By Glenna Mageau (Writing as Maggie Thom)
You’ve finished writing your novel and now you find yourself with the prospect of having to write a catching back cover blurb that will hook the potential reader and draw her/him in. Unfortunately, writing this brief but vital info seems to be a mystery for many authors. What to include? What to leave out? Where to begin? How to make it interesting?
It’s no wonder this task so daunting. You’ve just written 60,000 words, or 82,454, words or 102,383 words, and now you want to give a glimpse inside the meat of your story in only 200 words? The thing is though, for an author 200 words is really not that difficult a task to write. Where the problem comes in, is that authors of fiction tend to look at writing the book blurb as a summary, as a “this-then-that” kind of article, when really it’s not.
The key to the fiction blurb is that you want the reader to know they are departing on a grand adventure, an exciting and thrilling journey! But where will they actually go? That, you want to keep a mystery!
To give the reader a taste of the experience they will experience while devouring your book, you want to offer them a glimpse inside the pages and connect them to your protagonist and her/his journey without giving away too much of what lies ahead.
Sounds easy, right?
I sure didn’t find it that way when I first decided to be Indie published. I had little idea how to write the effective fiction blurb, and no idea how to make it something that would pull the reader in and capture her interest. That frustrated me to no end. So, I set out to learn all that I could about what makes a such a blurb intriguing. Here are some vital points of what I have learned:
Where to start?
Keep the focus of the blurb on the protagonist. Who is this character? What makes him/her unique? Why have you chosen this particular character as your protagonist?
What to include?
You want to include the struggles, the problems that the protagonist faces. And you want to include the major conflict that your story is about.
What to leave out?
You really don’t need to include all of the events and situations that happen. You don’t want to spell out the climax or ending. And you don’t want to mention too many secondary characters by name – maybe 2 or 3 at most.
Now that you have the reader’s attention, you want to pull them into the mystery of where the story is going.
How to make it interesting?
This is where you will use the climax and ending to hint at where the story is going. You want the reader to wonder, “Will the protagonist succeed or fail?” and what might happen if they fail.
If you ensure that you include the above information in your blurb, you are giving a good sense of who the protagonist is, what’s going on for him/her, and how they are handling it all. That’s what will grab the reader and connect them to your story. Then, when you tack on the mystery of how and where the protagonist ends up, you’ve got their attention–and better yet–you’ve got them wondering where the story is going. You’ve hooked them!
Remember–keeping the mystery in your blurb will pull the reader into your story, and won’t let them go!
I’m doing a free webinar – 5 Steps to a Compelling and Interesting Fiction Book Blurb – on Nov. 9. The best way to keep informed and get more tips on writing a fiction book blurb is to sign up for my free ebook – 3 Keys to Creating a Compelling and Interesting Fiction Book Blurb
About the author:Glenna Mageau is an award-winning suspense/thriller author who works with Indie/Self Published authors to create attention-grabbing blurbs. Her first attempts at writing fiction book blurbs were dismal, time-consuming and stressful. Over many hours of trial and error she finally figured out the keys to writing interesting, compelling and attention-grabbing back cover copy. This led to the author’s course – Mastering the Art of Writing the Catchy Fiction Book Blurb – to help all Indie/Self-published authors learn this vital art. You can learn more here: http://www.glennamageau.com/
Glenna’s motto: Escape to read… Read to escape… and Write for the Freedom!
Connect with Glenna at: