Thursday, November 22, 2012

Blurbs

I have a love/hate relationship with blurbs. When I’m trying to write them, it’s full-on hate. But when it’s done, and it’s good, it’s so, so good. I want to hold it in my hands and pet it gently and hold it up to the world to see as I proclaim “Look! I wrote this! Doesn’t it make you want to read the story behind it?”

Unfortunately, I’m not the greatest judge of my own blurbs.

Take Paul’s Dream, which I consider my best one:

Paul Graham is content with his life. An up-and-coming lawyer, he has no time to dwell on the mazes, puzzles, and riddles he solves while asleep. He has no interest in dreams, or anything that might derail his career.

Until Kian shows up. Sensual, playful, he claims that Paul rescued him four years ago. Now he's determined to repay him with the one thing he knows best: sex laced with... magic.

Kian is unlike any man Paul has encountered. He won't go away, for one. The fact that Paul doesn't remember him doesn't deter his mission of seduction in the least. But soon enough, Paul finds that this strange, carnal creature has the ability to melt his ice with a touch, to bring out a sweetness Paul didn't even know he had.

As Kian becomes a part of his life, Paul finds himself more and more attached. Forgotten dreams, buried memories, and the dangerous obsession of another conspire to tear them apart. Is he strong enough to endure a trial by fire in order to keep them together?

Ohhh, was so proud of that one! I thought (still think) it was sexy, had a touch of humor, deftly hinted at the suspense elements in the story. The last line was an excellent hook, which is what last lines in blurbs are supposed to be. Perfect.

Except, not so much. I remember it got panned by several reviewers, most of whom called it “blah.” One was straight-up angry with me for not spelling out exactly what Kian was in the text of the blurb. I imagine Paul would have agreed with that last one. He didn’t get the specifics until chapter four, and he wasn’t exactly keen when he had them.

The story did okay. Word-of-mouth saved me from my own blah blurb. I think that’s when I learned that no one element is going to sink a book. Just work hard so that as many elements as possible hit the mark.

But blurbs are important. At least, they are to Reader-Rowan. When browsing books I notice first the cover (because I’m shallow), then the blurb, and if the blurb is interesting I read the excerpt to check and see if the writing style is compatible with my reading style. I think there must be at least a few readers out there who browse like I do, so I work hard on blurbs, going through several drafts, wondering if the draft I’ve got is too dramatic for the story or not dramatic enough. Too much information? Not enough information? On and on. And when it’s done, I cross my fingers and post.

Which reminds me:

Look below this line! I wrote this! Doesn’t it make you want to read the story behind it?

__________

Chains


A new prisoner has been brought to the castle. They say he's a warrior. They call him a demon. They whisper that he can grant wishes.

Saiven can't resist. He sneaks into the secluded dungeon to see, but the man chained to the wall is not what he expects. Smiling. Teasing. He introduces himself as Faolan, and Saiven is caught.

This...man. He makes Saiven feel things he should not feel. Draws forth confessions that were meant to stay secret. Faolan freely grants him warmth and laughter. But now...

Now it's time to find out if Saiven is strong enough to earn a wish.

5 comments:

earringfan said...

I read Paul's dream while ago and I liked it, but the blurb did make it sound a little too similar to many other paranormal romance novels, even though the actual plot wasn't like that at all. Chains, on the other hand, sounds interesting. I know I'm going to buy it because it's yours, but even if it wasn't, I'd buy it anyway based on the blurb.

Rowan McBride said...

@earringfan - Maybe I need someone to beta-read my blurbs for me. I had the opposite feeling about the PD & Chains blurbs. Was actually worried Chains might sound too generic.

My blurbometer is obviously malfunctioning. XD

Anonymous said...

Excited for Chains :) I don't think I'd ever read the blurb before! I just read the excerpt and am glad I did. The blurb isvery vague..as it should be, but i think it lacks your unique voice. I love the Chains blurb.

LLDeMay said...

Excited about Chains. Re-read Paul's dream. Want sequel to Paul! I agree with liking Chains blurb better. Super glad you're feeling the muse. :)

Rowan McBride said...

@Anon - Maybe that means I'm learning to construct better blurbs. XD

@LLDeMay - I want a sequel to Paul too! Hoping I get to work on it this year.

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