Writing the Darn Blurb!

Yes, I’m behind on posting this! I remembered yesterday and then got busy last night and forgot. Remembered twice today but was too busy to stop. Now I will post. Everything will wait until this is done!

I hate writing blurbs and I need to write one. Do you know how difficult it is to condense a story into a few sentences? There’s this whole big story to share with you and I’m supposed to entice you with a few sentences? A blurb is supposed to tell what the story is about and make a reader want to read it.

It’s not in my personality to force someone to do anything. I had one of those jobs with about two dozen people directly under me. I was supposed to do my job and make certain they did theirs. About five people actually did what they were supposed to do, the others… It was like pulling teeth to get them to do paperwork. Sometimes I had to stand over them until it was done. (Groan.) But my boss was the owner, and he swore I was an extremely effective manager. (Did I have him conned or what?) That just means I never asked why they had not completed their paperwork. It was handled very simply. “I didn’t get your paperwork on Friday. I’m coming in a half hour to pick it up. Make certain it’s ready.”

That doesn’t translate into getting people to buy my books. I can’t call everyone up and tell them I’m coming for your receipts that show you bought my latest books. That means I have to write a blurb. It’s a process and it’s ten times worse than that paperwork that had to be done. And it was boring paperwork!

So here it goes.

When Amy Schulster married Berto, Brad Shoemaker, the new city manager, joked that he wanted someone just like her. Becky Clydermann’s little sister set him up with her college roommate, Katheryn “Ryn” Demary. Except everyone forgot to tell Brad that she’s mute. After months of emails and text messaging, Brad’s fallen in love with Ryn.

Ryn was shocked when she met Brad at the airport. He’s extremely tall and handsome. She’s from a horse racing/jockey family, so she’s extra petite. It was look on Brad’s face when he realized she was mute that said more than any words he uttered. His plans, to become a senator with Ryn at his side, dissolved. He wanted a woman who could campaign with him.

But when Mayor Bruno Giovanni is forced into early retirement, he chooses Brad to run in his place. Ryn is determined to campaign at his side, but instead of being an asset, she just might be his biggest liability. She’s fought depression since a riding accident when she was a ten claimed her voice. Left untreated, her precarious relationship with Brad sends her spiraling downward as she realizes her limitations. Ryn finds herself campaigning not just for Brad to be come mayor but for Brad’s love. But politics can get dirty and Ryn’s caught in the middle.

Too long, right? I’m not going to twist anyone’s arm over that one. This is sheer agony, folks! Now I need to go back and look at what sentences are the strongest ones. (I wish I could use a highlighter and have it show.)

After months of emails and text messaging, Brad’s fallen in love with Ryn. All I’m saying here is that they have been online dating for months and they’ve fallen in love. People can relate to that.

It was look on Brad’s face when he realized she was mute that said more than any words he uttered. His plans, to become a senator with Ryn at his side, dissolved. He wanted a woman who could campaign with him. Important info. I’ll probably reword and use some of it.

But when Mayor Bruno Giovanni is forced into early retirement, he chooses Brad to run in his place. Ryn is determined to campaign at his side, but instead of being an asset, she just might be his biggest liability. This is the heart of the story and the second sentence is strong.

Ryn finds herself campaigning not just for Brad to be come mayor but for Brad’s love. But politics can get dirty and Ryn’s caught in the middle. Important info and again, the second sentence is strong.

Let’s put together what I’m thinking of keeping. And play with it. I only want a few sentences and I want to be effective.

After months of emails and text messaging, Brad’s fallen in love with Ryn. It was look on Brad’s face when he realized she was mute that said more than any words he uttered. His plans, to become a senator with Ryn at his side, dissolved. He wanted a woman who could campaign with him. But when Mayor Bruno Giovanni is forced into early retirement, he chooses Brad to run in his place. Ryn is determined to campaign at his side, but instead of being an asset, she just might be his biggest liability. Ryn finds herself campaigning not just for Brad to be come mayor but for Brad’s love. But politics can get dirty and Ryn’s caught in the middle. 

Again I took out what wasn’t really needed. Let’s see what I can do with what is left.

After months of online dating, Brad Shoemaker has fallen in love. But it was the look on his face when he met Katheryn “Ryn” Demary and  realized she was mute, that said more than any words he could have spoken.

Nope! I need that to zing! It’s the first thing people will read.

Brad Shoemaker wasn’t expecting love to be mute. It’s close but not quite. See the negative (wasn’t) in there. I need to get rid of it. Brad Shoemaker was blindsided when he discovered that love could be mute.  Much better!

Here’s my finished product:

Brad Shoemaker was blindsided when he discovered that love could be mute, and Katheryn “Ryn” Demary is mute. But when Mayor Bruno Giovanni is forced into early retirement, he chooses Brad to run in his place. Ryn is determined to campaign at Brad’s side, but instead of being an asset, she just might be his biggest liability. Ryn finds herself campaigning not just for Brad to become mayor but for his love. Politics can get dirty and Ryn’s caught in the middle.

That has to be much better. Now do you want to read it? I sure hope so!

Write whatever you must then start to pull it apart and look at it carefully. Pick out the most important things and your strongest sentences. Yes, I’ve left a lot of good stuff off but you’ve got about five to fifteen seconds to capture someone’s attention. Sometimes that means leaving lots of good things on the cutting room floor, but it must be condensed into a nutshell.

Are all my blurbs good? NO! But the more we write them, the better we get at them. Remember the famous tenor who was lost in New York City? He walked up to a police officer and asked, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”

The officer smiled and replied, “Practice, practice, practice!”

Here’s my next River City novel that will release in June.

 

RC Brad and Ryn

And I know, there’s no people on this cover, but my icon covers do as well as those with people so I feel free to chose. But how could I resist such a great colorful grouping of stars? So here’s my question: When the flag is hanging down, doesn’t the canton go to the upper left and the dominant portion of the field go to the right? Do I have any US Marine Corps women or wives out there?

I found this. I guess I’m okay. It’s put out by the Veterans Affairs office.

http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/celebrate/flagdisplay.pdf

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11 Responses to Writing the Darn Blurb!

  1. madisonjohns says:

    Brad Shoemaker was blindsided when he discovered that love could be mute, and Katheryn “Ryn” Demary is mute.

    This sentence is confusing. Could be mute? The rest of it sounds great. Mine are always like three paragraphs long, lol. I hate writing them too.

    Like

  2. E. Ayers says:

    Hmm, I’ll have to rethink that sentence. I was playing with the old adage that love is blind. But this time it’s mute.

    Like

  3. kryssiefortune says:

    Thanks for posting this. It’s easier to write a book than write the blurb. Any guidance is always appreciated. This blog is now in favorites, to bring out and dust off when necessary.

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      Thanks for stopping, Kryssie. It’s all a process. It’s like sorting laundry. We might hate it, but we have to reach a certain level of proficiency, or we have one heck of a mess.

      Like

  4. Jane Leopold Quinn says:

    If the canton is the field of stars, I believe it goes upper left. At least that’s where it is when flags are lined up behind the President at speeches. As far as blurbs? They’re rough to write. My sympathies for your having to write one but your process is a good one.

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      Some people are great at snappy blurbs. I have to whittle things down until I have a chewable bite.

      I’m certain the canton goes on the upper left, but I have no idea why. 🙂

      Like

  5. Blurbs are hard! Perhaps because ALL the words belong to us. I see what you’re getting at with a spin on love is blind. How about …Brad Shoemaker knew love was blind, but as far as he was concerned love was also silent.

    The cover looks great. I agree with Jane on the stars. I think displayed this way is a sign of distress. Ah trivia. I think you have another winner here. 🙂

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      Distress? Uh-oh! Something for me to research.

      Got to play with that first sentence. Silent/mute. It’s almost funny. She might not have made a sound, but she could talk up a storm! She’s been a terrific character to write.

      Thanks on the cover and thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  6. Reblogged this on Kelly Rae & Jocelyn Bell Books and commented:
    You would think writing the entire story would be harder than writing a quick blurb…it’s not! LOL Take a look at E. Ayer’s post – it’s so true.

    Like

    • E. Ayers says:

      Kelly is one of the Authors of Main Street. (See Monday’s post and don’t forget to click through to the Authors of Main Street blog for all our beautiful covers this month on our upcoming Weddings on Main Street boxed set!)

      Now I need to run over to her blog and say hi.

      Like

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    And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The website style is great, the articles is really great :
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    Like

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