I have never been any good at writing short concise summaries of anything, so asking me to write a blurb is tantamount to asking me not to talk to my computer at work when someone irritates me by showing their stupidity.
In other words...well, we're all adults here, so you can pretty much figure it out.
Still, writing a blurb is a necessary evil, and fortunately, I've had some practice in doing it. Not very well, but I did it just the same.
The first blurb that I'd wrote was for my first self-pubbed book "Shades of Love":
Stuck in a marriage where the only thing he had in common with his wife were their children, Wally was one very unhappy soul. One of the few things that gave him happiness was flirting with his co-workers. On this particular day though, those flirtations turn serious with one particular person.Average don't you think? Would it make you pick up the book and read a few pages? Or would you put it back on the shelf and move on to another book?
She was a bold, dynamic, vivacious free spirit who triggered a yearning deep within Wally's very soul. Azalea was intrigued by this charming yet down to earth person, whose wit, guile and audacity, ignited a long dormant fame of passion and sensuality.
United by their growing love for each other, they experience emotional upheaval and heartache, as they strive for that final golden ring.
In any event, it was a decent first attempt at writing a blurb. A bit wordy and it rambled a little, but you pretty much got the basic idea.
My next attempt at writing a blurb was precursor of things to come. As some of you may have read in the past year or so while I was going through the submission process with Line 21, I had a tendency to procrastinate in doing the real important things that were needed for querying (the query letter and the synopsis) until I decided to sit my ass down and hammer it out in one fell swoop.
Well, the blurb for my chapbook Betrayed! was pretty much written that way. I procrastinated for about a week, then simply sat my ass down and wrote this in about thirty minutes:
Theirs was a doomed relationship that even a marriage couldn't fix.Compared to the first one, this one is on a whole other planet. Doesn't ramble, the wording is tighter and you definitely got the idea of the plot right from the first sentence. The questions are still the same. Would it make you pick up the book and read a few pages? Or would you put it back on the shelf and move on to another book?
Ray was the antithesis of a hairdresser. Handsome, muscular and a natural flirt, he was the solution to every women's fantasies. All he wanted, though, was to be loved by the mercurial woman of his dreams.
Gwendolyn was a passionate young woman with a temper that ran as dark as her complexion. Desirable to both sexes, she was determined to find love, no matter what the consequences.
Who would be the first to betray their marital vows? Ray, who although was enlightened about the world around him, still had those old fashioned values that made him a hot commodity. Gwendolyn, vivacious and passionate, had the looks and the body that could destroy anyone that got in the way of her ultimate goal.
To be unconditionally loved. Can that particular end really justify the means?
As you can, the difference between the two blurbs is like night and day. The first one was written back in '08, when I really didn't have a clue about writing. The second was written in '09, when I started to have a clue about writing. The reason as to why I brought up these two blurbs is that I'm trying to get a jump on writing a blurb for my novel. Believe it or not, I am a bit anal about being surprised. I don't like being surprised by stuff that I saw coming ahead of time and didn't bothering preparing for it.
So as a rough draft, I'm thinking of using the mini-synopsis from my query letter as a basis for the blurb:
Playing the game of public sex is hard enough when you got the family loan shark bothering you for a piece of your action, but when your symbiont wants a piece as well, it can make you question your own sanity.
Flat broke with no job, Jeannie was terrified of becoming just like one of her uncle’s deadbeat customers. Even though she was able to smooth talk her way into a five day extension of her loan, she was still stuck in the same dead end with the same problem: no money. Still, God must’ve had an ulterior motive, because no sooner than she had closed her phone, a young man sat down next to her and began talking. A few minutes later, Jeannie was holding a business card that could just be her potential salvation from a world of hurt. After a brief, yet highly insulting conversation with her symbiont Aissa, Jeannie was determined to test her mettle as an adult performer. Not because she needed the money, but more to the point of proving her symbiont wrong as well as proving to herself that she could play the game of public sex and still have her morals intact.
Line 21 is not just a story about a young woman’s dilemma in reconciling her values to a new and exciting career, but it’s also a story about living with a free spirit that’s crying out for adventure.
So my friends, your opinion of this last blurb would be what? Needs more depth? More punch? Does it answer the question "Would it make you pick up the book and read a few pages?" or does it answer the question "Would you put it back on the shelf and move on to another book?"
Inquiring minds do want to know, because not only will the truth set me free, but it will sure as hell point me in the right direction.