Author Topic: Critique/feedback request - urban fantasy  (Read 236 times)

Luke Everhart

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Critique/feedback request - urban fantasy
« on: January 04, 2019, 01:21:59 PM »
I just noticed this subforum states any writing aspects of one's work so figure this can be asked here.
I'd love feedback on a fairly heavy rewrite (well 50% or so) of my blurb for my as-yet-to-be-published book 1 in my urban fantasy series (it's been pending since late spring/early summer, I set things aside for a while).

With great power comes... a HELLuva learning curve

My name is Gabriel Ash. A year ago I woke up in the smoldering ruins of my apartment. No burns. No cuts or bruises. No memory of what the heck happened.
Then, a guy who could give Methuselah a run for his money dumps another bucket of weird on me. Turns out, most of the things I thought were merely myths are real --  and I'm one of them.
An Heir.
It's not what you'd think. No trust fund. No deed to a charming fixer-upper. Just a crazy story and a front row seat to an eternal war.
I'd call BS on it but for the magic. Cool, right? Yeah, sure, until a diabolical douche starts playing puppet master with mortal souls and that magic puts me in the thick of it.
My only chance of stopping it is embracing a heritage I don’t understand with a cost I'm afraid to pay. It sucks, but I don't have a choice. If I fail, the city will become a demonic Ellis Island and then the sulfur will really hit the fan...


All feedback welcome (yes, even if you think it sucks). UF readers/writers opinions particularly welcome.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 02:29:01 PM by Luke Everhart »
Urban Fantasy Author
Magic & Mirth meets Action & Attitude
 

catowned

Re: Critique/feedback request - urban fantasy
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 01:05:18 PM »
Here are some thoughts to consider (same as those in private blurb lab):


With great power comes... a HELLuva learning curve
Like this.

My name is Gabriel Ash. A year ago I woke up in the smoldering ruins of my apartment. No burns. No cuts or bruises. No memory of what the heck happened.
Ok.

Then, a guy who could give Methuselah a run for his money dumps another bucket of weird on me. Turns out, most of the things I thought were merely myths are real --  and I'm one of them.
Events in this paragraph were all a year ago, so use past tense.

An Heir.
Need mythical here. An heir isn't mythical. Who is Gabriel Ash heir to? Make me want to read this.

It's not what you'd think. No trust fund. No deed to a charming fixer-upper. Just a crazy story and a front row seat to an eternal war.

I'd call BS on it but for the magic. Cool, right?
What magic? What can you do? What's cool?

Yeah, sure, until a diabolical douche starts playing puppet master with mortal souls and that magic puts me in the thick of it.
Who's the douche? A mythical character? What's he doing to mortal souls? Show that this is the eternal war of the gods.

My only chance of stopping it is embracing a heritage I don’t understand with a cost I'm afraid to pay.
What cost to Gabriel Ash?

It sucks, but I don't have a choice. If I fail, the city will become a demonic Ellis Island and then the sulfur will really hit the fan...
 

angelapepper

Re: Critique/feedback request - urban fantasy
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 06:49:41 AM »
Looks great! Anyone can pick apart any blurb, as there's no one true way, but this looks great to me.

If you want to try something, set it aside and rewrite a new blurb in 3rd person using James Scott Bell's formula. Then compare the two. You'll have a second one for split testing.

I'm boring and I always use this formula. :-)

Quote
Create three paragraphs, each one sentence long.

In the first paragraph, describe the initial situation of your main character. Use an adjective and a noun. For example, a lonesome cowboy, a happy debutante, or, in the case of my book, a dyslexic teenager.

My example: “It’s 1969. A dyslexic fifteen-year-old struggles with harsh criticism at home and school because he can hardly read.”

In the second paragraph, start with “When” and describe your inciting incident and the resulting pickle the character finds himself in.

My example: “When his guardian calls him stupid and lazy one too many times, he runs away to the Missouri woods to find peace but instead encounters a deadly storm.”

In the third paragraph, start with “Now” and describe the high stakes in your story and the character’s dilemma at this point in the tale. For it to be a good story, says Bell, the stakes that feel like death to the character.

My example: “Now he must decide whether to trust the secretive African-American man who rescues him–while struggling to keep steps ahead of a wily truant officer who wants to send him back to the pain and humiliation of his life in town.”

This advice comes from Bell’s book How to Make a Living as a Writer, page 142. I highly recommend this book and his others as encouragement and wisdom for writers.

From <http://www.castlegatepress.com/how-to-write-back-cover-copy-from-james-scott-bell/>
 

Jack Krenneck

Re: Critique/feedback request - urban fantasy
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 01:45:31 PM »
I remember seeing that blurb a long time ago. I loved it then. I love it now. It has voice (critical for UF) and it has hookyness. No suggestions. It's awesome as it is.