If you’ve just landed, you can click here for Part 1.
If you’ve been doing the work all along, by this time you’ve got a pretty solid groundwork for your book. You’ve got miles to go on details–and then you’ve got to write the thing, which will surely lead to some changes, but essentially you know enough to start talking about it concisely.
And that’s probably what’s key here. When you have that inspiration and it starts to grow, you start to think up all the awesomely cool stuff you’re going to do with it. And that swell, and yeah, if you can pull that off, that will be the sh–that will be great. But hey, slow down spoiler-maker. Save us some surprises for the reading.
I kind of think that people who loathe pitches and blurbs are those who are so in love with every aspect of what they’re doing that the person on the other end needs to know about every bit of the awesome to fully appreciate the scope of, well, the awesome.
Not so much. The fact is that your stuff is so awesome, just the sketch of it, and the hint of more, is premium bait.
Now, I’m no expert on this subject, and I’m sure your GoogleFoo will be able to come up with all kind of articles on this subject. Procrastinate away. When you’re ready, this is all I bother with at this stage:
Step 6: Pitches and Blurbs
- Use your GMC work to pitch the story in a few lines.
- Use your main plot points to craft a short blurb for the story. (Goal: 400 characters)
- What is the working title of the story?
That’s it. No big deal. It’s just some tools so you can engage in conversation, talk to people about what you’re doing, maybe throw up a coming attractions thing on your profiles here and there.
You may or may not remember when I said that once you have a character who wants a goal that is motivated by something, who faces a conflict, you pretty much have a story. That right there is the essence of what you’re doing. And that’s another reason why I like to start thinking about it in this part of the process. Because I have not yet begun to be awesome! So I’m hardly cutting anything by just telling you this much.You’re just taking that GMC statement, filling it in with some details, and maybe raising a question or two.
Note: the questions raised by the blurb should be of the Tell me more! variety and not of the Huh? variety.
Go poke around Amazon and read some short blurbs from novels you know. Hey, they totally didn’t mention that whole part about–no, they didn’t. Pay attention to what draws you in and what doesn’t. Go to Smashwords and do likewise. There you will find many examples of what is not effective.
You can use whatever you like as far as limits on length. You can write a synopsis, 1 paragraph, 3 paragraphs, a certain number of words. Whatever you feel is helpful. I use 400 characters because that’s the Smashwords limit, it doesn’t take up much space no matter where you want to put it, and it’s a nice brain-teaser for me.
And, you know, if you aren’t there yet or you just don’t wanna, then skip it. No one’s coming after you for leaving some blanks.
But get ready to work again tomorrow because we’re going to get down some of the details about the characters who have been taking shape while we’ve been busy plotting.