Re: Help trimming blurb?

#1

Hi folks, I've been using my blurb since I first posted my story a couple of months ago and I've been having doubts recently. Particularly, I think it would make it more effective if readers didn't have to click "Show More" in order to see the whole thing, but I've been steeped in this version for so long I'm having a hard time figuring out what should be cut in order to make it shorter. Any suggestions are welcome. Here's what the current blurb looks like and the link to the story is in my signature:


2,000 years after a planet-wide disaster now only known as the Great Fire, humans have unlocked the potential of an ancient substance known as the Drops of the Bloodlet Sun and have taken to the stars. Soon they discover that the Drops are an ubiquitous if somewhat rare substance that forms the core of all advanced technology and humans are a late arrival to a crowded affair. Most habitable worlds are already under control of other species and the vast Thorian Empire covers one third of all known territory.

Propelled by its role in the Last Gasp War, the first war in recent memory that the Thorians have lost, Earth plays a prominent role in the formation of the Outer Rim Confederacy, the newest player in a political game that has for millennia centered around keeping the Thorians at bay. In its newest bid to not be the small fish in a big pond, the ORC dispatches the starship Forseti on a clandestine mission to a wormhole on the far side of the Thorian Empire in the hopes of unlocking the secret to faster interstellar travel.

Meanwhile, various factions position themselves to benefit from the chink in the armor of the Thorians, while the Thorians seek to send a clear message that the sun had not begun to set on their Empire.

Re: Help trimming blurb?

#2
I find it helpful to condense the summary to a logline (usually one sentence, but sometimes I cheat) and expand on it. This comes from a screenwriting background, but I like how ruthless it forces you to be: to focus on the main conflict.

As a reader, I tend to ignore synopses longer than a few sentences, and proper nouns make my eyes glaze over...

Re: Help trimming blurb?

#3

MichaelSilverV Wrote: 2,000 years after a planet-wide disaster now only known as the Great Fire OR 2000 years after the Great Fire, humans have unlocked the potential of an ancient substance known as the Drops of the Bloodlet Sun and have taken to the stars. Soon They discover that the Drops are an ubiquitous if somewhat rare substance that forms the core of all advanced technology and humans are a late arrival to a crowded affair. Most habitable worlds are already under control of other species and the vast Thorian Empire covers one third of all known territory.

Propelled by its role in the Last Gasp War, the first war in recent memory that the Thorians have lost, Earth plays a prominent role in the formation of the Outer Rim Confederacy, the newest player in a political game that has for millennia centered around keeping the Thorians at bay. In its newest bid to not be the small fish in a big pond, the ORC dispatches the starship Forseti on a clandestine mission to a wormhole on the far side of the Thorian Empire in the hopes of unlocking the secret to faster interstellar travel.

Meanwhile, various factions position themselves to benefit from the chink in the armor of the Thorians, while the Thorians seek to send a clear message that the sun had not begun to set on their Empire.

Believe me, I'm no expert, but I've had a go. I've found it difficult to trim my blurb down to do exactly the same thing- keeping it all within the point where you click SHOW MORE. 


For me, I've not read your story so I'm only referring to the blurb- hopefully I've not cut out anything too important. But I have only really been able to trim it down, rather than suggest a rewrite which might also be an option? I say that, because, the blurb feels like it's referring to two different stories. You have the stuff about the Great Fire and Drops of the Bloodlet Sun, and then about Thorians and the Outer Rim Confederacy and they don't feel necessarily connected. 

I've put a line through my suggestions for removal- solely just to give you a shorter blurb.

Re: Help trimming blurb?

#5
another version:  I've made some assumptions that are possibly incorrect:


Two millennia after the planet-wide Great Fire, humans have finally taken to the stars, only to find that humans are a late arrival to a crowded affair. Most habitable worlds are already under control of other species, with the Thorian Empire covering vast swaths of the nearby territory.

Reeling from the Last Gasp War, the Thorian Empire is temporarily stagnant, giving Earth the opportunity to cement their independence and play a prominent role in the newly-formed Outer Rim Confederacy.  But even the Confederacy may not be enough to stave off the grasping hands of the behemoth Empire. 




Re: Help trimming blurb?

#6

gej302 Wrote: another version:  I've made some assumptions that are possibly incorrect:


Two millennia after the planet-wide Great Fire, humans have finally taken to the stars, only to find that humans are a late arrival to a crowded affair. Most habitable worlds are already under control of other species, with the Thorian Empire covering vast swaths of the nearby territory.

Reeling from the Last Gasp War, the Thorian Empire is temporarily stagnant, giving Earth the opportunity to cement their independence and play a prominent role in the newly-formed Outer Rim Confederacy.  But even the Confederacy may not be enough to stave off the grasping hands of the behemoth Empire.

This is leagues better than the original, in my opinion. Great work, I'd Rep+ if I could. Still a lot of proper nouns (like 3 or 4 random names the reader knows nothing about, nor cares for) but it's a stark improvement. Nonetheless, it's just a refined rewrite of the original, and the original doesn't answer the right questions.

Some of those questions are: who are the characters? What's going to happen? Why is this exciting? What's interesting about this story? The blurb is talking only about history, space-geography and politics, but there's nothing happening apart from the notion that "Earth wants to cement their independence in a universe of aliens". Very vague, like some prologue almost. No hook. 

Re: Help trimming blurb?

#7
Twenty years after the Last Gasp War, Earth and the Outer Rim Confederacy struggle to remain independent from the ancient behemoth that is the Thorian Empire. [Heroic Name], captain of the Forseti, is on a clandestine mission to a wormhole on the far side of the Thorian Empire. Their goal? Uncovering the secret technology of the Empire's superior interstellar travel.

Re: Help trimming blurb?

#8

normancrane Wrote: I find it helpful to condense the summary to a logline (usually one sentence, but sometimes I cheat) and expand on it. This comes from a screenwriting background, but I like how ruthless it forces you to be: to focus on the main conflict.

As a reader, I tend to ignore synopses longer than a few sentences, and proper nouns make my eyes glaze over...



Point taken about proper nouns. I guess I've become so familiar with mine, but trying to imagine someone else doing it, I can definitely see how they would be a turn off.

Re: Help trimming blurb?

#10

gej302 Wrote: another version:  I've made some assumptions that are possibly incorrect:


Two millennia after the planet-wide Great Fire, humans have finally taken to the stars, only to find that humans are a late arrival to a crowded affair. Most habitable worlds are already under control of other species, with the Thorian Empire covering vast swaths of the nearby territory.

Reeling from the Last Gasp War, the Thorian Empire is temporarily stagnant, giving Earth the opportunity to cement their independence and play a prominent role in the newly-formed Outer Rim Confederacy.  But even the Confederacy may not be enough to stave off the grasping hands of the behemoth Empire.


I like it. Even with the assumptions made it shows me how it can be punchier.

Re: Help trimming blurb?

#11

Ararara Wrote: This is leagues better than the original, in my opinion. Great work, I'd Rep+ if I could. Still a lot of proper nouns (like 3 or 4 random names the reader knows nothing about, nor cares for) but it's a stark improvement. Nonetheless, it's just a refined rewrite of the original, and the original doesn't answer the right questions.

Some of those questions are: who are the characters? What's going to happen? Why is this exciting? What's interesting about this story? The blurb is talking only about history, space-geography and politics, but there's nothing happening apart from the notion that "Earth wants to cement their independence in a universe of aliens". Very vague, like some prologue almost. No hook.



I know what you mean with the last questions. One of my challenges with this blurb is that the story follows a number of interconnected but far-flung characters in the setting, so it's hard to reel it in with a single hook. However, I see the need to squeeze at least something in that creates proper stakes in the story.