Author Topic: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 76114 times)

Offline Mrs N

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Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« on: September 17, 2014, 06:32:12 PM »
I thought this could run the same way as First Liners. Put in genre and target audience and short blurb.(Not a synopsis.)

Here's mine to start the ball rolling. I'm not happy with it and I've got this competition looming.

Fantasy. 40,000 words. Target age 8-11yrs

Tripps believes his mother has committed murder. She is about to kill again. Lexi feels responsible for the accident that resulted in her mother's death. Syreeta knows the truth. But all she wants is to add the souls of children to her bracelet.


hillwalker3000

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2014, 06:59:56 PM »
Quote
Tripps believes his mother has committed murder. She is about to kill again. Lexi feels responsible for the accident that resulted in her mother's death. Syreeta knows the truth. But all she wants is to add the souls of children to her bracelet.

The immediate problem I can see is there are three separate threads to the story, and they're all rather complicated.

Tripps and his murderous mother.
Lexi - and Syreeta who knows 'the truth' about her mother (a diferent mother to Tripps's).
And someone (could be Lexi or Syreeta) adding children's souls to a bracelet.

Without some connection the story comes across as a complete muddle. Not the best way to attract curious readers. I can't see any 8-11-year-old understanding this blurb enough to want to read the story inside.

H3K

hillwalker3000

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2014, 07:03:44 PM »
In the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is here's one I prepared earlier:

'Toad in the Hole and Toley Bags'
30,000 words - 9-12-year olds:

When 13-year-old Katie MacCallum's best friend, Nadia, goes missing everyone assumes she's run away from home.
Only Katie and her light-fingered brother seem interested in investigating Nadia's mysterious disappearance.
Katie is convinced that her friend has been abducted by aliens. But the school photographer is also behaving very suspiciously.
When Katie discovers a vital piece of evidence proving his involvement it's too late. She ends up in a life-or-death situation - about to suffer the same fate as her friend.


H3K
« Last Edit: September 18, 2014, 06:05:25 AM by hillwalker3000 »

Offline Mrs N

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 07:06:08 PM »
Okay, thanks H3K. Now I'm stumped on what to do. I find this incredibly difficult.

Oh, you darling man, thank you. I've read loads of blurbs, but then get swayed by trying to cut down the word count.  

 
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 07:20:40 PM by Mrs N »

Offline Mrs N

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2014, 07:20:12 PM »
In the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is here's one I prepared earlier:

'Toad in the Hole and Toley Bags'
30,000 words - 9-12-year olds:

When 13-year-old Katie MacCallum's best friend, Nadia, goes missing everyone assumes she's run away from home.
Only Katie and her light-fingered brother seem interested in investigating Nadia's mysterious disappearance,
Katie is convinced that her friend has been abducted by aliens. But the school photographer is also behaving very suspiciously.
When Katie discovers a vital piece of evidence proving his involvement it's too late. She ends up in a life-or-death situation - about to suffer the same fate as her friend.


H3K

I really like this, not just as a helpful aid to mine, but in its own right. Is the book finished?

Wolfe

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2014, 07:32:12 PM »
Tripps believes his mother has committed murder. She is about to kill again. Lexi feels responsible for the accident that resulted in her mother's death. Syreeta knows the truth. But all she wants is to add the souls of children to her bracelet.

I have a specific way I want and write blurbs which I'll share.

1. The first line must introduce the protagonist(s) and intrigue the reader with an interesting situation.
2. Followup sentences must show the plot, and only the main plot, as concisely as possible.
3. The last sentence must end the blurb with an unresolved question or problem that shows conflict.

Right now, your blurb doesn't show a plot. More like a situation. Also, the ending sentence hints at a problem. No hinting. Show what it is instead.

Pale Writer

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2014, 07:39:32 PM »
I thought this could run the same way as First Liners. Put in genre and target audience and short blurb.(Not a synopsis.)

Here's mine to start the ball rolling. I'm not happy with it and I've got this competition looming.

Fantasy. 40,000 words. Target age 8-11yrs

Tripps believes his mother has committed murder. She is about to kill again. Lexi feels responsible for the accident that resulted in her mother's death. Syreeta knows the truth. But all she wants is to add the souls of children to her bracelet.



You have all you need here I believe. Using Wolfe's stencil just put them all together

But bring them closer rather than filtering

Make it so.  example

Tripps' mother killed before, and she'd kill again if he didn't do something. Lexi was responsible for her mother's death, but no one would believe her. Syreeta just wants more souls for her bracelet. Why should she care?


I don't know more about your story, but if you want more words you can bring in to fill

Best luck by the by.

Wolfe

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2014, 07:40:13 PM »
When 13-year-old Katie MacCallum's best friend, Nadia, goes missing everyone assumes she's run away from home. Only Katie and her light-fingered brother seem interested in investigating Nadia's mysterious disappearance, Katie is convinced that her friend has been abducted by aliens. But the school photographer is also behaving very suspiciously. When Katie discovers a vital piece of evidence proving his involvement it's too late. She ends up in a life-or-death situation - about to suffer the same fate as her friend.

The first line confuses because there's a question of whether Katie or Nadia is center stage. The followup word choices made me cringe because they read cliche-ish. "Mysterious disappearance", "behaving very suspiciously", "life-or-death situation" makes me believe I'll see more cliches in the novel itself. The passive voice worries me too. Finally, the last sentence lacks something. It feels . . . predictable. Maybe because I've seen it done so many times before.

My apologies, but it needs a rewrite.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 07:42:16 PM by Wolfe »

Offline Mrs N

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2014, 07:45:18 PM »
Thank you. My trouble is Tripps believes that it's his mother, but he is wrong. How do I get across that the whole book is misconceptions?

Pale Writer

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2014, 07:53:53 PM »
My apologies. I imagine you can still use 'he believed' but I still think you should keep the first sentence active, with that bang, vice just a belief/possibility. Lots of people here can help you better than I. Don't rush to change, gather then sift. :)

Offline Mrs N

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2014, 07:59:34 PM »
My apologies. I imagine you can still use 'he believed' but I still think you should keep the first sentence active, with that bang, vice just a belief/possibility. Lots of people here can help you better than I. Don't rush to change, gather then sift. :)


Thanks Paley. I've got myself such a convoluted plot, I don't know how to wittle it down to three sentences. Feeling a bit sick now. :'(

Wolfe

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2014, 08:06:03 PM »
How do I get across that the whole book is misconceptions?

Say it. Make it the first or the last line in some way, shape, or form. A blurb isn't about subtly. It's about grabbing a reader's attention and hoping they'll open your novel.


In the summer of 1996, Brick Dawson and three other inmates escaped Riverbend Maximum Security Penitentiary. Their jailbreak started the largest manhunt in Tennessee's history. They were never found. Because they never escaped. And now Brick's journal, discovered inside the warden's office after he committed suicide, tells the truth about what really happened that summer.


Notice how I lead the reader to believe one thing, but switched it around at the end? That's one way you can show how your book is about misconceptions.

Hope the example helped.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 08:12:21 PM by Wolfe »

Offline Mrs N

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2014, 08:09:20 PM »
Say it. Make it the first or the last line in some way, shape, or form. A blurb isn't about subtly. It's about grabbing a reader's attention and hoping they'll open your novel.


In the summer of 1996, Brick Dawson and three other inmates escaped Riverbend Maximum Security Penitentiary. Their jailbreak started the largest manhunt in Tennessee's history. They were never found. Because they never escaped. And now Brick's journal, found in the warden's office after he committed suicide, tells the truth about what happened that summer.


Notice how I lead the reader to believe one thing, but switched it around at the end? That's one way you'll show how your book is about misconceptions.

Hope the example helped.

Thank you, Wolfe. That is a good example for me. I'm too tired to think about it now, but I shall work on it and post again. I haven't a hope in hell of winning this competition, but I want to do my best. :)  Time for some positive thinking.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 10:48:57 AM by Mrs N »

Wolfe

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2014, 08:10:52 PM »
No worries. Remember . . . if writing were easy, everyone would do it.  ;) Always keep at it.

Offline Laura H

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Re: Blurbs - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2014, 08:23:10 PM »
Glad you started this thread, Mrs. N. There are many helpful tips already.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty