Writing the blurb is a good test for the book as a whole. “What’s it about?” That’s what your readers want to know. And ideally you can answer that vital question in a few words, with the tagline.
So when I was flailing around trying to revise my ghost story Pretty Lies I had no luck with it until I came up with the resonance (Orpheus & Eurydice) and the tagline Not even death can come between a young woman and her no-good boyfriend.
After that, writing the blurb becomes a matter of including oppositions and the word struggle. I wrote my blurb for The Extra before my tagline.
Underdog heroine Frankie Ray runs away to Silver Screen Hollywood to test her conviction that a girl who lacks glamour but has talent and an enterprising attitude can make it in the movies. But when a womanizing matinee idol turns up dead on her sofa, Frankie’s career hopes shatter and she stands accused of murder.
How will a schoolmarm turned Hollywood hopeful ever find a way to win out against the press, the police, and the movie-going public, all trying to steamroll her into the electric chair?
Frankie will use every acting trick she knows in her struggle to sleuth out the real murderer and win back her chance at stardom.
The tagline (see Blake Snyder’s brilliant Save the Cat for the equation) is
The little Extra’s big break, upstaged by murder’s star performance.
I’m still tweaking it, of course. It’s kind of fun, like writing advertising copy in Mad Men.
Oh, wait. It is advertising copy.
PS Contest News…
Contest News This month, The Hummingbird Flash Fiction contest at Pulp Literature. $300 and publication in print for the first prize winner, $75 and print publication for the second place. Find it here http://pulpliterature.com/contests/