Is It Killer?

Posted: April 28, 2014 by writingsprint in Fantasy
Tags: , ,

howling wolfI’m a day early — today was supposed to be my day off, but I couldn’t stay away 🙂 . I’m going to split the difference with a short post.

Here and there I’ve alluded to self-publishing a novel in the near future. I’m working on the Amazon description. Please let me know what you think! Do you think I should say more? Less? Something different? Does it make you interested? Bored? Fascinated? Spellbound? Other spine-tinglng cool-sounding sensations?


After spending a day hunting alongside wolves, Logan looked forward to sneaking out of his parents’ house to meet his best friend Laik by a campfire in the forest. He never expected to meet someone new that night. From the moment they met, Marissa captivated him with her fiery spirit and taste for trouble. There’s just one problem: Logan is a Listener, son of the shamen of his clan. He doesn’t just hunt with wolves. He talks with them.

Jon, her stepfather, is afraid that Logan will drag Marissa into darkness with his heathen ways. Logan’s mother, Alene, is outraged because she thinks he’s abandoning the blood of the Wood people. To them, a young girl’s soul and the fierce honor of generations are at stake. Before it’s all over, blood will be spilled, and Logan and Marissa will fight to defend their love and their lives.

Shadow and Shade is a fantasy, a world of shadows that whisper. It’s also a story of growing up and intolerance. It speaks of them destructiveness of obsession and the rifts that open when people refuse to accept one other. Its scope is intimate, its perspective is gut-level, and its “magic” is gritty, as real as the sweat on your skin.

Photo credit: UK wolf trust, downloaded from Flickr. The photo was not modified.
Shared under Creative Commons license.

  1. I like what you are working with here. I think the wording is well put together and makes me curious as to what lies beyond this description. If I had anything advice I would only touch on the opening line where Jon is introduced by saying maybe, “Marissa’s stepfather Jon…” just to make it a bit more clear. Yes, people need that 😉 But I like it.


    • Thanks, Candice! The language definitely needs tightening. I like your suggestion on changing the description for Jon, and I may pitch the entire third paragraph.


      • My pleasure. Writing short descriptions and synopsis are my least favorite part of the writing process. With those, I feel like I have juggled a ton of objects with writing the manuscript and then they all come crashing down the moment I have to say in less than 250 words what it took me 100,000+ to say.


  2. Same here. Maybe I should write it in haiku first. At least then it’ll feel like it’s getting easier!


  3. A.D. Everard says:

    Hi Matt. 🙂

    First, the mundane – a typo in the final paragraph. You have, “It speaks of them destructiveness of obsession.” I take it that should be “the” destructiveness?

    Also, in the second paragraph, having just been talking about Logan (so the readers’ minds are with Logan), you say, “Jon, her stepfather…” The “her” in that jars. Although a reader can work out that you have jumped from Logan to Marissa, it’s better to make it easy for them. Might I suggest in that sentence that you swap the name Marissa with the “her” used further along, to read: “Jon, Marissa’s stepfather, is afraid that Logan will drag her into darkness with his heathen ways.”

    Try it and compare it with what you have now, you’ll see what I mean.

    There is also a need for clarity in that same paragraph, for me anyway. You’ve got Marissa’s stepfather frightened that Logan will drag Marissa into the darkness of his ways, then Logan’s mother outraged that Logan might be abandoning the blood of the Wood people. But then you write, “To them, a young girl’s soul and the fierce honor of generations are at stake.” It’s not clear who “them” is. I imagine it’s Marissa’s people who feel that way about their daughter, but coming after Logan’s mother’s concerns, she sounds included in those concerned for the young girl’s soul and fierce honor (which would make her against her own son).

    Swapping around those two sentences and putting Logan’s mother concerns after the “To them” statement, will likely fix that – unless I’m reading it totally wrong and both sides do indeed fear for Marissa.

    We’re looking at one typo and two tiny areas that need clarity, but that’s it.

    I love your opening words. It gripped me right there. I don’t think you need to mention Laik by name (it’s unnecessary info at this stage, readers have only seconds to grasp Logan, Marissa, their difficulties and differences, so “Laik” is an extra bit of information they don’t need to file away – love the name, though), but the rest reads great.

    I love the last three sentences of paragraph one. I love the name of the book and what it promises. I love the last line of paragraph two. The entire last paragraph (excusing typo) is perfect. You’ve got me wanting to read it. 🙂


  4. A.D. Everard says:

    Ah. Just realized that “To them, a young girl’s soul and the fierce honor of generations are at stake.” refer to both sides – Marissa folks worried about the young girl’s soul, and Logan’s folks worried about the fierce honor of generations.

    Sorry about that. 🙂

    However, if I made that mistake, so will others. Can you make it clearer who cares about what?


    • Hi Allyson — thank you so much for all of the above! I’m working on the revised blurb alongside other things. I’ll try out the different ways of writing it like you said, and clearing things up. A few things everyone’s been saying: shorten it up (one person even said “no more than 150 words”), hit the reader harder, make it clear, and only refer to Logan and Marissa by name.


      • A.D. Everard says:

        Length is a matter of opinion, but yes, short and sharp will hit harder. I agree with only Logan and Marissa being mentioned by name. You’ve got a lot to cram into a short space, so you don’t want to clutter it up unnecessarily. I thought to cut out Laik, but didn’t pick up on Jon and Alene needing to be gone, too. They do.

        Good luck with it. Cheers! 🙂


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