Monday, August 24, 2009


Blurbs, I have lots of blurbs, but it's a tease, since I'm not posting them yet. No, this is about writing them. I was happily working on paperwork for the new TEB contracted story, A Pint Light, when to my horror, I realized that part of what they needed today was a hook line and a blurb.

Now, that doesn't seem too tough. I'm sitting here in my jammies in the middle of the afternoon while the kids play. I should be able to come up with a one-sentence teaser and a coherent two to three paragraph summation. After all, I wrote the whole 40 page story in two nights. Piece of cake. Right? (wish you could hear the huge sigh)

It was TOUGH to write this blurb. You have to introduce your characters, make them interesting, give some background to set the stage, present the conflict that they will face, draw the reader in and give the reader hope for the resolution...all without being too wordy, corny, or giving away too much of the plot. I just about wore out my backspace key as I went over and over what I was trying to get across. Whew. Of course, now that it's in, someone else will be looking at it and deciding if it will work. Blurbs get edited, just like everything else.

Ironically enough, just as I sent over my final effort to TEB for A Pint Light, I got another e-mail from DSP with a revised blurb for Remarkable Restraint to approve. Slightly different submission process, DSP has you write the blurb as part of the submission, while TEB asked for it after offering the contract. So that one was already written long ago as part of the cover letter for my submission inquiry. I looked back to compare the two, and actually they were fairly kind, only making a few small changes and keeping it mostly as originally written.

Apparently I was slightly more inspired on that day. Either that or after writing the synopsis concurrently, I was already in the zone.Either way, by the time you write the manuscript, the synopsis and the blurb (and in some cases the hook line), it feels like you've flayed your idea to the bone. And that's pretty much how I'm feeling at the moment as well!

I'd love to hear from some other writers about how they feel about blurbs and whether it's as difficult for you to write them!


  1. Oh, hon, try writing for Amber Quill where you have to come up with SEVERAL blurbs if varying lenghts. Shudder.

    Hate blurbs. I was actually glad with DSP they wrote the blurn for Beyond the Norm for me.

  2. I hate blurbs, too. I find it so hard to sum up a book in a couple short paragraphs and make it sound interesting and not give away too much about the end of the book. Though I have found it's a lot easier to write them before I write the book. Same thing with a synopsis. Once I've written the book, I know all the tiny details and it's diffcult to stay at the 30k foot level for a blurb or synopsis. But when I haven't written the book yet, it's a heck of a lot easier to pick out the main themes/ideas and stick to those.

  3. SEVERAL!! Oh Shawn, you made my stomach flip.

    Ava--problem with that very inspired and clever solution (in my case anyway) is that we're all not disciplined outline-followers like you are, LOL! :) Sometimes I have no idea what the main ideas are until I'm 3/4 of the way through!


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