The Great Corporate Escape – Now Off To The Proofreader

Great Corporate EscapeThe first novel in a potentially glittering career has just been sent to my proofreader. The Great Corporate Escape is a light-hearted, humorous novel about a chap that feels stuck in his corporate career and wants to get out.

I have learnt an awful lot about writing, fiction and myself during the creation process but now I’m pretty much over the thing. It’s gone on for much longer than I had ever anticipated and now I’m hoping it’s nearly cooked.

I’ve documented the learning process on this blog as I navigated my way through the trials and tribulations, and now I’ve hopefully come out the other side knowing that I’m a better writer than I was at the beginning. These skills will stand me in good stead for subsequent stories and I’m going to continue with this vocation in life because deep down I really love it.

I have rewritten this book four times over because of the lessons I have learnt the hard way, but now it’s the cohesive story that I wanted it to be at the beginning.

The steps that remain until I publish The Great Corporate Escape are:

  1. Blurb
  2. Make amendments from proofread copy
  3. Arrange paperback print
  4. Publish

It’s all very close and you will be the first to know when it comes to pushing the red button.

However, as for the blurb. I want it to make the book sound as compelling as possible. I have read the blurbs of other books in my genre and tried to follow the same formula.

I have drafted this:

‘Ben Jenkins is in his thirties; he has a good career, a lovely family and from the outside it looks like he’s doing okay… but he’s desperately, desperately miserable.

His corporate career is killing him slowly with boredom whilst his boss, Rupert Savage, has the potential to kill him with his bare hands.

He’s trapped but he dreams of escape, and the only refuge he has is his imagination. The more obsessed he becomes the more his imagination takes hold, until he’s only left with one option…

… to take freedom into his own hands.’

Tell me what you think. If you like it then simply like this post, if you have anything constructive to say then fill your boots in the comments.

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16 responses to “The Great Corporate Escape – Now Off To The Proofreader

  1. Congratulations 🙂 I wish you all the success that your heart desires!

  2. Congrats on this next step in your pursuit of publication. I’m sure it’s very exciting to be moving on.
    As for your blurb, I think the first part of the opening sentence could be a little more enticing. I don’t think you should start with stating his age – is it really necessary? If he’s desperately miserable, give the reader some idea why. “A good career” is rather telling, and it doesn’t make me feel anything. Play up what this good, yet dull career is that’s slowly sucking the life from his soul. What does he do for a living? And why is it having this effect on him? Make it sound awful, so readers can empathize and root for his cause from the beginning.
    Just my opinion. Hope it helps.

    • Congrats from me as well. Huge, huge milestone. The brilliance of such a step is you can only go forward!

      Re blurb (totally IMHO mode, I’m crap at blurb too) – agree with Gwen: not hooked by your first paragraph. That said though, I thought your second paragraph was cool; succinct, amusing and makes me curious. I’d start with that (or a tweaked version to get Ben’s name in). Then a get a bit of bumpf in about Ben. Last paragraph is OK; could perhaps hint at what will happen?? Not sure. Might give too much away.

      Also, is there a quote from the book that could help? Something that sums up the situation and or some insight into Ben??

      Anyway, good luck, and please let us know how you get on. I’m on a similar journey (I hope) and am taking some great cues from the experiences you are sharing.

    • Thanks for the feedback.

  3. I hate to do this to you, Michael, but I’m going to respectfully disagree with Gwen. There is so much YA, and now new-adult stuff out there, that I would be delighted to read something with the main character a bit older than early twenties. ‘Thirty-something’ might be a bit odd… And I realize that it probably doesn’t matter to the story if he’s 33, or 37.. But to keep things tight, you might consider something like
    “37 year old Ben Jenkins has a good career…..”
    And I LOVE the last phrase of your first paragraph. For me, that’s the hook. I want to read the book to find out why someone with all these positive things going on, is so miserable… And not just one ‘desperately’, but two.
    (And this, of course, is the problem with getting input from others – We don’t agree!)
    Whatever you decide.. Congratulations!

  4. Cant wait to read it……. i feel like i have been on some of the journey with you… x

  5. Congrats on the progress you’ve made thus far. I’m a long way off – still on the first draft.
    My opinion (albeit unexperienced) on your blurb
    1. only one desperately is needed. (having 2 makes YOU sound desperate).
    2. maybe consider a more direct hint at what he has to lose -Here’s an illustration of what I mean:
    I’m at a party. The person on my left whispers — Paul is here and he’s thinking about breaking up with his fiancé tonight, and coincidentally, her big ‘bad – boy’ brother is with her. The person on my right whispers to me – Kevin is here and he’s thinking about breaking up with his fiancé tonight, her Family is in the Mafia, and has put out a lot of money for the wedding among other things on Kevin’s behalf. Kevin has intimate knowledge of some of the Family’s crime secrets, because they consider him family, and remember Kevin’s younger brother Solomon, he’s studying abroad in Italy for the priesthood, moving up well in rank, guess who’s been sponsoring him — yes, the Family.

  6. Hi Michael, I really like the cover design. It appeals to me. That goes for the title too; I’m definitely a sucker for this topic I must admit. I must step in line with some others here about the first paragraph. The best item in your blurb is definitely the sentence “His corporate career is killing him slowly with boredom.” I feel that sentence holds the key to the whole blurb. The first line should have that kind of power, definitely. I’d split things up. Hope you don’t mind me giving it a go here:

    “Ben Jenkins’ corporate career is killing him softly with boredom. Unfortunately no one can tell; from the outside it looks like he’s doing OK with a good career and a lovely family.

    To make things worse his boss, Rupert Savage, has the potential to kill him with his bare hands. So Ben’s trapped, but he dreams of escape, and the only refuge he has is his imagination. The more obsessed he becomes the more his imagination takes hold, until he’s only left with one option:

    He has to take freedom into his own hands.”

    Then I feel the final sentence also needs something dramatic. I cannot provide that sentence, but it should — I feel — hint at the drama to unfold. “He has to take freedom in his own hands. Even if that means using force, hijacking an Antonov airplane and landing it on the Pentagon parking lot.” (That’s not it, but you get my point.)

    Finally from all the advice given in several comments here I make up that there’s various reader views here. While some are basically interested in the psychology of a man who has a good job but is still miserable, I’m more hooked by the idea that he’s going to DO something drastically about it, because the boredom has been made pretty obvious to me through the movie “Office Space” by now. I’m not sure if all of this is relevant to you but I’m already a fan of you’re approach. Keep us posted!

  7. Mostly I agree with the comments regarding the first paragraph however be careful to retain the feel created by your own use of words. The advice you’ve received may sharpen the paragraph but doesn’t sound like you….that may be a jolt to the reader.
    Congratulations on reaching this stage, I’ve been following the goings-on on the blog whilst away visiting my ancient Mother, now I’m home so can’t wait for the book to finally leave your womb and begin its life!

  8. Too… wordy (and there’s redundant information). Aim for something like:

    “Ben Jenkins is desperately miserable, dying of boredom at his corporate career.

    Trapped, he dreams of escape, and the only refuge he has is his imagination. The more obsessed he becomes the more his imagination takes hold, until he’s only left with one option…

    … to take freedom into his own hands.”

    Hope this helps?
    And congrats on this milestone 😉

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