Blurbs need edits too.

The online community for writers is a wonderful thing. Honestly, there is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have been able to publish without the help of people I’ve never physically met. The latest lesson I learned was the art of blurb writing.

I took my blurb for THE REVERIE (a blurb I really liked and thought was pretty good) and posted it in a forum for critiques. The post blew up. Apparently, writing a blurb has very specific rules, rules I was breaking.

Some of those rules are…

  • Separate the “Acts” of the blurb with past tense to present tense.
  • Avoid “care-bear clichés” like “The path to self-discovery” (a rule that also applies to writing in general)
  • Never ask the reader anything or talk to the reader directly. Questions are the greatest tell. Don’t ask the reader “Will he be able to get out of this jam?” Instead, pitch the story and conflict in a way where the reader will ask themselves that question.
  • Add white space. A single paragraph doesn’t offer much readability. Separate it.

Here was my old blurb:

Martin lost five thousand dollars, his job, and his girlfriend Jenny all in the same bet. She leaves him standing alone on the casino floor, and his will to live leaves with her. A comedy of errors involving a bachelor party and a crass waitress named Janice stall his plans. What happens next none of them could have expected. Murder, robbery and more are in store as this fateful night unfolds a path of self-discovery for Martin at The Reverie Casino. Will it be enough to keep him from gambling again?

Here is my new blurb:

Martin lost five thousand dollars, his job, and his girlfriend all in the same bet. She left him standing alone on the casino floor; his will to live left with her.

A bachelor party and a crass waitress named Janice stall his suicidal plan long enough for him to watch everybody else’s world spiral out of control.

The night deals a hand where murder, robbery, and all-around mayhem are in the cards, and with it a path to redemption for Martin as he gambles with more than just money at The Reverie Casino.

 

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