Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

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Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

Postby Kellemora » 17 Mar 2014, 09:14

For those brave enough to venture down here to the Writers Corner, I have a question.

I'm going to present a Jacket Blurb, a description of a book.
Immediately following, I'm going to place a Critique Comment regarding same.

After several days of study, I'm failing to see what the Critique person saw and/or didn't see.

I'm open to comments or suggestions...

***

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Historical Mystery Cozy, Young Adult, Clean Read.

The Jacket Blurb:
A small town newspaper reporter, seeking to enhance his sleuthing hobby, solicited the help of his favorite detective. Encouraged by his mentor to improve his observational skills, he studied the local residents body shapes. Intrigued with an exceptional likeness between two young women, his focus narrowed on their facial features. Convinced they must be identical twins, he maintained a constant vigil, and scrutinized their behavior patterns. After several conversations with the local girl, he learned and verified her only sibling was an older brother. Her proper manner of dress and speech, confirmed her families strict religious upbringing. In sharp contrast, her clone's separate lifestyle and occupation, is one of questionable moral values. If the two women are not related, visual identification suggested the impossible, they must be the same person. Their working timetables overlap, and one person cannot be in two places at the same time. Subtle duplicities about each woman hiding their harmonious voices, reinforced his assumptions. Certain he is correct, our reporter continued his quest to learn the truth.

Log Line: How can she be in two places at the same time?

Tag Line: Never take anyone at face value.

***

The Critique:
Is the title "A Secret in Ash Brooke" interesting?
Yes
Is the book description effective?
No
I assume the novel is a private-eye mystery, but I'd prefer to be told that unambiguously. It could belong to the paranormal/occult genre. I would prefer a book description that offered information in a straightforward manner, bearing in mind that, once I've chosen the novel to review, i can't change my mind. What's also important to me in a book description, however brief, is to get some sense of the writer's prose style. I would not choose this book based on my impressions

***

My questions:
What line or lines in the Blurb would lead one to think this is a private-eye mystery?
What phrase would make one think it belongs in the paranormal/occult genre?
Should I just ignore this particular critique response?

***

I have both long and short Blurbs I use. My original first blurbs were canned because they contained spoilers, so a more generic route was taken.
I can change my on-line blurbs easily enough. But the book is already published in print, so no changes can be made to the jacket cover blurb now.
My blurb was reviewed by seven different folks before being used. They all loved it.

TTUL
Gary
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Re: Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

Postby Yogi » 17 Mar 2014, 11:38

My questions:
What line or lines in the Blurb would lead one to think this is a private-eye mystery?
What phrase would make one think it belongs in the paranormal/occult genre?
Should I just ignore this particular critique response?


I'm not sure how literal critics have to be. I agree with you that there are no explicit words in the blurb to say it's a detective story or deals with paranormal events. Those two comments are based on implication. The reporter is said to have a "sleuthing hobby" which might lead to the assumption it's a detective story. Then there is the vague reference to the identical females actually being the same person. That could be paranormal, but I finished reading the blurb thinking a unexpected explanation that is normal would be in the story. In fact, I'm also thinking the girls had the same father by two different mothers which may put this story in the romance genre. That comment of mine was sarcastic in case you missed it.

My guess is the critic is making assumptions and not reviewing the blurb literally.
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Re: Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

Postby Kellemora » 18 Mar 2014, 09:42

Thank you Yogi.

I've asked other places with similar responses as yours.

Each point out something different, such as the use of the word 'clone' could give one the impression of paranormal.

Another said I made too much emphasis on the impossibility of the same person being in two places at the same time. That along with using the word 'duplicities' indicated to them the possibility of paranormal activity.

Another said by saying one was of strict religious upbringing and the other a sharp contrast. Could indicate the other person was involved in the occult.

I don't like to give away the ending of a story. So let's just say there is nothing amiss. There are no twins and no look-alike characters. These assumptions were only in the mind of an overzealous reporter practicing lessons for his sleuthing hobby.

Martin Hurston works at the Ash Brooke Citizen newspaper. First as a pressman, then later as a reporter. His detective friend is teaching him new skills, such as studying body shapes and facial features. Martin moves into a new apartment which becomes dominated by affluent tenants. Across the street from the apartment is a garment mill. He meets and speaks with the supervisor of the mill on a regular basis. Through these meetings, along with other folks in town, he studies her face as a part of his training lessons from the detective. The rich tenants in his apartment give him tickets to attend the theater. He sees a resemblance to the lead soloist body build at first. Then after meeting her a few times, finds her facial features identical to the garment workers facial features. The garment worker and her family attend a very strict church, no dancing, no makeup, no jewelry. While the soloist is part of a chorus line in a dance hall. The total opposite lifestyle as displayed by the garment worker. The more often Martin meets these two people, the more convinced he becomes that they are the same person. However, the soloist is on stage before the garment worker gets off work, and she drives home in the opposite direction of the theater. Every clue he finds that brings him closer to the truth, turns out to be a dead end, at the time. But little by little, he learns these dead ends were not dead ends at all, when he viewed them from a different perspective.
After several years of comparing notes with other reporters and his detective friend. They begin to shun him for his nonsense. But after careful scrutiny of this intriguing case, he finally believes he nailed it shut. The garment worker invites him to hear her sing at her church. Her singing voice is identical to the theater soloist. No two people can sound exactly alike, and he wants to brag about learning of this new clue. He decides to call the theater worker by the name of the garment mill worker to see what happens. It failed, but it did allow him to have a few long talks with the theater soloist.
He finally gives up, but still knowing in his heart he is correct. They are the same person. He breaks all ties with the theater soloist and begins dating the garment mill worker. This is when he learns of shorter faster routes through the city, so those impossible timetables that plagued him all along, begin to work out as possibilities. He finally figured out that the garment mill worked could go to her aunts house, change clothes and cars and make it to the theater with ten minutes to spare.
The only problem with this is, the garment mill worker drove the oldest and most unreliable car on the lot. While the soloist drove one the most expensive cars manufactured. In other words, rich girl/poor girl was another stumbling block in his theory. He continues dating the garment mill worker, and she shows him around her own neighborhood where she grew up. This takes her past places she would never drive past in times previous. And that's all I can say without giving away the ending. Other than they do eventually get married, she is promoted to CEO of the garment mill and he becomes owner of the newspaper and the apartment building.

It is a great little story. Perhaps a little long in the tooth in some areas. But if you consider I wrote the entire novel, from scratch, with less than one week of preparation, and pounded it out in 30 days, during the NaNoWriMo challenge. Plus I did not give it the cooling down period before editing and pushing it to e-book and in print. I'm still proud of my NaNo Winning Novel. Now I just need to get a blurb that draws more readers to it, eh.

Thank you again Yogi...

TTUL
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Re: Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

Postby Ice.Maiden » 20 May 2014, 17:21

Hi Gary,

The only thing that I could find in what the critique said about it being a private eye mystery, was in your first 11 words - "A small town newspaper reporter, seeking to enhance his sleuthing hobby ..." The operative word there's "sleuthing", which's normally used to describe detective work.

I can't see why anyone'd think that the story was about the paramormal/occult, unless your critique believes that anything on the lines of being a mystery'd be classed as that.

This's the trouble with other people critiquing a writer's work. Some of their comments may be valid, but it depends on how each person sees something. Unless there's a huge obvious faux pas, I, personally, wouldn't take any notice, and just be polite and say: "Thank you for your comments".
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Re: Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

Postby pilvikki » 30 May 2014, 02:50


well, that figures, my answer's gone...

basically, the critique was off the wall and if you see one as out of touch with reality, ignore it's context.

i'll get back to it later, someone's hollering for my attention.
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Re: Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

Postby Kellemora » 30 May 2014, 12:54

It's no biggie, I'm finally getting some nice compliments.

Ironically, a paid blurb line was not liked by anyone. They preferred my original short line over the paid one.

Sales are slow, but at least there are sales. Plus a few more review sites are picking it up, which can only help.

Diligently working on my main series as I find time.

TTUL
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Re: Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

Postby pilvikki » 30 May 2014, 13:20

:cool2:
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Re: Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

Postby Ice.Maiden » 30 May 2014, 14:03

Well done Gary. Keep at it.
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Re: Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

Postby Kellemora » 31 May 2014, 10:16

Thank you Icey...
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Re: Question on Analysis of a Jacket Blurb

Postby Ice.Maiden » 01 Jun 2014, 17:18

You're welcome.
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