one path to freedom and ultimately, vengeance.

For somewhere in the shadows of deep space, a black ship awaits—ready to unleash her unholy power upon the entire galaxy.

- Any suggestions appreciated!
 

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This seems a bit confusing - who is the main character: the stowaway, the captain, or the young military officer?

I don't get any sense that this is space opera, and I'm not given enough information about any of these potential mains to care about their fate. I don't get why the officer wants vengeance and his entire paragraph is a passive summary of vagueness. Also, the first line doesn't connect with anything else. Is that supposed to be the tag line? If so, that needs to summarize a dramatic plot point that is helped along by the rest of the blurb.

You want something more like this:

The fate of the universe depends on a mysterious stowaway, a warp jump gone wrong, and one pissed off captain.

When Lt. Doug refuses to sully his honor with latrine duty, he's dumped on the worst prison planet in the galaxy. Vowing vengeance on the heinous captain for such a betrayal, he escapes and stows away on a supply ship. Unfortunately, his added weight screws up the warp speed calculations and the ship winds up in a hostile part of space.

Captain Dangard was having an average boring day dropping off supplies on a prison planet before going to the next point in his unadventurous route when the warp jump strands him in an uncharted sector of space. When he discovers a stowaway is the cause, he's about to space him out the airlock when his ship comes under attack. Although he secretly always wanted adventure, this is more than he bargained for.

The attacking vessel is none other than the dreaded Black Ship of Doom, rumored to be a secret weapon that'll unleash unholy power upon the entire galaxy. Captain Dangard and the stowaway will have to work together to save their own skins and maybe, just maybe save the entire galaxy from destruction.
 

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You've got the same problem I have (see my thread "Building the Value of Books"). Blurbs are hard!

I found your blurb confusing too. There are also grammar issues (Past and present collide...). It's better not to mention any characters in the tag line, as the reader does not yet have a clue who Captain Dinard is. Normally the second para is the "lead" that introduces the main character and sketches their situation in a way that makes them interesting to the reader. However, your second para goes back in time. It 's not clear whether the "young military officer" is Captain Dinard or not, or even whether "this feared pirate" is Captain Dinard. We assume so, but we were never told he was a pirate.

There is a problem with tenses in the first sentence of the second para. Why go back in time at all? The main story is surely in the present (story time), rather than the past?

The blurb is supposed to create a sense of expectation rather than summarise the plot.

I've noticed most blurbs fall into roughly the following structure:

Tagline - an arresting sentence to grab the reader's attention
Lead - to introduce the protagonist and their situation such as to further capture the reader's interest.
Body - to give the challemnge, the stakes, a sense of the dramatic adventure for the reader.
Snapper - a pithy close, which may refer to similar well-known authors or pitch the mood or style of the book.

Nicholas Erik has good advice on blurbs and how to get batter at them. I hope this helps.
 
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Well... it reads like something from yesteryear. "Join our intrepid adventurer as he embarks on... Stay tuned dear listener but now a message from our sponsor" (I listen to old time radio; it's a kick 😁 (The Shadow knows!!! 😂)

I agree with C Gold insofar as you need a more character-centric focus. Space opera is character driven no matter how grand (Han, Luke, Leia for ex) Sure, you mention a character right out of the gate; but, as noted by others in the thread, it's not in a personal way, a way that allows the reader to orient the blurb around that character's challenge and stakes very effectively. Yours has a bit too much of a 30k feet feel imo

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good points, everybody- thanks! :)

Yes, Capt. Dangard is the space pirate and most of the book is a sort of flashback when he was a young military officer.
 

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As far as the hook, in one to three SHORT sentences, you must: 1) explain what the book is about; 2) Show the ultimate stakes of the story. We must do this in a way that is evocative.

JTriptych said:
Past and present collides when a mysterious stowaway triggers an event that forces Captain Dangard to face his long-buried secrets.
This doesn't work in my opinion. 1) what's wrong with the past and present colliding? How does a stowaway trigger an event? What event? We all have long-buried secrets, so what's so bad about Captain Dangard's? The only emotion I feel from this is confusion.

As for the Synopsis, it is NOT about the plot, it's about EMOTION. Character is a much better starting point than plot. 1) Identify the protagonist and what (s)he is going through (this gives the reader an emotional lens to look through/connects the reader through shared experience); 2) Explain the plot as it happens to the character. Leave the reader wanting more. 3) End it with a cliffhanger that connects the protagonist to the hook. Make sure the reader wants to know what happens next. Use an 'If Then' or a question.

JTriptych said:
Before the legend of this feared pirate even began, a young military officer chooses honor over duty. His actions will lead to betrayal and then exile to the worst prison planet in the galaxy. Within this forsaken world, there are infinite ways to die, but only one path to freedom and ultimately, vengeance.

For somewhere in the shadows of deep space, a black ship awaits-ready to unleash her unholy power upon the entire galaxy.
Who is the pirate? Almost the entire synopsis here is plot. What was the duty? Why was honor more important? How or why was he betrayed? What were the circumstances? Did the betrayal lead to exile or was it betrayal then exile? If the first, how? if the latter, why? What makes this the worst prison planet in the galaxy? How could he die? If there's only one path to escape, what is it? How is it a path to freedom and how does it lead to vengeance? What will he need to do? What does the black ship have to do with anything?

Avoid sounding plotty. 1) Name one or two protagonists, one antagonist, and nothing else. 2) Keep the rest vague and interesting. 3) Keep momentum going by starting sentences with transition words like 'when', 'as', and 'after'. 4) Save detail for the book! You want to excite emotion here, but don't need to describe the entire book. Pick the emotion you want your readers to feel (excitement, curiosity, etc) and center the synopsis on that.
 
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