Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Changing the Description

So, before I put my first novel up for sale in Amazon's Kindle store, I did a lot of research into blurbs for stories. I found that, according to some writers, anyway, there are actual rules about what you should and should not include in these blurbs. One of these rules says you should concentrate on your protagonist; tell what the story is about based on that one individual, and just forget about the rest. I didn't like this rule. In the case of Gifts, it felt like a betrayal. Still, I didn't want to hurt my chances for selling the book, so I conformed. Here's what I wrote:

[Trigger warning - drug-facilitated, forcible, and violent rape.]

Terry lost his chance at rock stardom over 30 years ago, but he's had a good life: happily married, a grandfather—and he still has his music.

Then the asshole in apartment B raped a blood witch, who curses the men of the quadruplex. In an explosion of light and pain, four men become women, with no chance of future reversal. Terry is now young, beautiful, and—per the terms of the curse—destined for success.

This is a curse?

Actually, it's just the first half of the curse. For a fall to be truly tragic, it must be a long fall. The newly minted women are destined to know frailty, to be treated like things, to be subjected to casual indignities.

On the cusp of realizing her 30-year-old dream of stardom, Terry suffers one such indignity. Is this the end of the curse or just the beginning of her fall?

Now a stranger comes forth, claiming he can reverse the curse, can return Terry's old life. All she need do is give up the magical gifts and allow someone to die a hideous death.
As I said, though, this felt like a betrayal. Gifts was conceived as an examination of the effects a sudden gender change on four very different men. Now, I'm finally seeing reviews on Amazon, and they lead me to think I should have stuck to my original idea. With those reviews in mind, here's the new version I'm working on. Once I'm satisfied with it, it will go up in about twelve hours (Amazon's been remarkably consistent in this).
[Trigger warning - drug-facilitated, forcible, and violent rape.]
 On the night of the blood-red moon, four men were living in the quadriplex:
TERRY – a happily married grandfather on the cusp of retirement, Terry’s one regret in life was not pursuing his dream of rock stardom. Now Terry is Angelica—beautiful, talented and in easy reach of that dream, but how does a twenty-year-old chanteuse relate to a sixty-year-old wife?
DANNY – everyone knew that Daniel was a thirty-something, out gay man, madly in love with his hunky boyfriend, Jason. But everyone was wrong. Now, the curse that afflicts the other three men is the lovely new Danielle’s blessing. 
JASON – Jason was about as comfortably gay as a man could be. He loved men, loved being a man, loved working out to be the biggest, strongest, manliest man he could be. Jason didn’t dislike women, but they did make him uncomfortable. So, now, as Athena, why does she no longer find handsome men exciting? 
WAYNE – a user of men, an abuser of women, a rapist—one of Wayne’s victims gave her life to put Wayne in her shoes, to make him feel her pain, to teach him a lesson. Now, as the alluring Georgia, the only lesson she’s learned is how easy it is to get away with murder.

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