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Old 10-06-2013, 07:50 PM   #1
BeccaPrice
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A collection that just won't jell

So I'm working on another fairy tale collection, Fables and Fireflies. In D&D, the stories ranged from the very simple to the more complex and sophisticated, but they were all aimed pretty much at the same age range - the simplest would work for maybe a 5yo, and the more complex were aimed at 8 or 9yos, although I know a 10yo boy who liked them.

F&F currently has 5 stories - 6, if I include The Snarls, which is a stand-alone freebie. There are two other stories planned, but not yet written.

Heart of Rock - 3800 words more or less, a story in 3 chapters, aimed at 7-10yo
Bridge of 7 Stones - about 3500 words, a story about losing teeth and growing up - probably aimed at 6-8yos
Pussy Willow, about 1280 words, very simple, maybe ages 5-7
Best Baby - 1075 words, about adoption
The Snarls - 1070 words, about hair combing, for a very young child.
The Sirens' Song - 796 words, this is my salmon story, about death, and although it's short and simple, it's probably for 8-10yos because of the topic.

The two that aren't written yet: Stone Eyes, a version of the Tam Lin story, maybe working out to 1500-2000 words, probably aimed at the older range.

The Firefly Fairy - probably around 1000 words, maybe ages 5-7.

So you see, the age ranges and the length ranges are all over the place.

This is making coming up with a blurb very difficult. There's no one part of it that I can quote, like I did for the D&D blurb, to show off the writing style, because stylistically these are all over the place as well. Some are modern, and some have the feel of classical fairy tales, and The Sirens' Song could be an Aesop fable - it's the only one where the moral is actually called out specifically. They're not all bedtime stories - some could be used as such, but others are either too long or the topic isn't appropriate for a bedtime story.

I'm not even sure what order to put these in - I'd start at the simplest and go to the most complex, but that would probably make my sample be 2 full stories, and would give a false impression of the rest of the contents. I'm tempted to start with Heart of Rock, because that would give a good sample at Amazon, and then go into the stories from simple to complex, and end with Bridge of 7 Stones...

Can anyone help me make sense of this hodgepodge and help me come up with a unifying blurb? I don't even know where to start.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:58 PM   #2
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Maybe write up a frame story that threads the others together starting with the main character a very young child and moving towards the older as the reader moves through the book? Sort of the structure they used in the movie "The Princess Bride" where Fred Savage was being told the story by his grandfather (played by Peter Falk). Then write the blurb about that story and bring in elements from some of the stories in its writing.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:09 PM   #3
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In talking it over with one of my beta readers, there's a theme in most of the stories about trying in spite of failure, or in spite of being afraid. I've been asked to put in some cautions about the difference between bravery and recklessness, but I think I have a story that will work for that. It may mean slight editing of some of the stories to bring out the theme more (without getting moralistic about it - that would be sudden death!).
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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blurb comments, please?

for Fables and Fireflies:

"Don't let your fears stop you. Fables and Fireflies contains eight fairy tales about butterfly fairies, gargoyles, and just plain folks overcoming adversity to find success, although frequently in unexpected ways.

The stories in this book cover a range of ages from 5 to 10 years old. Please note that The Snarls and The Sirens' Song have appeared as single titles at Amazon."
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:48 AM   #5
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I like the first paragraph. I might consider replacing "although frequently" with "often" or "though perhaps." A little shorter and it flows a bit better to me.

The second paragraph is part of the blurb? If so, I don't think "please note" is needed.
And are the stories really 5 to 10 years old? Or are they intended for children 5 to 10 years old?

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Old 10-08-2013, 11:38 AM   #6
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how about this:

Don't let your fears get in the way!

Butterfly-fairy wants a kitten, but to find one, she must brave cold winds and dangerous fish.

A little girl fears leaving the Garden of the Morning to move on, but she isn't a baby anymore.

When one quest finds a magical amulet, what happens to the people who lose it?

Fables and Fireflies contains eight fairy tales that children will love about overcoming adversity in surprising ways.

The stories in this book are appropriate for ages from 5 to 10 years old. The Snarls and The Sirens' Song have also appeared as single titles at Amazon.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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Is "The bridge of Seven Stones" a prior published story too? I seem to remember you mentioning it in another thread a while back.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:45 PM   #8
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I was going to publish Bridge of 7 Stones and Heart of Rock separately, but decided I'd rather have them as bookends to another collection.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
I was going to publish Bridge of 7 Stones and Heart of Rock separately, but decided I'd rather have them as bookends to another collection.
I see. Makes sense I guess. Then it's just a matter of finding good stories to fill the in between and it looks like you've done that if the story descriptions are anything to go by.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:10 AM   #10
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new blurb, to reflect new focus of the book:

Butterfly-Fairy is Back!

Butterfly-Fairy first made her appearance in Dragons and Dreams, where she enchanted a sunflower to become a huge kitten - much too big for a playmate for a tiny Butterfly-Fairy.

In three new tales, Butterfly-Fairy finds a much better sized friend in the kitten named Willow. Butterfly-Fairy and Willow share adventures in the wild field where they make their home.

These three tales and four other bedtime stories about overcoming adversity in surprising ways will charm children ages 5-7. The Snarls is also available as a separate story.

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