Blurb help needed - :)

Hi everyone. I need help with my blurb and any input would be greatly appreciated. If you need help with critiques as well or want to follow each other, let me know too. I’m still new so I’m open.

Old Blurb
The Marine King

In the Serpent Region, everyone is a suspect when a household deity is executed in public. Three village troublemakers - Devi, the gateman’s son, Mawuli, the chief’s daughter, and Adisa, a stray orphan - find themselves in danger when the military occupy their village.

To everyone, this should pass like the war did - but in a world where not having a birthmark is illegal, gods are executed, and children go missing, this could take a turn for the worst.

EDIT

Hi everyone. I truly appreciate the feedback and I’m happy about all comments. I started with some changes. So far, I decided to focus on one conflict so that it can be more clear to people who read. This is still under the brainstorming process but here is the direction so far. Any critique is welcome. And I can wait for any feedback so no rush. :smiley:

New Blurb

VERSION 1

In the Serpent Region, worshipping a deity is a crime punishable by death. The king publicly executes a household deity for attempting to overthrow him and sends the military to find anyone they suspect of not worshipping him.

Villagers keep their heads low and hope the military retreat - but three troublemakers will have none of it. They get that everyone knows in the land where snakes shed their skins to pray, no military ever comes in peace.

VERSION 2

In the Serpent Region, worshipping a deity is a crime punishable by death. The king publicly executes a household deity for attempting to overthrow him and sends the military to find anyone they suspect of not worshipping him.

Three village troublemakers find themselves under strict surveillance when the military occupy their home. Other villagers keep their heads low and hope the military retreat - but everyone knows in the land where snakes shed their skins to pray, no military ever comes in peace.

EXPLANATION

I did not mention the birthmark or missing children part. I made the deities the center of the blurb based on what I took from the feedback. In addition, the birthmark and missing children part are part of what happens with the deities so I thought it’s better to use the deity conflict as the overaching theme in the blurb?

UPDATE

VERSION 3

In the Serpent Region, worshipping a deity is a crime punishable by death. The king publicly executes a household deity for attempting to overthrow him and sends the military to find anyone they suspect of not worshipping him.

Villagers keep their heads low and hope the military retreat - but three troublemakers will have none of it and investigate the soldiers. They soon discover in the land where snakes shed their skins to pray, no military ever comes in peace.

Note - Or infiltrate the military camp.

VERSION 4

In the Serpent Region, worshipping a deity is a crime punishable by death. The king publicly executes a household deity for attempting to overthrow him and sends the military to find anyone who may not worship him.

VIllagers keep their heads low and hope the military retreat - but three young troublemakers soon discover all neighbors from other villages turn up dead or missing, and many of the victims do honor the king.

NEWBIE

In the Serpent Region, worshipping a deity is a crime punishable by death. The king publicly executes a household deity for attempting to overthrow him and sends the military to find anyone else behind the plot.

Villagers bicker, keep their heads low and pray for the military to retreat, but three young troublemakers uncover a plot to kill everyone in their home - innocent or not. Courage is expensive in the kingdom, and as times runs, they soon face a decision - do they die obeying their king, or do they die breaking the law?

@kajinam

This is actually pretty good, you don’t need a comma after did in the last paragraph.

Thanks! Appreciate the feedback.

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This is actually really, really good. I’d read it.

Thank you @azar_ereska ! :slight_smile:

Everyone becomes a suspect of what?

You don’t need to include the characters’ names. “Three village troublemakers” does the job for me.

“Find themselves in danger” is pretty vague. Can you be more explicit?

What war? Birthmarks? Executed gods? Missing children? So many loose ends.

Perhaps try to distill this down to the story’s main conflict, rather than trying to include everything.

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Executed doesn’t work here for me (I was like why are there suspects if it’s an execution – the public usually knows who does the killing), so you might want to change that to something like “…, everyone becomes a suspect when a household deity is murdered/assassinated in broad daylight.”

I agree with @mchawkinsauthor here – you don’t need the names and should specify the danger to raise the stakes, and maybe add that they occupy the village in retaliation to show the connection to the previous sentence.

"Three village troublemakers find themselves in danger of facing the firing squad when the military occupy their village to restore order.

This is too vague. Focus on crystallizing conflict, and maybe introduce a tickling clock element. Since I don’t really know what your story is about, it’s hard to make a suggestion.

On a separate note, for a first attempt (at least this is what I assume since you are new to WP), this was a rather solid effort.

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Thanks for the feedback! So just focus on the result after the deity is executed?

It is a bit disjointed with each part not following from another.

Did the three troublemakers executed the deity in front of the whole village watching? If so, why is everyone else a suspect? Did the military rolled in to protect the deities?

The last paragraph just does not make any sense to me.

I agree with sally, raise the stakes and make it very clear to us. Remember we our outsiders to your story so sometimes it’s prudent to remember you must explain the gist of your story in a way that anyone reading can understand.

If your troublemakers killed the diety definitely use the word assassinated and if so what are the consequences? What obstacles must they overcome?

Why are their suspects if it was public? Were they wearing masks or hid their identity in some way? Just things to think about.

Edit: if not having a birthmark is a large plot point then make it more central rather than an afterthought. Were your troublemakers assumed to be killers because of no birthmark or being outsiders? I don’t know your story but if something here applies I would consider changing it to show us a piece of what your story’s political landscape is like.

Got it.

Executed doesn’t work here for me (I was like why are there suspects if it’s an execution – the public usually knows who does the killing), so you might want to change that to something like “…, everyone becomes a suspect when a household deity is murdered/assassinated in broad daylight.”

I could definitely switch things up but just saying - it was an execution. I thought assasinations happened when one wants to go against the ruling power? The deity was punished and his actions reflect what the public may do against the ruling power.

I agree with @mchawkinsauthor here – you don’t need the names and should specify the danger to raise the stakes, and maybe add that they occupy the village in retaliation to show the connection to the previous sentence.

"Three village troublemakers find themselves in danger of facing the firing squad when the military occupy their village to restore order.

Cool. I could remove the names. And I could change the statements a bit but to explain - the military occupy their village to find another suspect other than the deity.

This is too vague. Focus on crystallizing conflict, and maybe introduce a tickling clock element. Since I don’t really know what your story is about, it’s hard to make a suggestion.

On a separate note, for a first attempt (at least this is what I assume since you are new to WP), this was a rather solid effort.

Hm. Crystalling conflict? Like being more descriptive? For this part I was attempting to explain the world of the story in a snapshot but I can definitely see that I need to refine it more and not leave it vague.

And thanks so much for the thorough feedback! :slight_smile:

I think she means to solidify it and make it clearer so that the reader easily grasps what your story is about.

Got it, thank you!

I will work on that a bit more. No the villagers did not execute the deity, so I can work on making sure people see that when reading.

In this society, everyone else could be a suspect because deities are no long the ruling class - so the military are not occupying the village to protect the deities, it is to kill anyone who openly support the deities.

When you say the last paragraph doesn’t make sense it is safe to assume you mean it was vague? Or did it not relate to the earlier paragraph?

I just don’t understand what it says.

The villagers believe that the military occupation is temporary. But it may or may not be temporary? The war could restart? So what? You make the war sound like no big deal either.

If the war is no big deal, then why birthmarks or children go missing is of any significance? This community seems to shrug off anything as no biggie.

Children often are born without birth marks, and develop pigmented patches way later.

I see.

This was not the thought I was going for - so I’m definitely rewriting the blurb. The troublemakers and the rest of the villagers are seen as suspect because they could be supporting the deity. The deity was executed because deities are no longer seen as ruling class - so any opposition they make towards the new ruling class is a threat and villagers could support them.

Edit: if not having a birthmark is a large plot point then make it more central rather than an afterthought. Were your troublemakers assumed to be killers because of no birthmark or being outsiders? I don’t know your story but if something here applies I would consider changing it to show us a piece of what your story’s political landscape is like.

OK. Got it. I’ll refine this because this wasn’t what I wanted people to understand.

Try replacing your passive voice with active, and things will clear up.

Instead of the deity ‘was executed’ say who did the deed.

The military junta publicly executes the deities in the village and torments everyone they suspect of still worshiping. The villagers are trying to keep their heads low and let the trouble pass by. The three troublemakers will have none of it however. They intend to save the holy scrolls. (Or whatever).

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I see. I would definitely suggest rewriting it so the landscapers politics are clearer as I as anyone would assume the troublemakers killed the dirty. Make it clear they are supporters and that dieties no longer possess the status they once had

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The villagers believe that the military occupation is temporary. But it may or may not be temporary? The war could restart? So what? You make the war sound like no big deal either.

Okay, that wasn’t what I was going for so I can be explicit with that.

If the war is no big deal, then why birthmarks or children go missing is of any significance? This community seems to shrug off anything as no biggie.

I see, because they said this should pass like the war did. I wanted for them to hope the occupation would be over soon but I think it’s better to be more descriptive here.

Children often are born without birth marks, and develop pigmented patches way later.

Birthmarks in the story are different so I will probably add an element to make it less like a real birthmark in real life, and more of the birthmark in the story.

Thanks a ton :slight_smile: I’ll change things up

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Yep, I agree. Thank you! :pray:t5:

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