Monday, July 30, 2012
I think it would be accurate to say that writing the all-important blurb is something most authors approach with trepidation. I should be able to articulate the reasons; I’m a writer after all, but I honestly don’t know why we freeze up when the time comes.
I frequent a few message boards and at any one time there are likely to be several of us posting our blurbs, asking for an opinion from our fellow writers.
A great topic for a blog...plus it’s an excuse to put off writing for a bit longer, so here are my thoughts about writing the blurb for e-fiction.
I would say that too many of us treat our blurb as a mini-synopsis. While I would agree that we should establish the time, the location, and mention at least two main characters, I don’t think we need to give away the entire story line. We rarely need backstory.
Let’s face it, we’re in the business of selling books, and assuming the cover has attracted the potential reader's attention, the blurb will be the first contact he has with the content of our book. It’s up to us to make it count.
When the book has been purchased, read, and you get that five-star review from a total stranger, what did the reader like about your book?
In virtually all cases, the reader connected with your main character. They liked the action, whether it was solving the mystery, watching the heroine being swept away by the hero, or cheering as the good guys repelled the aliens. But mainly, they identified with the hero of your story. Perhaps in some small way they became him.
If that’s what the reader liked enough to write a review (and we all know how few and far between those are), then why not use the blurb to draw them into your story with a few words showing your hero’s charm, determination, vulnerability, or whatever makes him/her appealing.
There’s always conflict, right? It comes in many forms, but it’s always there. Throw out a hint of the conflict, and your reader should at least read the sample. After that, it’s up to you to have written a compelling beginning.
One last thing: ask a question. Can Jack and Jill scale the insurmountable hill? If you feel your blurb lacks punch, add a question. It’s a frequently used device, but that’s because it works. By asking a question, you invite the reader to become involved in the story and that’s what you wanted from the beginning, right?
I’ve read opinions stating that a blurb should be no longer than two sentences. I disagree. Your blurb should be concise, but it should also be as long as it takes to interest the reader in your story.
These days, readers can scan a hundred books an hour on the internet. That’s a lot of competition. We all need to write better blurbs, myself included.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
One of the things I enjoy about story telling is rounding out the characters. For my current WIP, I was pondering a job for one of the characters, and started to think about the jobs I had when I was young.
My first experience at earning money was one summer when my sister and I were going to camp, and we were allowed to pick strawberries. We lived along a minor highway in Ontario, and sold them at the edge of the road. Twenty-five cents for a big basket of strawberries. We had lots of money to spend at the tuck shop that summer.
I worked in an ice cream factory for a while. We filled quart boxes with ice cream, but mostly we worked making single serving ice cream sundaes. One of us would put in the filling and the other would place the cup under the constantly flowing ice cream. Surprisingly enough, I still like ice cream.
One of my part-time jobs was working in a ladies’ wear store. Looking back, I can’t imagine I was much help to the customers, all of whom were women my mother’s age. The only real work I did was unpacking the new dresses and hanging them to be steamed free of wrinkles. I suspect the woman who owned the shop was just being generous, because I don’t think I contributed much.
Christmas season at the Hudson’s Bay should have been a jolly time, but I got stuck in the hardware department. I recall the look of horror on one man’s face when I said I would mix his paint. I wish I could remember how that turned out...talk about being miscast!
I worked in an insurance office one summer. The agent was out of the office a lot, and my job was mainly to answer the phones. It was the first and only time I had a giggling fit. I had answered the phone and for some reason (nerves perhaps) I couldn’t stop laughing. The person on the other end of the line was very kind, as was the man in charge of the office.
The major difference in getting a job those days was that we didn’t worry about getting a job, it was a matter of which job we would take. How times have changed.
What was your most memorable job?
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Thursday, July 5, 2012
I was a normal teenager. There were no iTunes then, but we were glued to the radio listening to the latest songs. My friend Carole loved country music. I didn’t quite get it. Hank Williams, Charlie Pride and the rest of them didn’t appeal to me.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Fallen Angel will be free July 4 & 5.
Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006GEQ1AC
And here's the story line:
Laura MacLeod doesn’t need an intervention to know she’s in trouble. A paediatric nurse on an oncology ward, she has seen her share of suffering. But when tragedy touches her personally, she falls apart and accepts help in the form of pain killers. She becomes rapidly addicted, and her downward spiral is humiliating as well as life-changing. Fresh from rehab, she travels to the Okanagan Valley, where she has agreed to perform menial work at a winery for several months. F-18 fighter pilot Bradley Jamieson has witnessed the horrors of war in Afghanistan, resulting in the loss of his ability to speak. Weary from the aftermath of war, he accepts his friend’s invitation to visit his winery. Unable to understand how a beautiful woman like Laura could throw away her life by taking drugs, he is determined to avoid her. But the more he sees of this gentle woman, the more he’s attracted to her. The summer sun isn’t the only thing generating heat in the valley. Laura and Bradley battle their their growing attraction for one another while fighting their inner demons. Can these two troubled souls find the peace they desire, or will reality bring them crashing back down to earth?