THE PRINCE’S SON is in editing, #Synopsis & #Logline time – all advice welcome.

writing_humour_synopsis-scaled500

Yep, that time has come!

The book is written, it’s been to alpha readers and I’m currently editing in preparation for sending to beta readers, so now is the time to start distilling my 150K word complex sequel, with multiple plot strands and 4 viewpoint characters into just a few lines. Easy, right?

10881847_840151939360851_2798033976714142979_nHm, you’d think so, but ask any writer and they will, almost without exception, tell you that it is way harder than writing the entire book.

This is my first sequel. I’m happy with the book, but how much to put in the blurb? To assume most people looking at it will have read the first book? Or not?

They don’t need to have done so – although probably best read in sequence, this is, once again, a stand alone book with its own complete story arc, though threads are left dangling at the end. But for those who have read the first, and want to know what has happened to their favourite characters?

Tricky. Very tricky.

I need to settle the blurb for the back cover of the paperback quite soon, so I can get the cover design underway, so any advice, experience and/or opinions gratefully received.

I have multiple drafts, but the following are my best efforts so far: not by any means settled, and I’m more than willing to scrap and start again if that looks best, but here goes:

Logline

To regain his former position, an exiled spy must escort a pair of young sisters across a dangerous mountain range and deliver them in time for a marriage of alliance. The bandit chieftain whose lands they must cross has a totally different agenda for the girls.

(46 words)

Short description

Raised a proper noblewoman, Lady Nessa Haddo’s only goal in life is to secure a suitable husband, but as a younger twin in a land where superstition deems her cursed, her prospects are limited. When she sets her sights on the handsome foreign envoy sent to escort her sister to her arranged marriage, Nessa’s romantic fantasies entangle her in events beyond her darkest nightmares.

Compared to his last escapade, Rustam Chalice’s commission sounds simple: wrangle an unwieldy bridal caravan across a mountain range populated by bandits, trolls, werecats and worse, try to cajole a traumatized princess out of her self-imposed isolation, and arrive on time for the politically sensitive wedding.

What could possibly go wrong?

(115 words)

Long description (back cover blurb)

In a society that believes younger twins to be cursed, Nessa Haddo clings to her unlikely dream of securing a husband. But when sets her sights on the scar-faced foreign envoy, her romantic fantasies entangle her in events beyond her darkest nightmares.

Rustam Chalice is too preoccupied with the consequences of the coup that resulted in his exile, to take more than fleeting notice of an infatuated teenage girl. Lady Risada, the woman he loves, has married his father, the prince, while his sister, still ignorant of their familial relationship, teeters on the brink of religious zealotry in her efforts to reconcile the torture she endured.

When the Haddo twins are kidnapped, Rustam blames himself for his potentially fatal lapse in judgement, and sets out on a rescue mission.

Meanwhile, back in her ancestral home, Lady Risada awaits the birth of her heir. All her carefully honed assassin’s skills are screaming warnings of foul play, yet she can find nothing obviously amiss.

And deep in the halls of a mountain clan, an old enemy plucks his victim’s strings with expert malice.

(181 words)

HelpHelp, advice, suggestions? All welcome…

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7 comments

  1. I have absolutely NO real skill at tis part of things at all, but I can tell you as a reader what I like, so far. The logline works for me, as is. I think it’s perfect, and it would intrigue me. And the short description is even better. Love the last line. 🙂 My questions are about the last one, the back cover blurb. First, and foremost, the phrase “scar-faced foreign envoy leapt out at me, and not in a good way. It makes me think of terrible disfigurement, and I hope that isn’t the case. Handsome is more romantic, if not particularly original. Or some way to indicate his scar is a dashing one, maybe? (Assuming it is?)

    And I ‘m wondering if this blurb gives away too much of the first book? Just a bit? I haven’t finished reading it yet, but now I know Lady Risada marries someone else. 😦 For those looking at this one, BEFORE they realize it’s a sequel, that might be more than they should know. Just my opinion, but I’d try not to give away something so important to the story line.

    Other than that, I think you’re on the money, especially with the first two. Good job, and congratulations on being so much farther along in the process than I am in my current WIP. Looking forward to adding this one to my TBR pile!

    1. PLEASE forgive typos! I’m having a Bad Eye day. 🙂

      1. You know what they say about the mind being able to read without most of the letters in the right order – typos are NO problem here!

    2. Wow, thanks Marcia – I hadn’t thought about that aspect of this being a sequel, I wrote that just thinking of it as a standalone novel. Oops, you are so right, way too much info about the first book there – and I’m SO sorry I’ve ruined some of the suspense for you before you’ve finished reading Prince’s Man 😦
      I will re-write accordingly, then probably share on The Write Stuff to see if I can get any more opinions.
      People are being slow about that here…

  2. Wow Deb, you’re writing an epic it seems! That’s where you’ve been hiding out 🙂
    I find the logline and short quite intriguing like Marcia. And ashamedly, I’ve yet to read The Prince’s Man, which is coming up soon I’m happy to add! But I got the feeling that your long blurb was focusing on book one instead of letting the sequel be the star.
    Any writer knows it’s a tricky thing to do a sequel. We want it to be stand alone, yet be the book our readers await for more if they’ve read the first one. It’s an intricate weaving indeed.
    I know this because I’m also writing a sequel to Conflicted Hearts which is currently in messy first draft so I feel for you. I’ll be waiting to see what you come up with as you pave the way for fellow sequel writers. 🙂 🙂

    1. I’m looking forward to that sequel of yours.
      Indeed, I am writing an epic – the clue is in the ‘epic fantasy’ genre tag!!! 😉
      And you are SO right – thank you so much for pointing it out. Yes, I did focus on the first one when I wrote that longer blurb, but I shouldn’t have! The short one and the logline are more recent pieces of work, and I think I’ve had more time to divorce myself from the book and write them without that deeply immersed POV one has while still writing, which is what I shall now go back and do with the longer version.
      New version coming along soon.

      1. It’s not hard for us to get too involved with our stories, which can tend to lead us on a tangent. I look forward to your next edition. 🙂

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