It’s the last Friday of the month and you know what that means! It’s ᖇEᗩᗪ ᗩᖇOᑌᑎᗪ TᕼE ᖇᗩIᑎᗷOᗯ time!
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This month’s topic is…
How do you feel about blurbs? Do you write them before or after your story?
I’ll answer the second part of the question first since that’s an easy one. I write them after my story—or at least when it’s most of the way done and I’m sure where it’s heading.
I’m a “plantser,” which is somewhere between pantser and planner, but leaning heavily toward the pantser end of the scale. Even when I think I have a reasonable handle on how the story will basically go, ideas pop in as the story flows, and things change. Point being, I’m definitely not a full-on outline-writing planner, and seems like that would have to be a requirement to write the blurb first, wouldn’t it?
That said, I did write both a haiku and a not-quite-a-limerick for my current WiP very early in the story, though I’ve only recently fixed up the limerick ending to make it legit rhyming-wise (or near enough). But those barely cover the early basic premise without covering the kinds of things a blurb should include, such as tag line, characters, plot, twist, threat, and pitch.
I’m at the point, now, in my WiP, where I basically know what’s going to happen (minus more of the nitty-gritty details) in the rest of the story, so I could write the blurb…and since I like to have time to let it sit so I can go over it with fresh eyes time and again, and motivated by this WebRing blog post, I did just that! You’ll find it, below.
Although the blurb-writing formulas are a useful guideline, I try to keep in mind what the number one purpose of the blurb is, and that is to make potential readers want to buy the book as opposed to being a concise synopsis. So I’ll start out by sketching a blurb formulaically, but then tweak and rearrange it as needed with that goal in mind.
I’m between those stages with my blurb for Luck of the Draw. I think I’ve covered “tag line, characters, plot, twist, threat, and pitch,” though not necessarily in that order anymore, and I’ve worked it over a few times, condensing it for readability. Mere hours before this post went live, I made even more adjustments in hopes of making the opening paragraph more of a hook. I’m not entirely sure if I’m done working it over yet.
I truly believe that blurb writing is a different skill set from story writing. Fortunately, there are those formulas to guide the way, but still, I’d rather sidetrack myself writing haikus and limericks instead. Not to mention, there’s more than one blurb-writing formula/guideline floating around. *sigh*
Part one of the blurb formula that I like to use as a starting point is the tag line, and I did come up with a short snippy tag line for my current WiP right from the beginning, but…that’s all of nine words. And since I also like to sidetrack myself working on things like potential promo images, a tag line is useful for that.
It has the added benefit of making me feel like I’m not completely wasting my time when I’m avoiding actually writing the story!
To more clearly answer the first question of this month’s prompt—how do I feel about writing blurbs…love them or hate them—I lean further toward hate them on the sliding scale between those two extremes. I do like having some control over it, but I recognize how important it is in making or breaking the sales of the book, so I fear/dread it.
Anyway, here are the aforementioned Haiku, Limerick, and a silll-early draft of the blurb (very subject to adjustments) for Luck of the Draw. Let me know what you think of them!
Obren had to draw
a straw to decide his fate.
He drew the short one.
There once was a prince from Canna.
Draw a straw? He just didn’t wanna!
But choose one he must,
and now he must trust,
their hopes won’t be dashed by the drama.
Drawing the short straw is bad luck…isn’t it?
A treaty between three warring realms calls for a mass wedding amongst their eligible princes and princesses to solidify the peace. But, there’s a slight out-of-balance, and one of the marriages will be between two of the princes. Prince Obren of Canna draws the short straw sealing his fate, and Prince Dukan of Butari volunteers to be the other half of the untraditional marriage. The two princes fought nobly in the years-long war, and both are willing to do whatever it takes to finalize the treaty ending the conflict that took the lives of their loved ones…Obren’s brother and Dukan’s lover.
Each harbors a dark secret, and King Rogan of Canna has long nurtured a deep hatred of Obren, blaming him for bringing home the deadly virus responsible for the untimely death of his much-adored wife. Obren and Dukan can’t deny their chemistry, but can they overcome the ugly truths complicating their path to a friendly, respectful, and—dare they hope—loving relationship? Will King Rogan stop at nothing to dash Obren’s chance at happiness, or does that short straw represent good luck, after all?
WEBRING ~ Read Around the Rainbow!
Be sure to flip through the webring to read your favorite authors’ takes on this topic! For your convenience, here are direct links to the other WebRing participants’ posts for this month’s topic:
11 thoughts on “READ AROUND THE RAINBOW ~ On Writing Blurbs #RAtR”
Your process sounds very similar to mine! And I love that tag-line.
Thank you! ❤️
Oh, I love that you do haikus and limericks!
Thank you! ❤️
Such a clear explanation of how you approach blurbs. A really fascinating process! ❤️
It’s a bit of a drawn out process. Not sure how good it is, but it works for me. ❤️
I love your haikus. Let’s do haikus instead of blurbs, shall we?
Here’s my Lucky haiku:
When Björn met Lucky;
was it a heart attack, or
just love at first sight?
I wrote it just for you. But I might use it on the blog anyway 😆
Thank you! OMG, I love it! Thank you for the lovely haiku! ❤️