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Discussion Starter #1
Sup, Kboards!

I'd love to hear what you guys think of this blurb. It's for the Sequel to We Are Watching, entitled A Conduit for Man. I'm sure it's a jumbled mess, but I can't look at it anymore without going cross-eyed, which means it's time for me to drop it off here. Let me know what I can do to clean it up!

Henry Malone waged his cyber war with Planetary Link. He destroyed The Ring, freed society, and stole the sum total of humanity's knowledge with the intention of releasing it for all, but now it's locked away in the deepest parts of his mind where even he can't access it. To make matters worse, he's taken on the disembodied consciousness of another human being-the result of a heroic deed gone horribly wrong-and it's made him a ticking time bomb. His NEX can't handle all the data and is rapidly deteriorating, taking his mind along with it.

After experiencing a disturbingly real vision of a conflict fought hundreds of years ago, Henry knows he's teetering on the edge of slipping away completely. He decides to take a gamble, crossing into enemy territory to find the mysterious Doctor Carter-the only person who might be able to save him.
Thanks!
 

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I think it's a pretty good blurb. The only part I don't love, is the beginning. It feels a little jumbled, so I went ahead and tweaked it. But it's just my take. Maybe others will do better  :)

Henry Malone waged a cyber war against the Planetary Link Corporation, and won. He took back humanity's knowledge with the intention of releasing it for all, but now it's locked away in the deepest parts of his mind where even he can't access it. To make matters worse, he's taken on the disembodied consciousness of another human being--the result of a heroic deed gone horribly wrong--and it's made him a ticking time bomb. His NEX can't handle all the data and is rapidly deteriorating, taking his mind along with it.

After experiencing a disturbingly real vision of a conflict fought hundreds of years ago, Henry knows he's teetering on the edge of slipping away completely. He decides to take a gamble, crossing into enemy territory to find the mysterious Doctor Carter--the only person who may be able to save him.
 

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Hey, Matthew. I like the sound of your blurb, but I see one really big problem with it. If someone reads the blurb for this before they've read the first book, you've just spoiled huge chunks of the story for them. Is there a way to talk about the problem without giving away important stuff from the first book?
 

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Ah, wedgies. That makes me nostalgic for those long-lost junior high years.

There's a lot of long sentences in your blurb. Maybe try varying them with some shorter, punchier sentences? Also, try simplifying some of your verb construction, such as "gambles" vs "decides to take a gamble", in order to create more urgency.
 

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Here's a stab at it. As usual, feel free to ignore it all. Short and snappy:

World renown hero Henry Malone is a ticking time bomb. There's a disembodied voice in his head that's slowly killing him, a result of a brave sacrifice in his epic battle against Planetary Link Corporation. He finds hope in a legendary doctor, but to get to him, he'll need to cross enemy territory--all before the entity destroys him.

 

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Oh boy...  Blurbs for sequels.  These are so hard to get right because you still need them to do what a normal blurb does, but now you have even more to do with the same amount of space and restrictions.

First problem I see is that this entire blurb is leaning on book one's events.  This isn't going to work well because it's already been pointed out that you're spoiling everything.  Next people who haven't seen book one have no clue what your talking about, you haven't established who any of the characters are.  If you can't engage them, they are not going to go hunt down book one.  Especially after you just told them what happens.  Are Planetary Link and The Ring even major plot points in this book or are they just book one backstory now?  If they are backstory, get rid of them.  Re-establish who Henry Malone is without spoiling book one.

Try writing this book's blurb as if it was the only book.  Ignore everything in book one and just pretend it's backstory or a prologue.  Establish the main character, establish the setting, establish the conflict and with each sentence or paragraph raise the tension and do not reveal anything that is going to happen past act two.

When you get to book three and beyond, it just gets harder and harder to do.  You will end up leaning on past books because your primary conflicts are continuations and not self contained probably.  I spent nearly a month working on my blurbs for books two and three of a trilogy before I got them satisfactory. 
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks a lot guys--tons of food for thought here. Unfortunately, the blurb for book 2 does spoil a lot of book 1, but leaves one very important plot point un-spoiled (fresh?).

I'm gonna whip up another blurb and get back to you guys.

After that, I'm eating dinner and watching CitizenFour! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, I really like Sever's short blurb (thanks, Sever!), so I fiddled with it.

Henry Malone is a ticking time bomb. His mind isn't his own. It's home to a second consciousness that's slowly killing him, the result of a brave sacrifice in his war against Planetary Link Corporation. He finds hope in a legendary doctor, but to get to her, he'll need to cross into enemy lands where society is descending into another dark age--all before the entity destroys him.
I'm trying to find a better way to phrase "he'll need to cross into enemy lands where society is descending into another dark age--all before the entity destroys him." Anyone have a suggestion?
 

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I really like the shorter version. Here are my thoughts (pun intended) on how you might improve it.

Henry Malone is a ticking time bomb. His mind isn't his own. Someone else's thoughts intrude into his, telling him to {some kind of concrete detail about what it's like}. He desperately needs the help of a [legendary doctor], but to get to her, he must cross into enemy territory where society is descending into chaos--all before the intrusive consciousness destroys his life entirely.
"legendary doctor": could this be more technological and specific? Something like a neuro-computational MD. Donno...
 

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Humm..  How about some setting.  I don't have any idea what it is, but I can infer and you will need to correct for it or toss it out.

Henry Malone's mind has a downloaded passenger from his fight against Planetary Link Corporation, and it's slowly killing him.  Wishing he hadn't skipped out on the latest neural upgrade he needs help and help fast if there is going to be any hope at saving his life and the data his mind stores.  Henry begins to catch fragments into the other mind sharing his head and discovers someone who might be able to help him.  Planetary Link Corporation has put a bounty on his head, literally, and escaping Neo Hong Kong is the least of his trouble.  The neurotech doctor that he's looking for is exiled in the badlands of radioactive Mongolia, an area hell bent on having a technological dark age and overrun by gang and tribal warfare.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Okay, for those of you still following along at home, here's what I've got:

Henry Malone is a seventeen-year-old boy in over his head. After waging a cyber war with Planetary Link Corporation, he's left sharing his mind with another consciousness. It's plagued him with visions of lives he never lived, it speaks and acts through him, worst of all it's slowly killing him. He desperately needs the help of Planetary Link's top Neurotechnician to regain his mind. But in order to get to her, he must cross into a world where his actions have plunged society into chaos--all before his own mind destroys him.
I wish I would have thought of radioactive Mongolia. That sounds incredible!
 

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Seventeen-year-old Henry Malone has a deadly problem his sharp wit can't overcome--another consciousness is squeezing him out of his own brain. It plagues him with visions and, infuriatingly, speaks and acts through him. He's quickly running out of time.

But there's hope in the form of a legendary neurtechnician. The only problem is she works for Planetary Link Corporation, an institution Henry waged cyber war against. And they'll stop at nothing trying to get revenge.
 

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Sever Bronny said:
Seventeen-year-old Henry Malone has a deadly problem his sharp wit can't overcome--another consciousness is squeezing him out of his own brain. It plagues him with visions and, infuriatingly, speaks and acts through him. He's quickly running out of time.

But there's hope in the form of a legendary neurtechnician. The only problem is she works for Planetary Link Corporation, an institution Henry waged cyber war against. And they'll stop at nothing trying to get revenge.
I really like the first paragraph of Sever's new blurb, but I think the second half of your latest blurb would fit better with it, Matthew.
 

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I like the new version, but I don't like the pronoun in the sentence that begins "it's plagued him..," may be just my personal pet peeve, but "it's" usually means "it is" rather that "it has."  I would not use a pronoun and certainly not use a contraction here. Maybe try a different phrase for the consciousness, maybe one that is more descriptive or gives more information, instead of using the pronoun.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay, here's my last attempt before bed. I'll be sure to check back in the morning, so feel free to have another whack at it.

Seventeen-year-old Henry Malone has a deadly problem his sharp wit can't overcome--another consciousness is squeezing him out of his own brain. It plagues him with visions and, infuriatingly, speaks and acts through him. He's quickly running out of time. His only prayer is seeking the help of Planetary Link's top Neurotechnician. But in order to get to her, he must cross into a world where his actions have plunged society into chaos--and convince her to betray her employer before his own mind destroys him.
 

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I know, eh, Rich? Hilarious title.

Anyway, Matt, here's another round:

Seventeen-year-old Henry Malone has a deadly problem his sharp wit can't overcome--another consciousness is squeezing him out of his own brain. It plagues him with visions and, infuriatingly, speaks and acts through him. He's quickly running out of time. His only hope rests with Planetary Link's top Neurotechnician. But in order to get to her, he must cross into a chaotic world of his making--and convince her to betray her employer before his own mind destroys him.

Something is still off though.
 

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A bit late to the party, but I think you have it right in your last attempt. I'd change prayer with hope, like Sever suggested, but I just toyed with it, and couldn't really make it better. I'd remove the "infuriatingly", because it breaks the flow a bit for me.

It does what it needs to exceptionally well. The story sounds really interesting, and makes me want to read the first part.
 

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Sever Bronny said:
Seventeen-year-old Henry Malone has a deadly problem his sharp wit can't overcome--another consciousness is squeezing him out of his own brain. It plagues him with visions and, infuriatingly, speaks and acts through him. He's quickly running out of time. His only hope rests with Planetary Link's top Neurotechnician. But in order to get to her, he must cross into a chaotic world of his making--and convince her to betray her employer before his own mind destroys him.

Something is still off though.
Morning, guys! I like the shorter blurb, but for some reason it doesn't give me such a need to read the book as before. What really drew me in was the hook of: 'all society's knowledge being locked away in his brain, but he can't access it'. I know what you're saying about spoilers for book 1, but if it's a major plot point for book 2, I think it could still go in. If not... as you were :)

Using everyone's new upgrades, I'm having another stab at it:

Seventeen-year-old Henry Malone fought the Planetary Link Corporation, and took back humanity's stolen knowledge with the intention of releasing it for all. But now it's locked away in the deepest parts of his mind where even he can't access it. Henry also has a deadly problem--someone else's consciousness is taking over his brain, plaguing him with visions. He's running out of time. With a bounty on his head and his mind slipping away, Henry's only hope rests with (name) Planetary Link's top Neurotechnician. But to get to her, he must cross into a dangerous world--and convince her to betray her employer before his own mind destroys him.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Shalini Boland said:
Morning, guys! I like the shorter blurb, but for some reason it doesn't give me such a need to read the book as before. What really drew me in was the hook of: 'all society's knowledge being locked away in his brain, but he can't access it'. I know what you're saying about spoilers for book 1, but if it's a major plot point for book 2, I think it could still go in. If not... as you were :)
That's a great point, Shalini. Without that tidbit of information, there isn't much external conflict in the blurb. Here's what I'm thinking now

Seventeen-year-old Henry Malone has a deadly problem his sharp wit can't overcome--along with the sum total of humanity's knowledge, another consciousness has been stuffed into his brain. It plagues him with visions, speaks and acts through him, and worst of all, it's killing him. He's quickly running out of time. If he dies, all of humanity's knowledge goes with him. His only hope for survival is finding Planetary Link's top Neurotechnician, Doctor Carter. But in order to get to her, he must cross into a world where his actions have plunged society into chaos--and convince the Doctor to betray her employer before his own mind destroys him.
 
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