Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 74 - Alright, Rate THIS version of the blurb.

First, thanks to everyone who commented on the last post for all the input you gave. I had people sending me rewrites via email plus all the wonderful and ultra-useful input I got in the comments section. So, before I do anything else, I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you.

You know, it's funny how we (I) writers can think we have something so spot-on, you know? I mean, you write stuff and you tweak it and revise it and spend all this time on it, and once you're done, you're like, "Dizzzam! That is some bad ass writing right there. I own this medium. This blurb is mutha-F-ing PERFECT!"

Then you toss it out there and, Dizzam, no it's not.


So, again, thanks for all the awesome suggestions. I read them all several times, very carefully.

Anyway, so as not to make more of a reading project out of this than it is (and I do hope a few folks will come back for round two on this), here's what I came up with based on what people had to say. In particular I addressed the need for more on the "why" of Altin's part of the story.  Let me know what you think (and don't worry, I'm not going to keep doing this. This is my last pandering for input). It's a little longer, but still way under the word count allowed by Createspace's template:

They told him space travel was impossible. They told him the five greatest wizards who ever tried it died. He’s going to do it anyway.

Altin Meade is planet Prosperion’s most promising young sorcerer. He’s also the only Six. Six is the mark of death on that magical world, a mark few socerers are born with and a mark foretelling ruin for every wizard touched by it in history. Always. Which is why Altin has to prove them wrong. And he’s not going to do it by hiding from his destiny.

Driven by curiosity, stubbornness and an inner mystery he must unravel along the way, Altin knows the only way to escape the fate of Prosperion’s previous Sixes is to escape Prosperion itself. And so his quest begins. He wants to find a way out into the stars, but he's going to discover that ignorance is more dangerous than even orcs and dragons are.

Far across the galaxy, Ensign Orli Pewter wants the exact opposite. She wants out of space. Bright, strong and beautiful, Orli is an officer aboard the Aspect, a ship in the fleet from Earth. Brought aboard as a child, her entire life has been spent in the cold emptiness of space, a life she never asked for, a prisoner of fate. As the lumbering sub-light-speed fleet hunts an inscrutable race of genocidal aliens in the enormity of the galaxy, years are ticking off Orli's life. She’s got to get off the ship. She’s got to get out of space. But there is nowhere for her to go.

Or is there?

The Galactic Mage is the story of two lives, two destinies, and two dreams—whether nightmare or wondrous fantasy will be the mystery.


  1. Two changes from the illiterate one:
    Change "They told him the five greatest wizards who ever tried it died" to "... died trying" and
    "And he’s also it’s only Six" to "He's also the last/only Six"
    And for some reason "lumbering sub-light-speed fleet" bugs me, but I can't come up with a good reason why.

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to help out.

    The tense shift of the opening paragraph seems disconcerting to me, and the first two sentences seem a little short and choppy. The third sentence can name Altin, to introduce the hero sooner.

    I'd open with something like this: They say space travel is impossible and they say the five greatest wizards who ever tried it, died. Altin’s going to attempt it anyway.

    Also, were the 'five who tried' the previous Sixes, and were there only five previous sixes? That could be an important detail.

  3. Hey Shades, I am looking forward to your book, mucho.

    When I get to this point with something, I put it aside for a couple of weeks. I know you want to get this written and get the story for sale ASAP, but sometimes feedback can just drive you nuts and make you want to hide in the bathroom.

    This one is a little overwritten I think. The next one will be perfect. An example of editing I'd do if it was mine and I had a red pen: "Far across the galaxy, Ensign Orli Pewter wants out of space." The guy wants in, the girl wants out. We know they are opposites (and isn't this always the way, by the way?)

    I'd tighten up and/or eliminate most of the backstory.

    Don't torture yourself with this. You rock. :)

    Good luck!

  4. Hi there, I found your blog after googling "should the word mage be capitalized." Still don't know the answer to that, or why google directed me to your blog, but I'm glad I found you.

    I can write the first draft of a 100K novel in four months, but it takes me six weeks to write a three paragraph blurb. Yeah, I feel your pain.

    I actually liked the first blurb you wrote better (day 70?). No reason, just a gut reaction.

  5. Oh, by the way ... do you know if the word "mage" should be capitalized? (as in "Ozark Mountain Mages" and "she was a mage")


    I'm going to hunt for your book in the Kindle store!

  6. Hi Charlotte. Thanks tons for your input. And you ain't lying about the pain. LOL. Pam had it right though, gotta just let it set and trust myself.

    As for the word "mage," I do know, and the answer is, you do not need to capitalize it. It is simply an archaic noun that works just the same a magician or wizard or any other. The Ozark Mountain Mages seems like a name or title, so, obviously treat it accordingly, etc.

  7. Thanks John! That was a fast and extremely helpful response. I can't tell you how much time I waste on the net looking for grammar and punctuation advice.

    I'm still learning how to use social media so I'm not sure if I signed up for email notification, but I'm now stalking ... I mean following you on twitter. I can't wait to read your book. Are you going to pub a Kindle version? (I didn't find it at Amazon).

  8. Hey, John...The second and third paragraphs would make me drop the book back into the airplane seat in front of me...Frankly, I'd rewrite those two to be condensed a bit and look a little more like this:

    Altin Meade is the most promising young sorcerer on Prosperion. He’s also the only Six -the mark of death on that magical world; a mark few socerers are born with and one that foretells ruin for every wizard touched by it. Always.

    Driven by curiosity and an inner mystery he must unravel along the way, Altin knows the only way to escape the fate of Prosperion’s other Sixes is to escape Prosperion. And so his quest begins. Desperate to find a way out into the stars, he will discover that ignorance is more dangerous than even orcs and dragons.

    The rest is awesome as is.

    Wow, I almost feel like a "real" ;-)

  9. Woww..
    I get used to the idea of you as Shadesbreath in Hubpages that when I see your photo and the name John, it just doesn't register. Should i address you as John now or in Hubpages as well?

    Ginjill Ashberry

  10. Charlotte, it's not out yet. This blog is actually my chronicaling the journey to getting it out. It will be on kindle. I'm actully getting the manuscript formatted as we speak.

    Motown, I reeeeaally like that. I may copy and paste that lol. Ty.

    Fox tkl, my grandpa used to say, "I don't care what you call me, just don't call me late for dinner." So, there you have it. :)

  11. No, thank Have at it, my friend.

  12. I thought the first three sentences were perfect in the first version. The style was terse and it built a suspense and excitement.

    I agree with Charlotte and Pamela. I think, for purposes of a blurb, all the detail you've added weakens the effect because your reader probably won't understand a lot of the terms.

    I believe in lean and clean for blurbs.

    Thanks for taking us all through the process this way - it's been very interesting.

    Now get the damn thing published so we can buy it!

    L. T. Fawkes

  13. Heh, heh. I'm working on it. Need my cover art mainly. I really do appreciate your support, btw. So thanks.

  14. So, what's the what? I know you said this is your last pandering for input, but do we get to see the final blurb before Createspace gets a hold of it?

  15. I'm letting it stew for a week or so. I have heaps of suggestions. I need to let it gel for a few days. Likely, you'll just have to wait to see the final version, though. Because, well, it's more fun that way. :D

  16. That's not right. Brat. I mean, letting it stew is right. That's even wise, but holding off till it's done? That just makes you a tease. ;-) TBH, I'm getting SO excited for you!