Friday, November 30, 2012

The Art of Condensing and The Jealousy Glass

I write big novels. What I can't do very well is write poetry, short synopses, short blurbs, or come up with taglines and slogans.

Maybe I'm just naturally verbose.

I needed to work on a much better blurb for my upcoming novel, Dragonfly Warrior. I have one, but it's just not very good. Also, I wanted to somehow condense 400 pages into one little tagline, which is like trying to poop out a watermelon.

After some help from a fellow writer, here's my blurb so far:

Off in the West, the ambitious Iberian Empire dominates kingdoms with never before seen technology, and all who oppose their dominion fall swiftly against their might. When the eyes of the Empire turn toward the exotic lands of the Orient, it is up to a young warrior prince to find the means of averting their greedy gaze and bring salvation to his people. Kanze Zenjiro embarks on a seemingly quixotic quest and endures an alien and unforgiving world ruled by machines and criminals.

It's much better than the five paragraph one I originally came up with. I'm a perfectionist, so I'd appreciate any help from all of you. Please. HELP!!!

Here's my tagline: Savage Machines Are Afoot

I'm really happy with that one. It's a little spin on a Sherlock Holmes quote, which plays on the steampunkiness of my book. It also focuses on the main theme of my series, The Mechanica Wars.

# # # #

I'd love to introduce you to Gwen Perkins. She's an amazing fantasy writer with Hydra Publications, and her latest novel, The Jealousy Glass has just gone live. Get it HEREGwen is a museum curator with a MA in Military History from Norwich University. She has written for a number of magazines, exhibitions and nonfiction publications. Her interest in history fueled the creation of the world of The Universal Mirror, inspired in part by people and events of the medieval and Renaissance periods.

BOOK BLURB:

"We came to stop a war before it came to Cercia.  And it seems the war has come to us."

Responsibility and patriotism spur Cercia's new leader, Quentin, to protect his beloved country at all costs and he assigns Asahel and Felix to serve as ambassadors and secret agents to Anjdur. Their journey quickly turns awry and Asahel and Felix barely escape a devastating shipwreck, walk a tightrope of political tension, and rescue an empress before they learn they must face an enemy closer to them than they thought.

Will they be able to uncover an assassin's plot before it's too late? Will Asahel be able to unearth a secret that is vital to their mission? Will Cercia survive its own revolution? In The Jealousy Glass, Perkins boldly continues a series of unforgettable characters and events that will leave you begging for more.


Isn't this a gorgeous cover???


Check out this incredible book trailer. It's fantastic!




The Jealousy Glass is the second book in Gwen's Artifact of Empire Series. You can find the first book, The Universal Mirror HERE.


You can also learn more about Gwen below.

Website & Blog: http://artifactsofempire.com
Twitter: @helleder
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gwen-Perkins/227456783969902
G+: http://gplus.to/gwenperkins

26 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations, Gwen!
I hate writing the synopsis. Best suggestion I could make would be shorter sentences. Gives it more urgency.

Vero said...

I totally udnerstand your fight with writing blurbs and pitches, those bastards are hard! The toughest thing for me to write (so far) is the synopsis.

I like your blurb, but what I'd suggest as improvement would be to introduce the protagonist in the first sentence, and leave the worldbuilding last. First the protagonist and his problem, then what's at stake, then the circumstances. :)

J. A. Bennett said...

Okay, I'm still laughing at 'poop out a watermelon' I've never heard a better analogy! *composes self* Ahem, anyway, I love that cover, truly. Very, very pretty.

Jay Noel said...

Alex: Shorter sentences. Check!

Vero: Intro. protagonist in the beginning. I like that a lot.

J.A. LOL. The artist who did the cover is a writer also. Her work is amazing.

Samantha May said...

The watermelon analogy was so beautiful :D

Your synopsis and tag line are great! That's quite an improvement from five paragraphs (aka a standard essay)!

Have a great weekend!

Gwen Perkins said...

Alex, thanks!

And thanks to J.A. as well. Though I can't take cover for the art (I dream of being able to paint like that!)--it was done by the incredible Enggar Adirasa. :)

Jay Noel said...

Samantha: Thanks so much. Have a wonderful weekend too!

Gwen: Looking forward to reading it!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

If the blurb is for the back of the book, three short paragraphs usually work. Think like a reader - what could you say that would make someone say "I HAVE to read this book!"? Someone recently posted a list of key words that really grab a person's attention. I'm thinking of adding the word 'explosion' to the back of mine. Which will be funny, as it's a non-fiction how-to pub & promo book.

Jay Noel said...

Diane: Where is this wonderful post? Need to find it. "Explosion" would certainly grab my attention.

Morgan said...

Jay, your work sounds fantastic! It's clear you've done some amazing world building. The little blurb does seem very wordy. Any way to condense anymore? I know, I KNOW!!!! LOL.

You are awesome. And congrats to Gwen!

Laura Eno said...

Congrats, Gwen!

Jay, I love your tagline! I agree with others about the blurb - protagonist first, shorter sentences. Right now, it's a tongue-twister.

Poop out a watermelon...cracked me up!

Jay Noel said...

Morgan: My beta readers fell in love with the world I got to play in. Hopefully my editor feels the same way. I know - it's just too long.

Laura: Have to get this thing down! It's so not easy.

M Pax said...

Great blurb for Gwen's book.

I get your struggle. I usually struggle, too. I've pasted your paragraph into my MSWord and am playing around with it. I seem to have a much easier time with other people's than my own.

Center it around your MC. Make it all about him. But I will keep playing with it. Will email you the results...

Jay Noel said...

Thanks Mary!

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations to Gwen!

Taglines and blurbs are tough for me to do too. I'm jealous of the folks that have a knack for them. I feel like I clunk along whenever I try to write one. I love your logline, though. As for your blurb, I agree with what Vero said about putting the protagonist in the first sentence.

Mr. Shife said...

Congrats to Gwen, and to you too. The blurb looks good to me as I would definitely been intrigued after seeing it. I would also be intrigued by a tagline that included pooping out a watermelon so I don't know how much weight my words carry with you. Have a good weekend.

The Desert Rocks said...

I like the blurb and agree with Alex. Maybe you don't need the "Off" as the first word--start with "In the West...." but it's great.

Tammy Theriault said...

congrats to both of you but i have to ask...how did you find my pic of me typing...wow, at least sometimes that's how i feel

farawayeyes said...

I can relate. I can crank out 130,000 words in the blink of an eye, but a blurb or tagline leaves me stumped.

that's some book trailer. One of the best I've seen.

Jay Noel said...

Christine: I've reworked the blurb several times, thanks to great feedback from all of you.

Shife: I knew you'd appreciate my gross humor.

Eve: Thanks so much!

Tammy: Ha! That's a good one.

faraway: I agree. The trailer is very professional

Milo James Fowler said...

That's a great-looking cover. Only advice for your blurb: start with the character (if it's a character-driven novel). Tell us what's at stake. Good luck with that watermelon!

Nas said...

Sounds interesting.

I've featured a publisher and they looking for submissions-you welcome to ask submission questions!

Phats said...

I doubt i'd be good at blurbs either I sucked at poetry as well. Would love to read your book!

Ciara said...

Congratulations, Gwen. WOW, what a book trailer!! Who did that for you?
Blurbs are tough. I like your tag line. Get rid of the word seeming, it's week. Also, I'd move Protagonist up, and get rid of any non-essential words. I think you've got a great blurb! Just need a slight bit more trim. :)

Pk Hrezo said...

Wow very cool! Gwen's book sounds awesome.
And so does yours! My best suggestion for yours is to lose some of the adjectives and start with the MC and who he is, then go into the conflict and his quest. :)

Jay Noel said...

Milo: I appreciate your help with this.

Nas: Thanks so much.

Phats: Me and poetry don't mix well.

Ciara: Fantastic advice - I'm losing the weak words and focusing on the MC

Pk: I LOVE adjectives. Can you tell. Cut cut cut cut cut!

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