(reblogged from Rebecca Bradley)

Today we have a great guest post by author Glenna Mageau on writing the difficult blurb for the back of your book jacket.

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Glenna an award-winning suspense/thriller author, works with Indie/Self-Published authors to create attention grabbing fiction book blurbs. Her first attempts at writing fiction book blurbs were dismal, time-consuming and very stressful. Finally figuring out how to write attention grabbing ones, she created a course – Mastering the Art of Writing the Catchy Fiction Book Blurb – to help all Indie/Self-Published Authors do the same.

Learn more here: www.glennamageau.com

Her motto: Escape to read… Read to escape… and Write for the Freedom!

What really needs to go into a fiction book blurb?

By Glenna Mageau

The fiction book blurb is a key component to getting readers to open your novel and read it. But have you ever though what really needs to go into a fiction book blurb?

There are so many moving parts to a story – the protagonist, the antagonist, the secondary characters, all the other characters, the events, the backstory, the kickstart, the climax, the ending and all that happens in between. That’s a lot of information to sift through but then there should be shouldn’t there? After all, you just wrote 60,000, 90,000, 105,000 words to introduce us to all of that.

So where to start?

There are really three key elements that are the basis for the fiction book blurb:

The Setup

The Capture

The Intrigue

That doesn’t sound too bad does it? But going through all of your story and figuring out what to use can be overwhelming.

Here’s an example of a well written fiction book blurb that uses Setup, Capture & Intrigue. This is Rebecca Bradley’s book – Shallow Waters (a DI Hannah Robbins Novel). By the way, it’s really good if you haven’t read it. (Thank you, Glenna!)

dfw-rb-sw-cover-midWhen catching a killer isn’t enough…

When the naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway, post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.

Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team on the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.

But it doesn’t stop there. Just how far are the team willing to push themselves to save the next girl?

This is an intriguing fiction book blurb isn’t it? If you’re like me, it grabs your attention and makes you want to pick it up and read it. So what makes it work?

The Setup

When catching a killer isn’t enough…

When the naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway, post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.

This gives you a good sense of what type of story it is and the underlying theme/problem/issue that the protagonist is up against.

The Capture

Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team on the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.

What did we learn about the story:

Who the protagonist is: – DI Hannah Robbins.
Setting: Nottingham City and beyond.
Problems/issues: it is clear as to what the protagonist is up against – more than one teenage deaths (you know the public is going to want answers), they have to cross county borders (which means they will need to work with another police department – that could cause a number of issues), they are racing against the clock (they do not want another murder to happen).
Hope: that they can beat the clock and that they can untangle all that they are learning to find the truth

Now we can connect with the main character and feel her struggles and her hope of solving these crimes.

The Intrigue

But it doesn’t stop there. Just how far are the team willing to push themselves to save the next girl?

This grabs the mystery of where the story is going. What will the team do to solve these horrific crimes? Will they solve them?

The fiction book blurb is really meant to entice and tease the reader to open the pages of your story. Keep your focus on the setup, the capture and the intrigue and you’ll find it much easier to write a compelling fiction book blurb.

Originally posted: Rebecca Bradley Murder Down to a Tea

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