Back Cover Copy: Tano

Thank you for all your comments, and here’s the second try. What do you think?

*** *** ***

Tano may be inGara now, but he feels anything but secure among his new people.

Suspected and distrusted because he was born to the inTasiyo, bitter enemies of the inGara, Tano is trying hard to behave perfectly and fit in with his new people. But he fears that any serious misstep might mean the lord of the inGara casts him out of the tribe. If that happens, Tano will lose more than his place with the inGara: he’ll lose Ryo’s good opinion and encouragement, his tentative new friendships, his younger brother — everything that matters to him.

He would rather die.

Then Vayu inKera, also once inTasiyo, brings Tano an urgent problem, asking for his help. Tano owes Vayu too great a debt to refuse … even if trying to help might cost him everything.

*** *** ***

Worst problem that I can see: “everything” twice. I keep trying to rephrase one or the other, yet cutting the first “everything” makes the paragraph read badly to me.

Is “fit in with” too modern-American a phrase? What’s an alternative? Because I’m coming up blank.

Too many names now, or is it reading okay with Vayu in there by name? Maybe that’s smoother. I think I like it better.

As always, I appreciate your feedback! Tear it apart! Where is this still clunky or ineffective?

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13 thoughts on “Back Cover Copy: Tano”

  1. I like the changes!

    If you were going to remove one “everything”, I would remove the second one, because it’s sort of a cliche… not bad enough that it HAS to go, but I would prioritize the other one. I don’t have a better wording suggestion though.

    I don’t love “fits in with”, but I dislike all my alternatives (integrate? belong?)… if you really want to get rid of it, you might have to change it to something fairly different, like “prove his worth”.

    The reference to Vayu is tough… it feels like an unnecessary name (especially since you don’t want to make anyone feel like they’re supposed to remember that name from previous books), but it’s hard to explain who he is in relation to Tano because I think it’s important that Tano does NOT think of him as a friend at the beginning… I don’t have anything better than what you had in the previous version (“another young man who used to be inTasiyo”)

  2. Is this intended for an audience who already knows this world? Methinks a newbie would read “Taro may be inGara now…” and think it was a typo and Gara was the location that Taro was in.
    Would it destroy the flow to write something like “Taro may be a member of the inGara now…” or something like that?

  3. I think almost everybody will be familiar with the world, Evelyn, but yes, that’s something to consider.

  4. I’m not sure you need to say that Tano is suspected and distrusted— you really want people to know that Tano is trying hard to fit in with his new people— Bc Ryo and Sinowa have accepted him into the tribe, right? But as Tano is trying hard to fit in, you might say he fears any misstep, as opposed to any serious misstep. Maybe, ‘once a bitter enemy of the InGara, Tano is trying hard to fit in…

    I think Varu brings an urgent problem and asks for Tano’s help is a little smoother than using a clause, ‘asking for Tano’s help’. Again, I think bringing Varu in at the end helps draw you into the story to come.

  5. “New people” is repeated twice as well. I agree with Alison that “suspected and distrusted” is redundant. Maybe something like, “Born to the inTasiyo, bitter enemies of the inGara, Tano is trying hard to behave perfectly and earn the trust of his new tribe.” In the next sentence you don’t have to repeat “of the tribe.” I also don’t think you need “If that happens,” if you change the verb tense to “could lose.”

    I’m trying to think of some wording instead of “everything that matters”: something like “the new-won life/identity he isn’t sure he deserves.” Then you could use “everything that matters” as the last phrase.

    I don’t mind naming Vayo, but I also thought “another young man” worked.

  6. “Behave perfectly” may be a spoiler? Perfection is an unreasonable expectation. Behave well, or properly, maybe, and his definition changes through the story.

  7. I do like the changes. If you really want to get rid of the second ‘everything’ maybe
    ‘ – whatever the cost.’ or ‘ – but he fears the cost.”

  8. I like this version. I did snag slightly on the repetition of “new people” when I reread the text, but not the first time through.

    I don’t think it’s too many names. Partly, of course, I’m familiar with them, so the names give me a sense of anticipation and not confusion. I think it helps that the names are straightforward. If one of the cultures had a naming convention full of multisyllable names with apostrophes I expect I’d find it harder to follow.

  9. Thank you all! Surely with all these excellent comments, I’ll be able to write a decent version by the time the cover is ready.

  10. I don’t like how in the second paragrapg inGara is repeated 3 times, after already being named in tge first sentence. Could you replace it with something like “his new lord/chief/leader” the second time, and “his new clan” the third time?

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