I got some feedback on the blurb I wrote, and which I mentioned in the previous post. Essentially, it was crap.
The feedback however, was really good. It made me realize how much of the story and the setting I’m taking for granted, and how much reader expectations figure in.
I posted the blurb on the Mythic Scribes forum, which is dedicated to writing fantasy. The people who commented on it put a lot of importance on the fight against the bear and didn’t quite get at all what the difficulties with the marriage proposals were. They figured Torkel would be a great match for Emma.
That’s not really what the story is about, so I tried again
Emma’s Story – Blurb – Attempt 2
Winter holds the land in an iron grip. Sensible fylkin stay in their burrows, awaiting summer in warmth and comfort. And yet, messengers leave the village of Rastebo.
A wild bear threatens their lands and they need help to drive it off.
Emma drives her sled towards Kuulis Wood, the furthest away she’s ever been. With her on the sled is Torkel, her lifelong best friend. He’s even asked for her hand in marriage.
But Torkel is a wild one. He wants to hunt the bear and kill it, and he wants to ask the Winter Fylk for help. Everyone knows Summer and Winter do not mix.
Can Emma marry someone so reckless and foolish?
She needs to make her mind up, but first she must get to Kuulis Wood. Will the villagers help, and will it be enough? How will she fare in the big village so far away?
And what is Torkel really up to?
Again, there’s too much focus on the bear, and there’s too much confusion (among those who read it) about what’s going on. There’s no explanation of why Winter and Summer don’t mix, or even what they are. It wasn’t clear that Kuulis Wood is a village and not a forest, and Torkel is still coming across as a fairly reasonable candidate for the hero of the story.
I got some good advice on things to try, but I still had some ideas of my own that I wanted to try out. Among other things I wanted to see if I could do the blurb in the present tense narrative voice that I’m using here and there in the story.
It turned out pretty well if I may say so.
Emma’s Story – Blurb – Attempt 3
A young woman wants a quiet life. She dreams of children, and a burrow in the village. She wants to smoke her pipe on the porch in the long summer evening.
A young man wants adventure. He dreams of exploration, and the secrets of the forest. He wants to walk into the sunset on a road less travelled.
A village is tired of waiting. Giddy gossip has made way for wary whispers. A young man already proposed some time ago, and a young woman still has not said yes or no. A village needs stability and families. It needs its empty burrow lived in.
And when danger lurks in the cold winter night a village needs everyone to do their part – young and old, man and woman. Everyone. Together. A village does not need a hero.
Emma’s Story is a tale of trust and friendship, about living up to expectations, and about doing what it takes.
I’m kind of liking this. It focuses a lot more on the relation between Emma and Torkel, and it skips most of the mention about the bear.
There should be more focus on just one aspect of the story here, but I’m still unsure about if it’s good enough. It may still be that Torkel comes across as the likely hero, while Emma is strange and confusing.
Hopefully I can get some good feedback on this one too and then I can use that to polish up the fourth version to be even better. I already have it written up. I think it will work, but…
It’s a bit on the silly side, and I’d rather try and give the more serious options my best shot first. The fourth version is also the one that reveals most closely what the story is about, so I’m saving that for next.