Against All Odds / Crossroads / Man vs Nature

How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–3

I am struggling with a tag line for Against All Odds, Book 3 in my trilogy Crossroads. Here are two:

Someone needs to be saved. Someone else needs to be killed. And Xhosa must do both or her People will die.


A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough enough to survive anything. Except this.

Which do you like? No problem if you like neither. I’m not sure I do!

Here’s a quick summary of Against All Odds:

Xhosa and her People can go no further. Surrounded by water on three sides, mountains on the other, they must make their new home on what we now call the Iberian Peninsula. Before they even settle, problems start and this time, despite Xhosa’s iron will and unmitigated tenacity, she may lose.          

Here’s what I have done the past few months:

  • I transferred the story from a spreadsheet to Word and spent all this month editing. I’m only half way through on the (very) rough draft but am satisfied.
  • NaNoWriMo didn’t help but that was my fault. I started at the wrong point in my writing and didn’t completely understand the power of NaNoWriMo. I’m planning to try again next year–smarter and more prepared.
  • I am working on the tagline and the quick summary (as you see above). I’ll fine-tune it for months before I settle on one.
  • The cover on this page is simply a placesaver. I needed something for my newsletter and pulled this together in Canva.
  • Still planning to do Diana Peach’s PowerPoint book trailer idea. I’ll probably start with the new year, when kids are gone (sad) and life has calmed down.

How are you doing on your latest WIP? I’d love to hear!

More on How My Writing is Going

How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–2

How I’m doing on Book 3 of my trilogy

How I’m Doing on The Quest for Home– 4

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Winter 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning


88 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–3

  1. Pingback: How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–7 | WordDreams...

  2. Pingback: How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–6 | WordDreams...

  3. Pingback: How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–4 | WordDreams...

    • I didn’t do nearly as much with your Team Writer opportunities, either. I apologize for that. I guess that sort of approach isn’t right for me though I enjoyed reading the other submittals–and your videos.


  4. I’m trying to not read the other comments so I don’t see what they chose. I like the first tag line, if it can be shortened a bit. You’re coming along well! Me? Well, I’ve been in the SF Bay area for a week to visit with family/friends AND I gave a presentation at the local library (of my former town) on my newest Children’s book, Molly Finds Her Purr. About 35 people came on a rainy night, so I felt thankful and really enjoyed talking about writing and publishing and finding our purr. Probably a break now until right after Christmas, then on to my flash fiction anthology.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m leaning a little towards the second as it’s more concise and catchy. If the first could be made a little more snappy then it would work well, too. I actually quite like the placeholder cover. Sounds like things are coming along nicely! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have that problem with #1, too. Probably–as AJ mentioned below–because of all the someone’s and something’s. And thank you for feedback on the sample cover. I think with the right font and bit of brightness in the background, it could work well.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I like them both, but I’d give a lean to the second one. As others have mentioned, the words “except this” leave me longing to find out what that is.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think I like the second one better. Even if NaNo didn’t work for you this year, you wrote more words! That’s a bonus! Still plodding along on my WIP, and trying to keep up the momentum from NaNo, but life seemed to drop busy on me as soon as the ribbon broke for NaNo. Sigh. Almost finished though! Just keep writing 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I prefer the second one, Jacqui. It has the overall essence of the story. I’m sure you will come up with something you are happy with. I have finished the first draft of Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady and am letting it rest while I enjoy Christmas. Then I will be doing the edits and revisions before sending it out to beta readers. I am planning to have it published in Spring 2021. It seems a long way away but will be here before we know it. Enjoy Christmas with your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jacqui, I very much prefer the first tagline. It sets the stage for conflict and challenge. The second mentions evolution, a concept that’s out of Xhosa’s experiences. I think it’s better if the tag reflects the protagonist’s situation from her perspective, not ours. Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The first tag says what the issues are and has my attention, but maybe you could combine the first two sentences somehow? The second one doesn’t have something to pull me in, yet I still like how its worded. Not sure if that helps. Now I’m curious as to what is coming:)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “One must be saved. Another be killed. Xhosa must do both to save her people.” Just another suggestion. The second one is too vague, I think, and the last sentence (Except this) suggests that she will fail. Have fun with it. These taglines are always such a challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I actually like the second one better but I think it’s because it’s so concise. If you tighten up the first one like AJ suggested, then I’d prefer that one. Right now it feels a bit too unwieldy.

    Sorry NaNo didn’t work out for you but you’re clearly making good progress regardless. And I’m glad to hear you’re planning on trying it again. I think it’s a great experience for writers!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like the first better than the second, but I’d change it to be less wordy. Something like: One to be saved. One to be killed. Xhosa must do both or her People will die.

    Of course, if she has to make a choice, that would be even better: One to be saved. One to be killed. Xhosa must choose or her People will die.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Enjoy making the video trailer … Diana offered great advice as she made hers and almost made me think I could do one! For you with your tech knowledge this should not be too difficult and I look forward to seeing it! Instinctively my favourite of the two is the second one … but then realised it implied she doesn’t survive this! Which might be true?

    Liked by 1 person

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