Friday, January 20, 2012

Help me pick a excerpt!


There are two things I hate about writing a book:  the back-cover blurb and picking an excerpt.  And with Live and Let Fly, I've been asked to pick not one, but two!  Help!

I went through the manuscript and picked three likely candidates for the mini excerpts.  Would you read them and vote in the comments section on your favorite?  I'll sweeten the pot by putting your name in a raffle for one of my books, including Live and Let Fly!

Based on feedback, I'm removing #2 from the race.  It seems to appeal most to Vern fans, and of course, we want to reach readers who don't know him yet.  Thanks guys!  This does help!


Tomorrow, I'll add three possibilities for the long excerpt.


Possible 1-mini

A part of me was thinking this drug was suspiciously well-tuned to dragon physiology. Another part of me was thinking, Duuuuude! What a ride.
"Go wait outside. I'll make the call."
I didn’t notice the police wagon on the curb until Santry called my name.
"Oh, look," I said. "The heat's come to help me up my street cred."
"Funny. Get in. I'm taking you to the station."
"Why should I?" The words popped out of my mouth. They seemed about right.
Santry took three steps forward, then stopped, and folded his arms. "Vern, get in the van. I've had a bad day, and I'm not interested in taking any crap from you."
Suddenly, I was the one who was tired of taking crap: crap from cowards who attacked me with drugged drinks instead of swords and lances, dukes who thought exiling creatures made a great joke, reporters who burned me in effigy and got all the sympathy, and police chiefs who thought their bad day meant they could lord it over the dragon.
I pounced.

Possible 2- mini - REMOVED FROM CONSIDERATION, but here for fun, anyway.

"Keep going. Don't break rhythm. This is an unusual spell. You have to let it get into you."
Eighth...two sixteenths, eighth, quarter, eighth, eighth, eighth. I started tapping with claws on all four limbs.
"You know, I don't really like that idea."
"You don't have to go."
"No. I'm fine. But I don't think it's—ergh!"
Suddenly, my whole body heated up and got all...gooey. Then I felt like I was being forced into a trash compactor, or maybe a mold that was too small.
"Vern?"
I got heavy, boulder heavy, and fell to the ground. I didn't understand how I could make crashing sounds when I was so much flubber. After what seemed an eternity, I started feeling a little more solid, but lighter, which panicked me, or would have if I weren't so distracted by being gelatinous.
Then it ended, and I was on human hands and knees, panting and fighting the urge to throw up on the bathroom floor.
"Vern!" Grace banged on the door.
"I'm fine!"
I rose slowly, dreading what I thought I'd see.

Possible 3- mini
Festival was Friday. We had two days to stop a Nordic demigod evil overlord—overlady, overbeing, whatever—from blowing up a nuclear power plant, possibly destroying half an island full of revelers in the process, and creating an Interdimensional Gap through which she can bring the rest of her giant relatives to set up housekeeping where the Faerie Catholic Church didn't have the power to control them. In other words, two days until Hel broke loose.
I've had worse deadlines. I could afford a long bath in our whirlpool tub and a good meal first.

42 comments:

Virginia L. Jennings said...

I like the second one. Not only does it help the readers get to know the character as a dragon but it also shows them that there is a twist in the story in that he is turning into a human! The first one is a close second in my book though, simply because I was interested in trying to figure out how he got into that mess and was going to get out... but then again turning into human form would be a unique form of trouble to get out of too lol. I see your predicament!

Mike Hays said...

I think the first one gives the best glimpse of who Vern is and draws interest into the why's and how's of the situation. Long live, Vern!

Becca Butcher said...

I like #2. The idea of a dragon shifting into human would definitely make me want to read more.

J Q Rose said...

I vote for #2. I love your description of his changing and then hit us between the eyes he's shifting from dragon to human. What WILL he see in the mirror..???

gail roughton branan said...

Well, I'm completley out of the mix, honey and you'll be more confused after hearing all of us than you are now. My favorite's WAY No. 3. Gives a real feel to the whole "atmosphere" of the plot without giving away anything and truly grabs the reader's attention. Did mine, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Number three is tighter, shorter and more intense.

Pat Dale said...

Definitely number one would cause me to grab the book and run with it to my favorite reading chair.
PD

Karina Fabian said...

Gail, I did ask my editors, both of them. They liked them all and said it was up to me.

Karen Boyd said...

Second. Out of all, that one draws me right in.

Fred Warren said...

They're all pretty good. My preference would be #1. The first two leave the reader with a nice cliffhanger that would draw them into the book.

Craig Turner said...

My favorite is #3 except that it doesn't have any dialogue, which is what people like to read more in excerpts. It is colorful and interesting, and would definitely be my first choice if you could add a few lines of dialogue. Otherwise I like #2.

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

I like one. I like two too, but one shows us Vern's personality.

Erin Lale said...

I like sample 1 best. I like how the first line grabs attention and lets me sink into the situation at once, and then the rest is humorous. :)

Karina Fabian said...

Friend is having problems with the captha. (Another friend did, too, and thinks its a wordpress-blogger thing) Anyway, for the record (and so I don't forget) Ellen Hrkach likes #2 best, and #1 next.

Marian L said...

Karen, I like the first one best-gives me a look into Vern's charactrer. Marian

Marian L said...

Katrina, sorry about putting the wrong name down-- no memory--my apologies. Marian

Crankymom said...

I like the third one and then the first.

Mel said...

The third one drew my attention. It had great atmosphere and left you wanting more without leaving you confused. Dialogue in excerpts is always a bit iffy in my opinion.

Cheryl said...

I loved the first one. It capture the Vern I remembered from the first book so well.

Works of S.A. Bolich said...

Hi, Karina. Definitely #2. It is clearer much sooner that the narrator is a dragon and ending up in human form at the end is especially intriguing.

Marian Allen said...

#3 is my favorite by far! #1 is my second choice.

1 and 2 are more like the bits they print just inside the cover, but 3 gives you the main conflict, the attitude of the narrator and the feel of the book.

Sounds good!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Walt said...

Number three is the best--it's short, sharp, sets it up, and grabs you.

Caprice Hokstad said...

I like the first one best, HOWEVER, I already know Vern. The third one is next best and maybe a better introduction for the clueless. :)

Ann Margaret Lewis said...

For a back cover I'd say 2....though I like the second one the most.

Anonymous said...

#1 grabs me.
Cindy

Reticulan said...

Numbers 1 and 3. I've never read any of your books and those two made the most sense to me.

Karina Fabian said...

Ann, you like #2, though you like the second one most? Did you mean to say you like #3 though you like the second one most?

Ann Margaret Lewis said...

OOps...typo. I meant #3 is good for a back cover. (sigh)...=( Forgive me.

Sunder Cameron Addams said...

I like #1, because it ends so well. I think the way a blurb ends has a lot to do w/ whether the reader decides s/he must have this book. Recent research on "irrational positivity" tends to back me up on this ("Saving the Last for Best," http://www.sitemaker.umich.edu/eob/papers). #3 seemed too densely packed with info. #2 focused largely on the main character's subjective experience, but in a blurb, the reader does not yet have a reason to care about this character.

cathikin said...

Wow. It's really hard to choose. They all make me curious enough to want to read the book, but I think #1 would be my first choice, then #2. My reasons are much like those given by others. BTW, I am eager to read more Dragoneye P. I.!!

HM Prevost said...

No. 3. It gives an overall sense of the entire plot, not just part of it.

Cheryl said...

I know nothing about these stories or Vern, so take that into consideration.

No. 3 told me what was going on and made it intriguing enough that I'd want to read pages.

No. 1, I didn't understand at all until I'd read the other two excerpts.

No. 2, I understood, but I'm not sure it would make me read pages.

Dianna L. Gunn said...

I really like number one because of the way it ends. It builds suspense and creates curiosity. Based on that blurb alone, I would definitely look deeper into the book.

I also think it's a mistake to discount number two. I can see what you're saying about how it would be more interesting to people who already know who/what Vern is, but the transformation's a really intriguing concept and it would lead me to read more.

Number three is cool because it really gives a good idea of what the story's about, but it's really brief and I feel like it's too much summary. I want the action to pull me in, and number three just doesn't have it.

Joe Wetterling said...

I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but number three reads the most like a typical short book blurb. I would expect to see that on the back.

I like the first one quite a lot. It suggests to me that the book is going to have some action, and of the three, it most made me want to read. I think that tips the scales for me to #1.

Michelle said...

Number three. it instantly drew me in. It gave more information as to what was happening than the other two.

Good luck!
Michelle
www.Michelle-Pickett.com

Author of Concilium, available July 2012
Concilium: The Departure, November 2012
PODs, available June 2013

sashagirl said...

I liked #1. Kathryn Meyer Griffith

sashagirl said...

I liked #1. Kathryn Meyer Griffith

AnnMarie said...

After reading both #1 and #3, I'd have to choose #1. #3 is good, but what you would expect in a back cover blurb. #1 is quirkier. It put me in Vern's head immediately and made me want to continue reading.

Unknown said...

I like Possible #3 - the mini one. This blurb would make me pick up the book and read more. I like the way it captures the atmosphere in so few words.

Carla

Paula Lieberman said...

2, 3, 1 -- the order of what was most appealing to me. 1 didn;t grabe me at all...

Karina Fabian said...

Folks, with the help of my editor (who picked a number for me), we have chosen a winner for a free elecronic copy of Live and Let Fly. Congrats, Sunder!

J Q Rose said...

Congrats to Sunder for winning the book. I re read all the comments. I agree with Gail. All good comments, so it makes it more difficult to choose. I believe I saw that you did choose #3. You had a great response.