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AROUND THE BLOCK (YA)


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#21 Springfield

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:21 AM

Yes, I mentioned earlier I'm just going for the blurb part now earlier.  I understand it's not a good query, and yeah, I'm sure I've broken some rule for this site, but hey, you labeled it a blurb, so at least that's good.

 

Wait, I'm confused -- you want a blurb? You're self-publishing?



#22 galian84

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:49 AM

I was confused, too. I thought this was a query letter? If it's just a back-cover blurb type thing, it's fine as it is.



#23 PureZhar3

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 05:26 PM

How much current YA do you read?

 

​I have to be asking the same question as Springfield now. I actually am ​a young adult (in high school), and thus far, I'm having to quell doubts as to how relatable this novel is. That said, I don't have lots of information on your book, and every young adult has a very different experience depending on geography, family, etc. 

​This is what I'm wondering: what is the tone and theme of your novel? What is the time period/setting of this? And how accurate to life are you trying to be?

​I've had someone obsessed with me before, and while they didn't end up stalking me, I'm having difficulty equating your version of obsession (which seems to resemble more of a pop culture interpretation) with the more subtle, creepy manifestation of it in real life.

​I would echo A.M. Rose on a lot of her points. This doesn't even fully sound as if young adults would enjoy it (it certainly sounds like early young adults, as opposed to older).

 

​That said... none of this may matter, depending on what you're going for. If you're going to comical and light, this might fit very well. If you're going to realistic and serious, this doesn't seem to match.


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#24 RobDurham

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 10:32 AM

Yes, it's a comical tone. The theme is a coming of age story showing that just because you're smart, doesn't mean you understand love/relationships. It also deals with guilt of wanting to be sexual, bullying, and peer pressure (pardon my lack of parallel structure on those 3 things). The book's audience is teenage boys who don't normally read.  I teach 135 high school students and have tested multiple versions on them.  Boys have told me they would definitely read it even though they "don't read books."  A few of them have read through the manuscript voluntarily.  I also do stand-up comedy and I've sold a couple thousand of my other books over the years after my shows.  I realize my writing, nor this book's concept, isn't at the level of getting published yet, so I'm just finding a blurb for the back cover now.  The cover should be able to show time period (current day) and the book's vibe somewhat.  (Is there a site where people critique covers too?)

Anyway: here's what I'm going with for a blurb (and thank you again for all your feedback):

 

Seventeen-year-old Mark Lender loves running track but has no track record with the ladies—that’s something he’s looking to change. He is shocked when the interest of two girls takes him from Mr. Backstage to Mr. Centerstage. Katy Mancer seems obsessed with him, but she’s oblivious to fashion—or reality, so her advances only give Mark’s bullies a bigger target. Then there’s Angel Hayden, a six-foot-one home run hitting jock, who’s so popular she parties with college guys and is way too experienced for a guy like Mark who’s never made it to first base. He can either learn quickly or strikeout.



#25 MICRONESIA

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 10:43 AM

It seems like you're putting the cart before the horse. The back blurb and cover art are things 99% of authors have NO SAY IN.

 

I assume you're self-publishing.

 

(Also, I taught high school for four years. You're a brave man for letting them read your work, haha.)

 

That said, this blurb just gives us a scenario. We don't really know what he's struggling against or what's at stake. People keep telling you this over and over: just him wanting to get laid isn't enough for a novel. Nor is it enough to hook us, whether by blurb, query, smoke signal or telegram.

 

1) So and so wants A.

2) B is in his way.

3) So and so must choose between % and ^.

4) If he chooses %, [this bad thing] will happen.

5) If he chooses ^, [a different bad thing] will happen.



#26 RobDurham

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 11:00 AM

Yes, it's self-published.  I'm getting a lot of mixed advice.  I'll try to strip things down and use your template if I can...and then if it comes out better, I'll keep posting on here.

I feel like 1. Mark wants a girlfriend (or at least affection) is implied/stated.

2. His inexperience and the choice of wrong women are in the way.

3. He has to deal with bullying because of one girl, and then "grow up" if he's to test the waters with the other.  Otherwise, he could end up where he started.

 

 

 

  My cover designer lady actually liked this version.  But again, I appreciate the help because I want to do justice to this book.  



#27 Springfield

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 11:13 AM

If you're not querying agents you could have, you know, mentioned that, oh, ANYPLACE. 

 

A blurb and a query are entirely different and if you don't need a query, the whole first page of this thread is moot.

 

That said 'otherwise he could end up where he started' is the definition of NO STAKES.






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