Which is the more compelling description?

8 years ago | Erin Klitzke (Member)

I have two different teaser descriptions of Awakenings, one here and one at Muse-Success. I figured I'd ask folks to see which they found more compelling (I haven't gotten reviews at either venue either way, but I thought I'd ask).

Description #1:

On the campus of a small Michigan university, a small knot of survivors struggles to survive the end of the world. When everything they have ever known is spiraling out of control, these few survivors begin to awaken to supernatural gifts they were born with, gifts and sensitivities many of them were not aware of before the end of everything. Now, their newfound senses may mean the difference between survival and death in a new world struggling to be born and forever changed.

As technology dies, the things that modern society has taught us not to see become seen again, become more potent and more dangerous than ever before. A few of these survivors already know that. In the birthing pains of a new world, a new humanity, many more will become painfully aware that the things that go bump in the night have teeth and a toehold in our world as well.

Denial is not an option. Acceptance of inborn gifts, of mystical abilities and energies, is a key to survival in the days and years after the end of everything.

Description #2:

Marin Astoris saw the world ending a few years ago, but she thought it was going to die in a nuclear war. She was mercifully wrong, but now she and her friends have been left on the shattered campus of her Michigan university alone to face the birth of a new world. Many of them slowly awaken to inborn metaphysical abilities that may mean the difference between life and death for these survivors of the world's end as they struggle to survive the death of the modern world.

Thom Ambrose's relationship with Marin has been on the rocks for the better part of a year. He sees what she sees, but he can't allow himself to believe in the visions he has. If he dares to believe, he's going to lose the one thing in the world he loves the most: her.

It's thirty-some college students and one professor trying to survive the end of the world they knew and the birth of a new reality. If they can survive the first year, they just might have a shot.

Thanks!

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Responses

  1. G.S. Williams (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    The second one is more immediate and thus personal and a bit more engaging, instead of vague. However, even that one is repetitive in themes and words:

    Marin Astoris saw the WORLD ENDing a few years ago, but she thought it was going to DIE in a nuclear war. She was mercifully wrong, but now she and her friends have been left on the shattered campus of her Michigan university alone to face the BIRTH of a new WORLD. Many of them slowly awaken to inborn metaphysical abilities that may mean the difference between life and DEATH for these SURVIVORS of the WORLD's END as they struggle to SURVIVE the DEATH of the modern WORLD.

    Thom Ambrose's relationship with Marin has been on the rocks for the better part of a year. He sees what she sees, but he can't allow himself to believe in the visions he has. If he dares to believe, he's going to lose the one thing in the world he loves the most: her.

    It's thirty-some college students and one professor trying to SURVIVE the END of the WORLD they knew and the BIRTH of a new reality. If they can SURVIVE the first year, they just might have a shot.

    So I would edit it down:

    Marin Astoris has apocalyptic visions of a nuclear war destroying the world. She survived the cataclysm, but now she and her friends have been left on the shattered campus of her Michigan university alone. Many of them slowly awaken to inborn metaphysical abilities that may mean the difference between life and death for these survivors of the world's end.

    Thom Ambrose's relationship with Marin has been on the rocks for the better part of a year. He sees what she sees, but he can't allow himself to believe in the visions they've shared. If he dares to believe, he's going to lose the one thing in the world he loves the most: her.

    It's thirty-some college students and one professor trying to survive the end of the world they knew and the birth of a new reality. If they can last the first year, they just might have a shot.

  2. Erin Klitzke (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback, Gavin!

    Anyone else care to weigh in?

  3. Mel the Nerdette (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    I agree with Gavin that the second is more personal, we start with the character and I like that. I might pare it a bit down, but not quite as far as he did, but I do particularly feel pulled in by the lines "will become painfully aware that the things that go bump in the night have teeth." "Denial is not an option. Acceptance of inborn gifts, of mystical abilities and energies, is a key to survival in the days and years after the end of everything."

    Maybe if you merged the two, but kept the focus on Marin?

    Something like:

    Marin Astoris foresaw the end of the world a few years ago. She expected nuclear war, but was mercifully wrong. In the aftermath, Marin and her friends begin to awaken new metaphysical abilities that may mean the difference between life and death.

    Thom Ambrose sees what she sees, but can't allow himself to believe in the visions they've shared. If he dares to believe, he's going to lose the one thing in the world he loves the most: her.

    But denial is not an option as they become painfully aware that the things that go bump in the night have teeth.

  4. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    #2 is definitely a stronger description for me. I didn't notice (or wasn't bothered by) the word repetitions.

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  5. G.S. Williams (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    That's the difference between men and ubersoft ;) -- word repetitions are a) sometimes obvious and so unpalatable, and sometimes not a big deal but b) words are ideas, and I get the idea that "THE WORLD" is at stake here after the first usage, the rest is redundant. From a statistical point of view, it's 180 words (that are supposed to capture a reader's attention) and 5 of them -- 2.7% -- are the same word/idea repeated. In the First Paragraph alone the word "WORLD" was used 4 times, for a 4.5% incidence rate, and that's the paragraph that's going to determine if I keep reading to the second or third. Words like "a" and "the" and "and" can be repeated because they string ideas together without being themes in and of themselves -- but the theme should be evident right away from that first usage and after that it becomes less important to hear it.

    Furthermore, I cut the words "mercifully wrong" because it makes no sense -- what's merciful? That a handful of people survived, that there was a world-ending situation, or that billions of people are dead? If there's a true nuclear war, there's going to be fallout, nuclear winter, radiation, starvation, rioting, fighting, disease and tons and tons of death -- surviving is less merciful than being at ground zero, where you'll feel nothing. Survival isn't mercy, it's a necessity and it's hard work. Mercy is being spared something, and if anything the survivors are going to be worse off than the people who were spared all that suffering -- but they're dead. So it's not a good word for a bad situation all around.

    I actually kind of wish someone would go through my stuff looking for things like that, because it's a lot harder for me to be objective about my own sentences -- I go kind of blurry and say "yeah, that pretty much says what I thought it should" and only with feedback from reader comments do I start sorting out what works for others and what doesn't.

  6. Erin Klitzke (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Thanks, folks. I've taken the suggestions into consideration and rewritten my site's front page, as well as the descriptions for here and Muse-Success as a result.

    I appreciate the input very much!

  7. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Wait, what? That's the difference between MEN and Ubersoft? ;-)

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  8. G.S. Williams (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    @ubersoft -- oops. Sorry, sometimes when I'm typing too fast I put letters from future words in previous ones and don't catch it when I read through. "Me and Ubersoft" -- not men. I don't speak for an entire gender. (:

  9. jinxtigr (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    What's up with these things with teeth? Only the first one hints directly at them, the second one just says 'if they survive' implying that maybe they'll starve, or die of ennui.

    Go with 'end of the world', then 'monsters with teeth', THEN 'they get metaphysical abilities' to explain what's going to be happening.

    I don't know why Thom believing his visions will lose him Marin, when she apparently had visions too. But it sounds like explaining that goes way beyond the scope of a blurb :) I would suggest 'also- romance!' to sum that bit up :)

  10. Erin Klitzke (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    On the campus of a small Michigan university, a small knot of survivors struggles to survive the end of the world. When everything they have ever known is spiraling out of control, these few survivors begin to awaken to supernatural gifts they were born with, gifts and sensitivities many of them were not aware of before the end of everything. Now, their newfound senses may mean the difference between survival and death.

    Marin Astoris had a vision a few years ago, of a mushroom cloud rising beyond the university’s iconic clocktower. A voice whispered in her ear, take a breath and wait to die. That vision never came to pass. Something else happened instead: an asteroid, a botched attempt to stop it from hitting earth, and a resulting cataclysm that left only small pockets of humans left alive, scattered and isolated in a rapidly changing landscape.

    Thom Ambrose’s relationship with Marin has been on the rocks for the better part of a year. He’s had visions, too, ones he’s too afraid to believe are true. If he dares to believe them, he’ll lose the one thing he loves the most: her.

    It’s thirty-some college students struggling to survive the end of everything they’ve ever known. All they’ve got are each other and gifts they’re just realizing they have, abilities they’re struggling to understand. If they can make it through that first year, they might just have a chance.

    That's how I ended up rewriting it.

  11. G.S. Williams (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    I would lose the whole first paragraph, everything important comes after that.

  12. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    I agree with Gavin!

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  13. G.S. Williams (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    That's the similarity between me and ubersoft. :P

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