Writing a Blurb

On October 5, 2014, Posted by , In Random Rants,Writing, With No Comments

In the past, I’ve had trouble writing blurbs or book descriptions.  When writing one for Forever After, I had the hardest time, finding myself completely stumped.

Sure, I’ve found plenty of resources giving suggestions on how to write effective blurbs, but that was never the problem.  The problem seemed to lie in trying to describe my book.  I couldn’t do it.  Not to save my life.  I’ve frequently found I couldn’t summarize my book if asked.  My mind just comes up blank.  There’s too much going on.  Where do I start?

It wasn’t until I think last year’s NaNoWriMo that I actually came to a sort of epiphany.  I am actually quite good at writing blurbs–when I have no idea what the book is actually going to be about!  I wrote the blurb for Mila’s Shift before I’d even gotten halfway through the outline, maybe much much less.  I barely had any clue what the story was about, but I managed to write a fairly good blurb.

I realized that that was the perfect time to write a blurb for various reasons.

  1. The story was fresh and eager in my mind.
  2. I didn’t have edit after edit clogging my brain and making me hate my book.
  3. All I had was the idea for the story.

The last part was an interesting revelation.  At that stage, I didn’t have the story fully fleshed out, which meant I couldn’t give away too much information about the plot.  After all, I didn’t have that information yet!  I vaguely knew the conflict, knew all the primary characters involved, and not much else. And really, what else do you need for a blurb?

For a blurb, you want to entice a reader to read the story, tease them with a few details, and sometimes, the vaguer the better.

 

Examples:

Forever After

(Blurb written after a lot of drafts of the book)

It’s about violence and blood, betrayal and friendship, duty and dastardly deeds.

It’s about one woman, a vampire, trying to live a normal life, holding onto her past, and failing miserably.

It’s about another woman, equally entrenched in her past, trying to right the wrongs that can never be undone.

Neither will succeed because, in the end, we all must move forward. But sometimes the future’s a bitch we’d rather never meet…

Seize

(Not sure when blurb was written, probably 1/2 through first draft)

Please don’t let them discover our escape. Not yet. Just a little longer and we might have a chance.

After escaping from her own personal Hell, Amara finds herself in a foreign kingdom, being called an “Angel” for saving the kingdom’s only prince when she escaped. But there’s something off about the kingdom of Ula, and Amara intends to find out what.

She’s tormented by her past, suffering night after night of nightmares. In daylight, she flinches at the lightest touch, and snaps at people for no reason.

Little does she know, more people are going missing. Princes. Princesses. What’s going on? And will she and the king of Ula be able to help stop it?

Mila’s Shift

(Blurb written before started writing)

One call. Mila answered one call.

An accident of birth has left her on the run since the world discovered people like her existed. Off the grid, she gets a call from an old friend. She answers.

Now, her friend is dead, and she’s taken her place on a deceptively old space ship. But the people who killed her friend think she’s still alive, and they’re gunning for Mila, who’s borrowed her face.

Can she get away with it?

With a Captain increasingly suspicious, security personnel dogging her every move, and an assassin lurking somewhere on board, an assassin who could be anyone, will she survive long enough to figure out why her friend was killed?

Untitled

(Blurb written after 9k words written in book)

Lily has spent her entire life as the defective, fragile flower in a world of vicious animals. Constantly coddled, always protected. In a word, useless.

Then an attack she never saw coming sends her stumbling into another’s hands. The hands of the mate she never thought she would have.

But all is not happily ever after in her world. As her personal life seems to finally be coming together, a threat lurks. Foreign wolf shifters are entering the territory, getting more daring with each incursion.

But what are they looking for? And what will they do when they find it?

Will Lily’s newly found haven be able to survive what comes when they find it?

 

So what do you think is the best of those blurbs?  I kind of liked Mila’s Shift the best, myself.

 

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