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Please help

I’m trying to come up with some back cover copy for Game of Cages. This is a little rough and a little too long, but what do you think?

In the wilds of the North Cascades, near a small town called Washaway, a secret high-stakes auction is taking place. A select wealthy few have gathered to bid on a captured extradimensional entity known as a predator.

The peers of the Twenty Palace Society, powerful sorcerers all, are dedicated to protecting the Earth by destroying predators–as well as anyone who would summon or possess one. Left unchecked, a single predator could scour the earth of all life. But none of the peers are near enough to raid the auction, so it falls to Ray Lilly, an expendable “wooden man” with a few stolen scraps of magic and an investigator with no magic at all to surveil the event and identify the winning bidder for later sanction.

They arrive too late. One of the losing bidders has released the predator in an act of sabotage and it has fled to the nearby town to feed. Now all the bidders are tearing apart the town, trying to capture the creature for themselves. And unknown to Ray, one of them is a powerful magician the society has been hunting for decades, and more dangerous than any single predator. Even worse, he’s taken notice of Ray, and knows who and what he is.

Can Ray and the investigator hold out until help arrives? Or will they, and the entire town, be swept away in the conflict of these terrible powers?

Any input would be appreciated.

Update: copy sent. Thanks for your help, everyone!

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here or there.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
houseboatonstyx
Nov. 1st, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
I had to read most of the way through the second paragraph and then backpedal, because on first reading I thought the peers were the wealthy few.

Interesting -- till it became an action save the town kind of thing.
burger_eater
Nov. 2nd, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
Well, it is an "action save the town thing," but I hope it's an unusual one.

Thanks for the tip about the backpedal. I'll fix it. :)
blackhanddpants
Nov. 1st, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
Is "I can't wait to read it" good input?

Srsly, why do you have to say "extradimensional entity known as a predator?" Why not say "extradimensional predator"?

Also, I don't think you need the last sentence. Or anyway, not all of it. Or something else there, something about Ray.

Also, in the second paragraphy, "Ray Lilly . . . and an investigator" is confusing. When I first read through it I didn't realize the investigator was another person, I thought it was additional description of Ray himself, which didn't make sense because it says the investigator has no magic at all, so I had to backpedal there to figure out that the investigator was somebody else.
burger_eater
Nov. 2nd, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
The original copy used "entity," and I wanted to keep a little of what they'd done. Also, that makes it clear that I'm not talking about a Bengal tiger or a pedophile.

Yeah, I think I'll cut that last para and work on clarifying the part about the investigator.
zornhau
Nov. 1st, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
Start with the second last paragraph.
burger_eater
Nov. 2nd, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
Thanks.
zornhau
Nov. 2nd, 2009 09:38 am (UTC)
Sorry - to expand - up to that point you have back story. Judging from the blurb, what's cool about the book is Ray Monster hunting while being stalked by psycho magician guy.

Without presuming to write your copy, I might structure it like this...

An auction from Hell... literally.

Bad enough that to be sent to an isolated [town/cabin/mansion?] and forced to spy on some of the world's most dangerous men as they bid for a Predator, an extradimensional creature that could scour the earth of life.

Worse to have to capture the Predator when it escapes.

Even worse, when one of the bidders turns out to be your employer's ancient enemy, and you know this fact because he's trying to kill you... or worse.

Ray's just the expendible and very reluctant minion of a powerful secret society, but he's the man on the spot. Can he hold the fort until the real sorcerers arrive?

* * *

Anyway, I intend to read the thing!







burger_eater
Nov. 2nd, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the restructuring. I like it very much. And sorry if my previous comment seemed terse. I understood what you meant and why you'd said it. I'm very sensitive to exposition, but I'm teaching myself to accommodate readers' need for it.
rosefox
Nov. 2nd, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
A SECRET HIGH-STAKES AUCTION

As a select wealthy few gather to bid for ownership of a powerful predator from another plane, the sorcerers of the Twenty Palace Society scramble to stop them. Only two of their underlings are close enough to make the attempt: a small-time crook with a single stolen spell to his name, and an investigator with no magic at all.

TWO UNLIKELY HEROES

Ray Lilly and ______ [is it Annalise? Or someone else?] arrive in a small town in the North Cascades to find the predator on the loose and hunting for fresh souls to devour [or whatever]. The bidders, including one of the Society's most powerful enemies, are tearing apart the town, desperate to recapture the creature. All Ray and ______ have to do is survive until help arrives... but it may already be too late.
burger_eater
Nov. 2nd, 2009 07:20 am (UTC)
Hey, that's really good! I'm going to try to mess with it a little so I'm not just cutting and pasting from you.

Thanks!

Oh, and the investigator isn't Annalise. it's a new character, although of course Annalise is in the story.
rosefox
Nov. 2nd, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
Can you tell I read a lot of these? *grin* And yes, of course you should mess with it; otherwise you'd have to pay me.
geniusofevil
Nov. 2nd, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
nice town name.

A secret high-stakes auction is taking place near the small town of Washaway. The item up for grabs is an extradimensional entity known as a predator.

Left unchecked, a single predator could scour the earth of all life. The peers of the Twenty Palace Society, powerful sorcerers all, are dedicated to protecting the Earth by destroying predators. ((these two sentences don't match - it's the worst threat ever! But it's not a big deal, just send Ray to take care of it.))

Ray Lilly, an expendable “wooden man” with a few stolen scraps of magic is pared with an investigator with no magic at all to surveil the event and hold the winning bidder until the Twenty Palace peers arrive to mete out punishment for the illegal auction.

Ray and the investigator arrive too late. The predator has been won and released to feed. Unknown to Ray, there is something even more dangerous lurking in Washaway. One of the bidders is a powerful magician the society has been hunting for decades.

Even worse, he’s taken notice of Ray, and knows who and what he is. ((but you say he's nothing more than a 'wooden man'))

Can Ray and the investigator hold out until help arrives? Or will they, and the entire town, be washed away ((tee-hee)) in the conflict of these terrible powers?
burger_eater
Nov. 2nd, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
thank you. I made some good changes because of this.
geniusofevil
Nov. 3rd, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
Oh yeah? I'll be the judge of that!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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Comments

  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:47
    Oh, yeah, excellent point.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:46
    Oh yeah. Like the lawyers who get obvious really venal criminals off because it makes their success rate look good. But those are not the ones I am referring to in meaning well. These guys are mixed…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 20:37
    This reminds me of the time my wife was injured and the insurance guy handling her case did everything possible to deny and stall the payment. We had to put her surgery on a credit card because this…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:24
    The creepiest part is that some of them are actually well meaning.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:08
    Yeah. It's godawful what people will do when they have authority and no fear about using it.
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