Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Blurb...

I hate writing them. I hate writing them almost as much as I hate writing a synopsis. Show me a writer who doesn't hate writing a synopsis and I'll show you one writer who's mad as a hatter. I'd so much rather write an entire book than those five lousy pages, and I'd most definitely rather write the book than those two aggravating paragraphs.

Alas, they are an evil necessity.

I spent all weekend agonizing over the cover blurb for Eden's Pass. It never reads right, no matter what, and as soon as I send it off, the light bulb practically explodes over my head with the perfect copy. Then I sit and grit my teeth, thinking, Now, why didn't I think of that before I hit send?

Ah well, I like to think what I wrote is okay. I guess I'll know when my editor replies. =)

To me, writing an entire book is so much easier than trying to sum it up. And that's exactly what that blurb is supposed to do - sum up the story and yet entice a reader to pick it up and think, Hmmm.... I might like this. I think I'll buy it.

Oh, the pressure!

Read the back of any book - it's so short and sweet and to the point. It looks so easy to write, doesn't it.


I'll say it again -


I'm sure for some writers, it's a piece of cake. Those are the crazy ones. They have to be. Or they know some secret. In that case, someone tell me what that secret is, already. Let me in on it, please? Or better yet, let me know who you are, and I'll pay you to write the next one for me. Honest. There's probably some change wedged in amongst the sofa cushions. I'll go look.

If I get in the zone, and everyone leaves me alone, I can write a first draft in about three weeks - if my muse cooperates and all the planets align and all that. Six weeks tops (that's usually when I have to write in 5-minute increments, with the Boy hanging off my leg and the Girl asking to go to the Webkinz website every minute or so. What is it about those things?)

I put off doing the synopsis until the bitter end. It takes me days to write the first draft. Yes, I do those in drafts, too. The first is usually about ten pages - with every little detail thrown in. I revise, cutting out the deadwood, rewording this, adding that, and no, it doesn't matter what the guy who appears for one sentence in chapter six is doing. He isn't important! Finally, I whittle it down to the 3-5 pages most editors and agents prefer. Whew. Done.

But the blurb...

Argh. I hate the blurb. Take those 3-5 pages and smash it down to about two paragraphs. Make it short and sweet, but it has to be intriguing. I can do the short and sweet, but the intriguing just about kills me each time. This sounds stupid, that sounds boring, and this one makes no sense whatsoever.

So, two days of mentally writing and rewriting. And then - aha! By Jove, I think I got it!

I wrote it out, proofed it, and off it went.

Now we'll see if my editor agrees. =)


Linnea said...

Hi Kim,
No sniffling now. (read your tale of woe on AW) Don't shoot me but I don't mind writing a snynopsis or blurb, at least not any more. I hated it for my first book but now I've figured it out. My current WIP already has a logline, a query and a synopsis. It's easier to write it BEFORE all the details crowd out the main thrust of a story. So, unless my novel changes drastically, I'm all done!

Kim said...

I soooo wish I could do that. Okay, so what's the secret? I promise I won't tell no one! =)