How do you Approach Blurb Writing?

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Happy Monday, Everybody! I hope that everyone had a nice, relaxing weekend, unlike yours truly, who recently discovered that:

  1. After years of having no trouble with the sun, I now have trouble with the sun. Hence, le sun rash.
  2. I’m allergic to sun screen.

As you can imagine, it’s been an interesting few days. To keep things from getting complicated, I’m just telling people that I’m allergic to the sun and staying in for the next week or so. I don’t mind. I can get caught up on Orange is The New Black and finish a little something called that doggone novel of mine.

And speaking of the doggone novel, I’ve been messing around with my book blurb. I thought, “This story is pretty straight forward. I shouldn’t have any problems boiling it down to its essence and summarizing the plot in just a few paragraphs.”

I would have done better if I’d have just slapped myself. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the blurb is on its way, but it still reeks of first draftness. One thing that’s helping me is something I learned while sitting in on a pitching session at a writers conference: give them the meat first. Prior to this, I always thought of blurbs like I did my story: save the climax for later. But listening to agents give feedback on several pitches, they all had the same thing to say: “You know, my ears perked up when you got to the part about ________________. Why didn’t you start there???”

I thought, “Start with the hooky stuff? Really?” So I’m keeping that in mind as I draft my blurb. I know the basics:

1. Give the reader a sense of beginning, middle, and end, all without giving the story away.
2. Don’t be too elusive. I obviously don’t want to give away any spoilers, but there are certain details that won’t ruin the story that will make a reader go, “Oooh! That sounds intriguing!”
3. Don’t introduce too many characters because I don’t have that much time and readers might get confused.
4. Don’t cram in everything I know about the novel, including the backstory that didn’t even make the cut.
5. Leave on a note that hints at something juicy; some conflict, some danger–all without giving away all the goods.

But, like any writer, my problem is this: I find it difficult to be objective when it comes to my own stuff–which is one of the reasons I never edit my own novels. Or cut my own hair.  I will say this: writing blurbs is waaay easier for me than writing a logline, which I’ll never try again unless world peace depends on it. Boil down the essence of my novel in just one sentence??? Cue the beads of sweat on my forehead.

So keep your fingers crossed for me! I might even have something to share with you guys in the next couple of weeks:)

What about others? How do you feel about writing blurbs? Love it? Hate it? Easy peasy? I’d love to hear your thoughts!