Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What's It All About?

In my last post I promised to tell you about THE LAZARUS GAMBIT—the story, that is. I don't know about you, but one of the hardest things I've ever had to do was to create a short description of what the book is about. I mean, how hard could it be? I wrote the darn thing! You'd think that would make it easy, right? Ha!

I think part of my problem stems from being too close to it. I simply find it difficult to boil the story down to its essence. Well, that, and I'm, you know...wordy. I have a tendency to want to throw in everything, including the kitchen sink.

Here's a version of the brief description I provided for my blog post at The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood:

THE LAZARUS GAMBIT is a Steampunk Romance set in New Amsterdam, an alternate version of Manhattan, and features ley lines and aether, a secret society of aether users, a clockwork dragon, a mysterious death, a heroine who’s aetheric abilities are on the fritz, and a pragmatic cop who doesn’t believe in magic.

That description lists the main elements, but doesn't really give you a feel for what the story's about. Here's a longer, back-of-the-book type of blurb:

Tess Faraday wants her life back as a Fixer for the Aetherium, a secret society dedicated to protecting the world from the misuse of aetheric magic. Most of all, she wants revenge on Garrett Norwood, the man who seduced and betrayed her by stealing the Lazarus Precept, one of the Aetherium's most closely guarded secrets. When Tess discovers a mummified corpse at the center of an aetheric disturbance, she's convinced Norwood is involved. And if that weren't enough, she finds something else she can't explain--a cop who's unaware that he's surrounded by an unusual aetheric aura...

Chief Inspector Jack Kilgaard is a pragmatic, down-to-earth copper who's dedicated his life to making New Amsterdam a safe place to raise his younger sister. He wants nothing to do with aether and thinks anyone who believes in aetheric magic is delusional. Though he can't deny his growing attraction for a certain crazy aether-chaser...

Norwood's playing a dangerous game with New Amsterdam's aether, and the corpse is only the beginning. Tess is on her own in a strange city without Aetherium backing, her aetheric powers are on the fritz, and if she's to stop Norwood from destroying them all, she'll need the help of a man who refuses to believe in his own aetheric abilities...

So, what do you think? Is there enough description? Too much? Does it intrigue you? Exhausted minds want to know!

1 comment:

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Hi, Deb! I have been intrigued by this story since you started talking about it!

I have also found boiling a story down to its essence in a few sentence is a different kind of writing that putting together thousands of words to shape a story.

I think you also face the challenge of describing enough of your world so people know what you mean without, as you said, giving too much info.

Using the word "steampunk" helps because even people who live in caves like me are starting to have a general idea of what that means. But when you add terms like "aether," I get lost pretty quickly, even though I've heard you explain what that means.

Since "aether" is obviously key to your story, it would help me to have a short phrase or description of what that is. Unless you are targeting only readers who already know that.

However, love that Jack Kilgaard doesn't believe but has aetheric abilities. Having Tess' aetheric powers on the fritz and dumped into a strange city without back-up promise some interesting twists in the story. The villain sounds like a nasty kinda guy. All are good elements.

If I could just remember what aether is...