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Blurb discussion - not a post for feedback thread (1 Viewer)

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indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
In another thread I mentioned that I hate writing blurbs, and Taylor (thank you very much Taylor, take a bow) offered this information from her study of Stephen King's blurbs. (He's a mildly successful author, so we should pay attention to what he does.)

Taylor wrote:
Let's look at a Stephen King novel, The Outsider, ​for an example of a good blurb and break it down:

"A living nightmare has come to flint city, Oklahoma, as an eleven year old boy is found brutally murdered, in a local park - an unspeakable crime that rocks local law enforcement to its core as the most heinous atrocity anyone there has ever witnessed. Equally stunning is the identity of the prime suspect: Terry Maitland, one of Flint CIty’s most popular citizens, as well as a little league coach, English teacher, and devoted husband and father. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose own son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Multiple eyewitnesses and irrefutable evidence mean an ironclad case...until the investigation expands, and horrifying new details begin to emerge. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer is revealed, it will shock you as only master storyteller Stephen King can."

1) - The plot:"A living nightmare has come to flint city, Oklahoma, as an eleven year old boy is found brutally murdered, in a local park - an unspeakable crime that rocks local law enforcement to its core as the most heinous atrocity anyone there has ever witnessed."

2) - The protagonist:"Equally stunning is the identity of the prime suspect: Terry Maitland, one of Flint City’s most popular citizens, as well as a little league coach, English teacher, and devoted husband and father."

3) - The antagonist:"Detective Ralph Anderson, whose own son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest."

4) - The genre:"Multiple eyewitnesses and irrefutable evidence mean an ironclad case...until the investigation expands, and horrifying new details begin to emerge."

5) - The hook: "Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face?"

6) - The sales pitch:"When the answer is revealed, it will shock you as only master storyteller Stephen King can."

And all of this is captured in 141 words.

I responded with this website about blurb writing: Reedsy, how to write a book blurb.

I also submitted a product description (a longer blurb that appears on Amazon):

Jasmine Bashara never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich.

Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony. Just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavored algae. Rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time.

So when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. And it calls for a particular combination of cunning, technical skills, and large explosions—not to mention sheer brazen swagger. But Jazz has never run into a challenge her intellect can’t handle, and she figures she’s got the ‘swagger’ part down.

The trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Because her little heist is about to land her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself.

Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law alike, even Jazz has to admit she’s in way over her head. She’ll have to hatch a truly spectacular scheme to have a chance at staying alive and saving her city.

Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal.

That’ll have to do.

If anyone would like to discuss the blurb writing task - post here.
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Handy analysis, thanks for that. I'll have to revisit my blurb to see if it covers those things.
 
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