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Old 12-14-2011, 09:04 AM   #1
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Does this blurb sound okay?

An old-school British bash-their-heads-in-with-a-baseball-bat zombie story.

30,000 words, 1,883 Kindle locations. DRM free.


When civilisation came to an end, the Warhogs motorcycle gang had been too busy partying to notice. They had been to the annual Smoky Bears Picnic and Music Festival in Derbyshire, a weekend of drink and drugs-fuelled debauchery in an old aircraft hangar in the middle of nowhere.

Riding home after the festival, they stop off for petrol and find themselves in a world gone mad – people are being dragged from their homes and killed in the streets by crazed, flesh-eating ghouls.

Holing up in a fenced off industrial estate near Shefferham, it’s not long before they turn their thoughts to the nearby Meadowside shopping centre and all the goodies it contains – enough for them to live in complete luxury for the rest of their lives. But with five men and only one woman between them, there are more pressing needs to sort out first.

(there's also a sub-plot where a sex offender goes to live in a Spar shop, not sure if it would be worth mentioning that as well?)

This was the genesis of the story ...
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:22 PM   #2
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This blurb provides us with a milieu and a big-picture scenario, but it's not giving me an emotional hook. I'm looking for a character to care about, someone with a clear problem and a reason to overcome it, and I'm just not finding it.
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:24 PM   #3
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I'm looking for a character to care about, someone with a clear problem and a reason to overcome it, and I'm just not finding it.
Think of the poor hungry ghouls.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:01 PM   #4
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This blurb provides us with a milieu and a big-picture scenario, but it's not giving me an emotional hook. I'm looking for a character to care about, someone with a clear problem and a reason to overcome it, and I'm just not finding it.
Well the (living) woman would fit that role, but that would probably attract the wrong type of readers and would definitely skew the premise away from biker gang mayhem towards woman in peril.

Lynn Fletcher hated her job in the petrol station. Especially the graveyard shift. She was looking forward to taking her 3 year old son home and getting a few hours sleep when she found her kiosk surrounded by flesh-eating ghouls.

When a biker gang arrived and killed the ghouls, she thought they were saved. Not knowing what they meant, she agreed to be their Mama and left with them to set up camp in a fenced off industrial estate. She did what she had to do to survive, but she never gave up her plans to escape.

Then the other women started arriving. The ones who weren't like her. The ones who were kept chained up in a police prisoner transport van.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:52 PM   #5
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Having a hard time from the blurb knowing what the book is about...

The first one has no one/thing to connect with, while the second makes it sound like Lynn is a heroine who you will follow as she deals with bikers and has to rescue/find her son.

If that is not your story, then the second one does not work.

Does the book follow one main character? If it does, perhaps try writing what he/she/it thinks the story is.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:37 PM   #6
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Having a hard time from the blurb knowing what the book is about...

The first one has no one/thing to connect with, while the second makes it sound like Lynn is a heroine who you will follow as she deals with bikers and has to rescue/find her son.

If that is not your story, then the second one does not work.

Does the book follow one main character? If it does, perhaps try writing what he/she/it thinks the story is.
They both fit really, it's just a question of which is likely to attract the right type of reader. Someone looking for biker gang mayhem probably won't mind the woman in peril subtext, but someone looking for woman in peril who triumphs against all odds definitely won't like the level of biker gang mayhem.

For someone with a mainstream sense of morality, Lynn would be the only likable character in it. But the bikers aren't villains, they just take advantage of the lawless situation they find themselves in.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:17 PM   #7
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Maybe mixing the two then? Real tough for me (maybe not others) to summarize a story I have not read But you could use the cover to portray biker mayhem to help reach the target readers.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:16 AM   #8
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I had a book on writing stories for magazines, and for Biker related stuff, it basically says the language needs to be tough. It actually meant the writing itself, but I imagine it also applies to the blurb.

I realize that bikers in the UK are a different sort (see what happened at Altamont in the 60s as an example of the Rolling Stones not understanding the difference) but using words/phrases like "debauchery" and "stop off for petrol" makes them sound wimpy. Use harsher sounding terms, like "drug crazed weekend of depravity" (leave out the drink, everyone drinks) and "While they fueled up".

Also leave out detail - no one cares where they spent their weekend, and a deserted hangar isn't very interesting.

Also, "Smoky Bears Picnic" sounds like thing for children, at least for Americans. Smoky the Bear is a mascot for the wildlife service, along with Woodsy the Owl.

You might put a disclaimer or something that it's not a kids book. At least if you sell it in the US.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:03 AM   #9
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I had a book on writing stories for magazines, and for Biker related stuff, it basically says the language needs to be tough. It actually meant the writing itself, but I imagine it also applies to the blurb.
They were hard men. She was their Mama. Together they battled through hordes of flesh eating ghouls to claim the ultimate prize.

Bonus second feature: Simon the sex offender goes shopping -- with a baseball bat !
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:25 AM   #10
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If you're going for some humor, I like that last a lot.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:43 AM   #11
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If you're going for some humor, I like that last a lot.
It's actually quite a grim story, but I'm aiming for a sort of 1970s style violent pulp fiction blurb for it. (Which is basically what it is). Another line to add in there somewhere is this:

Don't let your granny read this -- unless your granny is a biker bitch from hell.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:01 AM   #12
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It's actually quite a grim story, but I'm aiming for a sort of 1970s style violent pulp fiction blurb for it. (Which is basically what it is). Another line to add in there somewhere is this:

Don't let your granny read this -- unless your granny is a biker bitch from hell.
I'd also suggest that you work the word biker in there, as calling her the Momma of hard men just makes her sound like Ma Barker.
"They were hard-living bikers. She was their Momma..." or similar?
But I like the concise style of blurb better than the longer ones.

I'm being objective here, as neither outlaw bikers as heros (or anti-heros or any kind of non-villian), nor zombies ('Sons of Anarchy' meets 'Dawn of the Dead'?) personally appeal to me.

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Old 12-15-2011, 10:30 AM   #13
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You could say something like...

"A 1970s style violent pulp fiction about hard-living bikers and their Momma who have to deal with a zombie invasion."

Dont really like that wording, but something along those lines. That makes sure the target audience is specified clearly.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:33 AM   #14
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You could say something like...

"A 1970s style violent pulp fiction
I argue that if he had to say that explicitly, then the blurb failed.
"Show them, don't tell them" and all that.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:36 AM   #15
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I argue that if he had to say that explicitly, then the blurb failed.
"Show them, don't tell them" and all that.
I would argue that you might be right. But So far none of the blurbs screamed "A 1970s style violent pulp fiction" to me. I think the cover will help a lot if it is sufficiently bloody looking.
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