Sunday, June 9, 2013

5 Rules I Broke: Synopses Part 2

At Denver Comic Con, I mentioned this series. To get an idea of what a cut-up I am in public, feel free to take a peek.

So we were gabbing about long synopses last time. This time, we’ll fiddle with the book jacket. As I mentioned before, there isn’t a perfect one. Apply the rules you know, slip your voice in there, and you’re good.

Here’s one of the most valuable lessons I gleaned through all this. It always brings a heart-felt smile to my face when I muse on it again, too.

Here’s the book jacket synopsis for Tattoo Rampage that I wrote:

Evangelina Marquez-James gets her first tattoo, a symbol of courage to carry on after her husband dies in the line of duty as a police officer. The skin art is of an elit...e yet obscure super heroine created by a forgotten 1940s artist.

A solar disturbance triggers a metamorphosis in her new ink, enabling Evangelina with the ability to transform into the super heroine. She sets out to wage war against the types of vermin who murdered her husband.

Acid, a sociopathic killer who can assume the form of his warlord tattoo, seeks the artist’s original sketchbook. When Evangelina comes into possession of the drawing pad, Acid not only tracks it down, but her family as well, forcing her into a standoff with his nightmarish army born of ink.

My agent rewrote it. So tickled by her enthusiasm, I ‘green-lighted’ it immediately, but then I noticed there wasn’t a lot of tension in it. Nothing really at stake. A friend of mine critiqued it later and beat the hell out of it. Here’s the new improved blurb:

When a woman gets the tattoo of a super heroine emblazoned on her calf,
she wakes up to ...find herself transported to the tatted afterworld of
Inkscape where she is being followed by her late husband's Evangelina
heart with wings tattoo; Inkscape is like a carnival gone wrong filled
with tattoos strolling around a boardwalk looking like freaks; to make
matters worse, the carnies look angry and the woman finds herself in an
all out standoff with a nightmarish army born of ink…

Well, the latter got the attention of Hollywood when it was posted on Publisher’s Market Place. Shows what I know. My agent, smitten with Inkscape, thought it was a selling point. From what I’d been taught, the obstacles should get center stage.

Voila. There’s your lesson. It matters not to me what worked. All I know is: something did -- which I’m very grateful for -- and you shouldn’t lose any sleep over the rightness or wrongness of your synopses.




Sisters of the Quill said...

Inkscape...? an edgier, less Religious form of the What Dreams May Come canvas? Karen

Heather Jackson said...

Personally I don't get the second blurb. She's being followed around by tattoos? Like a winged heart is walking around this place? The first one sounds like a good, solid story played out in the real world. The second, like some weird surrealistic dream that stretches the imagination. Hard to believe they describe the same story.