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Stories you avoided due to the blurb/tags, but were great

Shofan

What are some stories that you've avoided because you found the blurb or tags to be bad, or not interesting, but once you gave it a chance, you loved it?

Two big ones for me was Opus One by Ryan Sylander and A Friend in Need by Heathen57.

Opus One because I didn't find the music world very intriguing, but since it's got such good ratings I eventually read it and loved it.

When it comes to A Friend in Need, the blurb tells basically nothing of what the plot is and when I was looking for stories to read, I often scrolled past it, stopping briefly at it, before finding something else to read where the blurb seemed interesting. Eventually I had nothing else to read, and A Friend in Need turned out as one of my personal favourites and is one of the few stories here I've read more than once.

So what are some stories that you've skipped because of the blurb/tags, but once you gave it a chance, you loved it?

Replies:   Jim S
Jim S

@Shofan

The first that comes to mind (mainly because I reviewed it for this specific reason) is The Gunny and Lenore by black_coffee.

REP

When I find the blurb or tags of no interest or not to my taste, I don't read the story. So for me, none.

However, there were a few stories that were marginal, so I gave them a try. I don't recall the titles of stories I finished, but I quit reading most of the stories.

Wheezer

When the description/blurb contains spelling and grammar errors it immediately goes on my Do Not Read list. No 2nd chances. I generally find the description & tag list to be a good indication of whether or not I will like the story, but sometimes a good description is followed by poor storytelling. I cannot think of an example of a poor description leading to good storytelling.

Replies:   Gauthier  Ava G
doctor_wing_nut

Wheezer
When the description/blurb contains spelling and grammar errors it immediately goes on my Do Not Read list. No 2nd chances.


X2, That's incredibly careless work. If you can't get one or two sentences right, what hope is there for the entire story.

823295
A Friend in Need by Heathen57


Thanks for mentioning that. I would probably have passed that one by, not really into the whole Incest thing but your mention got me to look at it, and the only review posted convinced me to check it out. Going there now, thanks for the heads-up.

Gauthier

@Wheezer

Make a full text search on "edited by" as exact match.
You will find plenty of good stories with bad blurb.

Most of the times, the blurb is an aftertough unseen by the editor(s).

Replies:   REP  Vlad_Inhaler
REP

@Gauthier

the blurb is an aftertough unseen by the editor(s).


That's poor planning. I add my story description to my Introduction/1st chapter.

Ava G

@Wheezer

When the description/blurb contains spelling and grammar errors it immediately goes on my Do Not Read list.


What if the blurb contains a deliberate misspelling of "dysxelic"?

Replies:   Keet  awnlee jawking
Keet

@Ava G

What if the blurb contains a deliberate misspelling of "dysxelic"?

If you misspell "dysxelic" there's a good chance you end up with the correct spelling ;)

Replies:   karactr
karactr

@Keet

Can you tell me about the dyslexic, insomniac, agnostic?

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@karactr

Can you tell me about the dyslexic, insomniac, agnostic?

What do you get when you cross a dyslexic, an insomniac, and an agnostic?
3 angry guys hitting you because you crossed the wrong people.

David Foster Wallace:
"Mario, what do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic and a dyslexic?"
I don't know.
"You get someone who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there's a dog."

Replies:   Dominions Son
Vlad_Inhaler

@Gauthier

aftertough

Was that deliberate? I have to ask in this context.

Keet
Updated:

The topic of bad descriptions has been here before and will probably surface again and again in the future. That says something doesn't it? There are authors who just don't get the importance of a good synopsis. Yes, synopsis, because that's what the description is supposed to be in my eyes. Not a place for writing all kinds of other (useless?) information but a place for a compact description of the story. A good description will draw more readers. To me a good synopsis is one of the most important facts I use to determine if a story is worth reading. I probably have missed some good stories because of a bad or useless description. I couldn't mention any of them because ... uh ... I didn't read them ;)

Dominions Son

@Keet

A midget psychic escaped from a maximum security prison.

The headline the next day read: Small Medium at Large!

richardshagrin

As long old jokes are being recycled, you have to be thirsty to drink Canada Dry.

Replies:   joyR  Vlad_Inhaler
joyR

@richardshagrin

you have to be thirsty to drink Canada Dry.


For those who do, there is a Canadian Club

Vlad_Inhaler

@richardshagrin

I sat near someone on a long haul flight who was trying to drink Air Canada dry.

red61544

There is a current story being posted and one sentence in the blurb says, "Who knows where this one is going to go?" I figure if the author doesn't know where the story is heading, the chances of it ever being finished are slim.

Replies:   REP  Vlad_Inhaler
REP

@red61544

Or it is his way of creating curiosity so you will read the story to see where it goes.

Vlad_Inhaler

@red61544

I have read several stories where the author indicated that the characters had got away from him/her and had taken on a life of their own, moving the story in a new direction. That does indicate that there was an original plan though.

Michael Loucks

@Vlad_Inhaler

I have read several stories where the author indicated that the characters had got away from him/her and had taken on a life of their own, moving the story in a new direction. That does indicate that there was an original plan though.


That has happened more times than I can count in AWLL and GM! :-)

Finbar_Saunders

mypenname3000's Devil's Pact was an excellent ride. I would normally shun it because of the misoginistic style the tags implied.

awnlee jawking

@Ava G

What if the blurb contains a deliberate misspelling of "dysxelic"?


Did you hear about the dyslexic politician?

He can no longer father children after recruiting a snip-doctor to work on his campaign.

AJ

booksnmusic

@Vlad_Inhaler

I'm with Michael. While I'm fairly new to the story writing game, I was surprised at how my characters have taken on a life of their own. It has led to reworking of plot points and scenes.

Replies:   tendres  Ernest Bywater
tendres

@booksnmusic

Happened to me too. I think it is called character driven rather than plot driven.

Although I always like the way a good story introduces something earlier and then uses it later. I try to throw in several things, and see how the characters find a use for them.

Ernest Bywater

@booksnmusic

I was surprised at how my characters have taken on a life of their own. It has led to reworking of plot points and scenes.


I let mine add a sub-plot or curve, but sometimes have to threaten them with the eraser to get back to the main plot line. I've also heard a got thump with a baseball bat will sometimes get a character back in line.

Maclir

@Vlad_Inhaler

I have read several stories where the author indicated that the characters had got away from him/her and had taken on a life of their own, moving the story in a new direction.


I wouldn't say "taken on a life of their own", but I've found that once I flesh out what was going to be a minor character and a small sub-plot, they become just so damn INTERESTING that I want to write more about them. And what was originally planned to be a one or two chapter diversion becomes a major part of the story.

Replies:   madnige
tendertouch

@Vlad_Inhaler

I have read several stories where the author indicated that the characters had got away from him/her and had taken on a life of their own, moving the story in a new direction. That does indicate that there was an original plan though.


In my story, 'Building a Better Past', Jenny took the whole 'taking on a life of her own' to an extreme.

In the original plan she was supposed to die in a car accident at the end of chapter 11. I wrote the scene (actually, her funeral) and that was all she wrote for the story - nothing else would come. That bothered me since the story to that point had been flowing easily. I worked against that for some time but eventually gave in and deleted that scene.

Anyone who has read the story will realize that a *lot* of the plot changed after that - a minor character that I had intended for some drama wrote herself into the rest of the story in a big way.

madnige

@Maclir

I've found that once I flesh out what was going to be a minor character and a small sub-plot, they become just so damn INTERESTING that I want to write more about them.


Wes Boyd did this with a minor character introduced for exotic colour in Alone Together, Jennlynn Swift went on to become the main character in two novels and had more cameo roles in many others, and I guess was the inspiration, or at least reason, for his whole 'Bradford Exiles' series.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@madnige

Jennlynn Swift


Jennlynn first appears in Book 1 of the Bradford Exiles stories, Magic Carpet, with a copyright date of 2003 while Alone Together is Book 2 with a copyright date of 2004. However, Jon Chladek first appears as a side mention in one of the Dawnwalker stories about Crystal. The same happens to their sister Nanci who is the lead in another story much later.

Wes does have a habit of having characters appear in multiple stories .

Replies:   AmigaClone
wageslave
Updated:

Slight correction Alone Together is Book 2 of The Dawnwalker series not Bradford Exiles.

Also supposedly he wrote Alone Together first. Or so he claimed when asked. However as he has sadly now passed on we can not now ask him to confirm this.

Furthermore and despite the copyright date Alone Together was published first. (Facing the Storm and the excellent Blue Beauty were released in between)

Replies:   madnige
AmigaClone

@Ernest Bywater

Jon Chladek first appears as a side mention in one of the Dawnwalker stories about Crystal


Crystal is one of the three major POV characters in the first Dawnwalker story with the same title. The first story centered on her brother Jon "Alone Together" is set during the last 2/5s (chapter wise) of the book Dawnwalker.

madnige

@wageslave

we can not now ask him to confirm this.


From his site:

I certainly never had any intention to use legal prostitution in Nevada as a main subject in one book and as scenes or backdrops in several others when the place first came to life at my fingertips while writing Alone Together. All I was really trying to do in that book was to throw in an exotic character to set Jon and Tanisha on a different, less-paranoid mindset about their new relationship.

"You're at Lambdatron," Jennlynn tells them. [...] "Now lighten up on the paranoia, you two. I fought the tolerance battle around here years ago, and I won it."

[...]

However, there was a subtle problem I hadn't anticipated: Jennlynn proved to be one of those characters who couldn't be used for one scene and left alone. You don't honestly think I could let a character like her go, do you? A beautiful, complex, flamboyant, rule-bending, and rich pilot of a gleaming white Learjet -- who owns her plane and the charter company flying it, not to mention being a highly regarded electronics and mechanical engineer -- but still works in a Nevada brothel? How could I not write more about her? [...]

Replies:   rustyken
rustyken

@madnige

Dawnwalker and Bradford Exiles are a great series of books.

johnnmarg

'Aladdin's lamp sent me back to my teenage years' written by someone who sounds to be Turkish or something. I resolved for many weeks not to read something about magic and caves until bored and nothing else to read I discovered perhaps the second best story on this site, only surpassed by RLFJ's 'The Grim Reaper'

Please not this comment has not been edited so any spelling of grammatical errors are mine.

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