Friday, 17 May 2013

How to write a blurb and rock it!

I recently did a post about how to strengthen your query by being direct and writing it with voice. A few people have asked me for more about writing query letters and blurbs. Whether it's for your query, or to prepare for a pitch or even if you are self publishing, burbling is an important skill. I have a few tips for writing rocking ones.

Blurb checklist
1. Who is your protagonist/s? How can you sum up who they are in a few lines?
2. What do they want?
3. What are the obstacles/challenges?
Most Importantly!
4. What are the STAKES? (What is at stake if they don't overcome the obstacle?)
Then include all that in as few words as possible with personality! 

Writing the blurb
  • If you don't know where to start try the 'When' approach. eg. When Ariel the mermaid bargains with the Sea Witch for human legs...
  • Identify your character by name and age group immediately.
  • Don't open with a rhetorical question. eg. "Have you ever wondered...?" You don't want this answer to be no!
  • NEVER write a blurb from the POV of your character. Most professionals agree this is creepy.
  • Keep it as concise as possible.
  • Don't include every sub-plot and twist, just the central plot elements.
  • Only talk about the primary characters; don't bombard the reader with secondary characters.
  • Finish with a hook! Examples; A question; Will she get there before the sun sets and break the spell?  OR re-iterate the stakes; If she fails it will mean the end of her kind.

Got any blurb tips?

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