Book Summary Help?

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ptdebate
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Re: Book Summary Help?

Postby ptdebate » February 1st, 2018, 6:12 pm

I have to agree with Stalvern and ActRaiser. The premise sounds interesting, but I had to reread the synopsis numerous times because the fictional words that I have no reference for were making my head spin. You don't need to remove them from the book - they are part of your fictional universe, after all - but just try to replace them with improper nouns wherever possible.

For what it's worth, I actually like the sound of Seventh Swordfish.

Is Toke supposed to be one or two syllables?

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DaHeckIzDat
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Re: Book Summary Help?

Postby DaHeckIzDat » February 1st, 2018, 10:16 pm

ptdebate wrote:Is Toke supposed to be one or two syllables?

One. It's pronounced like it looks. His name is Cassitoka, but he shortened it to Toke because he thinks it sounds like a girl's name.

As for getting rid of the made up words, I'm not sure that would work either. Let's try it...

They say no good deed goes unpunished. A year has passed since Toke Gnasher, the infamous [guy with [[a winged warrior with the power to control gravity]]'s powers but doesn't have wings] of [the fictional northern continent on a fictional world], stopped Professor Navras from destroying [the city where the winged warriors with the power to control gravity], home of the [winged warriors with the power to control gravity]. Accused of masterminding the attack, Toke and his [winged warrior with the power to control gravity] friend Zashiel have hopped the border into [the fictional southern continent on a fictional world], accepting a lifetime of exile in exchange for peace. There, they find work aboard the Seventh Swordfish, a floating circus run by a mysterious ringmaster, in exchange for sanctuary from their pursuers. But though Navras has fallen, all is not well in [the fictional northern continent on a fictional wordl]. A cult has risen, with Toke as their guiding deity, and the vengeful [winged warrior with the power to control gravity] Sir Klevon has sent a threat against Zashiel greater than any they’ve faced before… her own sister.

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Stalvern
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Re: Book Summary Help?

Postby Stalvern » February 2nd, 2018, 2:28 am

DaHeckIzDat wrote:As for getting rid of the made up words, I'm not sure that would work either.

The response has been completely unanimous. Of course it would work.

DaHeckIzDat wrote:Let's try it...

Are you actually interested in improving this blurb or even changing anything about it? Why did you ask for help if you aren't going to listen to people's answers?

I don't get it. You literally wrote an entire new opening chapter for The Gray Ranger on my and scotland's advice, but when you have a thread full of people telling you that this blurb doesn't do the one thing that a blurb is for, you can't be troubled to rewrite 120 words?

ActRaiser
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Re: Book Summary Help?

Postby ActRaiser » February 2nd, 2018, 8:12 am

Stalvern wrote:
DaHeckIzDat wrote:As for getting rid of the made up words, I'm not sure that would work either.

The response has been completely unanimous. Of course it would work.

DaHeckIzDat wrote:Let's try it...

Are you actually interested in improving this blurb or even changing anything about it? Why did you ask for help if you aren't going to listen to people's answers?

I don't get it. You literally wrote an entire new opening chapter for The Gray Ranger on my and scotland's advice, but when you have a thread full of people telling you that this blurb doesn't do the one thing that a blurb is for, you can't be troubled to rewrite 120 words?


Agreed, it's almost as if you wanted someone to say, it's great as is; but, in my humble opinion I'd suggest accepting the constructive critisim and make the changes. Kudos to you for being so creative, I love the idea of a floating circus. It's novel and unique. What makes each of the continents unique? Can you describe them instead of naming them?

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DaHeckIzDat
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Re: Book Summary Help?

Postby DaHeckIzDat » February 2nd, 2018, 10:10 am

Stalvern wrote:
DaHeckIzDat wrote:As for getting rid of the made up words, I'm not sure that would work either.

The response has been completely unanimous. Of course it would work.

DaHeckIzDat wrote:Let's try it...

Are you actually interested in improving this blurb or even changing anything about it? Why did you ask for help if you aren't going to listen to people's answers?

I don't get it. You literally wrote an entire new opening chapter for The Gray Ranger on my and scotland's advice, but when you have a thread full of people telling you that this blurb doesn't do the one thing that a blurb is for, you can't be troubled to rewrite 120 words?

I want to make it better, but I don't see how taking out all the names will fix it. Those are important to the story. Removing them will change it from "specific and confusing" to "vague and confusing."

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Stalvern
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Re: Book Summary Help?

Postby Stalvern » February 2nd, 2018, 1:06 pm

DaHeckIzDat wrote:I want to make it better, but I don't see how taking out all the names will fix it. Those are important to the story. Removing them will change it from "specific and confusing" to "vague and confusing."

You're not approaching this in good faith. You can't tell me that the mess at the top of this page was an honest attempt to make something readable. Not only have I shown you how professionals write blurbs without cramming them full of impenetrable, unexplained references or exchanging that for a find-and-replace bog of exposition, I actually took the time to demonstrate that it can be done for this friggin' book by someone who's never even seen a marketing department. You're responding to people's reasonable advice (which you asked for in the title of the thread) and unreasonable effort (which I volunteered because I naïvely assumed that you wouldn't just chuck it in the trash) with a stubborn refusal to acknowledge that anyone besides you might have a point, even though the point couldn't be more flamingly obvious.

I could do more to help you out. I could show you fifty different fantasy and sci-fi blurbs that don't read like alphabet soup and examine their techniques; I could point you to a hundred different forums and subreddits where people actually talk about books instead of video games that would give you the exact same response as we have - but it would be a waste because you've already decided that you've written the perfect blurb, which is set in stone and cannot be improved (let alone, God forbid, scrapped for another one). So I'm done.

Good luck with the blurb. Let us know how many new readers it gets you.

ActRaiser
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Re: Book Summary Help?

Postby ActRaiser » February 2nd, 2018, 3:13 pm

I'll be a bit more blunt.

When I first attempted to read your blurb I got pissed. I couldn't understand any of it. I tried to figure out how to pronounce the words, that only pissed me off more. Nothing of it made sense. Sure, it makes sense to you. You know that some made up word means he can fly and manipulate gravity. Well then flying figs tell me that instead. I'd have no freaking clue. I can't stand books with a made up language that doesn't at least attempt to fill me in. Is there a dictionary? Why do I need a dictionary for a blurb? To heck with that.

Stalvern really, really, attempted to help you and you ignored it and passed it back like your blurb was perfect. He even tried to explain what you wrote wasn't even a teaser but a summary. Which isn't even what you're going for.

Seriously, you have a guy that can fly, traveling with his girlfriend, and her sister is after them both. Why not say that instead of some made up crap word that no one can possibly understand, that makes zero sense?

With all due respect you've got to play down to your audience, us dumb ones who haven't lived and breathed the world in your head. We're not there yet. Slowly get us there. This is just the teaser, not the whole meal.

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scotland
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Re: Book Summary Help?

Postby scotland » February 2nd, 2018, 4:43 pm

ActRaiser wrote: Seriously, you have a guy that can fly, traveling with his girlfriend, and her sister is after them both. Why not say that instead of some made up crap word that no can possibly understand, that makes zero sense? With all due respect you've got to play down to your audience, us dumb ones who haven't lived and breathed the world in your head. We're not there yet. Slowly get us there. This is just the teaser, not the whole meal.


I also applaud your willingness to ask for criticism, and I don't wish to pile on...but I agree with ActRaiser and Stalvern. You have to go slow with unfamiliar words, even on book 2 or 22. Not all strange names or place names are bad, something exotic can be a lure, and strange words that are clear from context aren't an issue (like 'muggles') unless they are really hard to pronounce.

Here is the blurb for a version of Dune, by Frank Herbert - a book that has appendix of made-up words
"Set on the desert planet Arrakis, a world more awesome than any other in literature. DUNE begins the story of the man known as Muad'dib - and of a great family's ambition to bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream."

That's fantastic. Does it mention "Spice" or "Messiah" or "Prophet" or Bene Gesserit or any of dozens of words (some made up, some just heavy with meaning) that it could have? No. Left it totally vague. It could be the story of someone who invented a new form of yoga from that blurb, but it still works. Now Dune has the benefit of familiarity, but even unfamiliar works limit how much they throw at someone reading it.

So, I'm much more in accord with Actraiser's advice that vague is okay.
"Not knowing his fame was being used to fuel a cult, the fugitive Toke and his friend have sought sanctuary working in a floating circus. They are soon thrust into the schemes of their mysterious ringmaster, as well as finding out that sometimes old troubles haunt you wearing familiar faces"

pacman000
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Re: Book Summary Help?

Postby pacman000 » February 2nd, 2018, 5:00 pm

I'd say you got the problem backwards; you replaced something vague and confusing with something specific and confusing. The first version was hard to follow because I knew none of the words; the second had long descriptions which got in the narrative's way. Let's try it again, with some of the descriptions cut out:

"
They say no good deed goes unpunished. A year has passed since Toke Gnasher, stopped Professor Navras' evil plan. Accused of masterminding the attack, Toke and his friend Zashiel have hopped the border, accepting a lifetime of exile in exchange for peace. There, they find work aboard the Seventh Swordfish, a floating circus run by a mysterious ringmaster, in exchange for sanctuary from their pursuers. But though Navras has fallen, all is not well. A cult has risen, with Toke as their guiding deity, and the vengeful Sir Klervon has sent a threat against Zashiel greater than any they’ve faced before… her own sister."

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DaHeckIzDat
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Re: Book Summary Help?

Postby DaHeckIzDat » February 2nd, 2018, 5:03 pm

All right, let me see what else I can come up with...

One year after Toke Gnasher saved the city of Sorakines from his fallen hero, Professor Navras, he and Zashiel are still on the run from a nationwide manhunt. Dubbed a terrorist by his own people, and an unholy monster by Zashiel's, the two of them seek refuge in the neighboring country of Vlangur. There, they find work on the Seventh Swordfish, a floating circus with a mysterious ringleader. They aren't out of danger yet, though. Word of Toke's exploits has given rise to a cult, with him as their guiding deity, and the vengeful Sorakine commander, Sir Klevon, has deployed a hunter more deadly than any they've faced before... Zashiel's sister.


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