Creating Two New Novels. Writing One Chapter Weekly. Podcasting As I Go. Welcome to The Experiment.
If you stopped breathing out of panic, or gritted your teeth in frustration, relax. I’m not going to tell you what you already know: what a book blurb is and what it is suppose to include. Ok, I will start with that, but the goal of this post is to give you ideas on how to get your creative juices following to actually write your own.
What does a book blurb do? It sells your book. It sells your book because it sparks your potential readers’ interest enough to take your book to the cash resister (or download) so they can read how your blurb develops inside of the cover.
1) The main character(s)
2) The plot
3) The (main) challenge
4) Possible bump in the road
What to aim for:
Read this carefully:
Rule 1: Tell no more about your story than it takes to capture your readers’ interest.
We know there are more characters, subplots, twist and turns. There are 90,000 – 100,000 words in your novel! Don’t try to fit them all on the back cover.
Example 1: Aliens try to take over the world.
The above is not enough to really spark my interest. There are 100 books in front of me with the same plot. Why is yours different?
Example 2: Aliens try to take over the world by pretending to be the second coming of Christ.
I am picking that book up!
But wait. Isn’t that too short? Read this carefully:
Rule 2: Rule 1 was an over-simplification. It was an exercise to get you to the heart of your story.
I hoped it worked. If so, we can expand a little. Add the main characters and challenges. If not, there are more suggestions to help you.
Step 1: Think of the last movie you saw and loved.
We summarize work all of the time. You saw a movie. You loved it. You wanted your friends to watch it. What did you do? You told them what it was about. You managed in five to ten sentences to sum up a two hour movie, peak your friends’ interest and get them to by a $13 dollar ticket to the show. Use that skill towards your work.
Step 2: Keep that movie in mind and write down what it was about. The spill you would give to a friend to get them to go see it.
Notice what you put in. The main character(s), maybe a problem they had and a challenge or two they faced.
Step 3: Now, google that movie!
Read what actually made it on the back DVD summary. How did you do? Did you hit the same main points? Did you mention the same characters? Did you put in the same plot? Did you leave one out? Did you pick the wrong one? Learn from this. Learn why Hollywood invested thousands of dollars for someone to write those few words…because they knew those words would sell the entire story.
Step 4: Repeat. Repeat a few times until what you write matches more and more closely to what is already written. (Match points, not exact wording. ^.^) Which means, you’re learning to identify the main plot, the main points, what really grips potential buyers.
Step 5: Apply it to your own novel!
FYI: Keep your blurb “concise” and “clean”. Do not repeat phrases or the same idea.
If you’re still having trouble try this:
Think back to when the thought for your novel first popped into your mind. Now, recall which part of those thoughts made you stop what you were doing, sit down at your computer, and give up your sanity and freedom for the next few months. The part of your story that motivated you to do that, probably should make it into the blurb!