Breaking Out the Blurb

Adventures in novel writing…

I feel like I’ve been working on Breaking Bread forever! But at last I’m finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. As long as it’s not an oncoming train… and frankly the way the past year has been? That could very well be the case.FullSizeRender

I’ve reached that stage in novel development that I like the least — writing the synopsis, or blurb that goes on the back cover of the book and in the description on the Amazon page. How do you distill 85,000+ words down to a few sentences or a short paragraph? And write those sentences in such a way as to suck your potential readers into buying your novel? Ugh. It’s agonising!

Why is it so hard? Fellow writers, do you struggle with this part, too?

The blurb needs to convey the mystery, the suspense, the drama of the book without giving away the details or the ending. It also has to be concise and attention grabbing. I either end up with three sentences or an entire page. Finding the happy middle ground is elusive. So as I work on the blurb for my fifth novel, Breaking Bread, (and yes, I’m going with that title – more about that in another post), I rant, I rail, I stomp and I curse. That is ridiculous, right? Temperamental artist stereotype, right here! (She says throwing herself onto her Victorian fainting chair.) After I’ve had enough wallowing and whining, I get angry. What?!? Angry, you say? How does that help?do-not-keep-calm-anger-is-an-energy

This is not the path I would recommend to you all, but for me, getting angry energizes me. It sets me on fire and it feels kind of good. Maybe that makes me a dangerous psychopath, or possibly The Incredible Hulk’s previously unknown twin sister, I’m not really sure. Whatever the case, anger makes me feel alive. Once I get the frustration out of my system, I can move on, rejuvenated.

I nailed that blurb today. And if I didn’t nail it, I want you to tell me. Here it is below. All suggestions are welcome.

Breaking Bread, Book Five in the Bucks County Novels

Maya Kaminski has achieved her dream of owning a French bakery cafe, even though her family opposed her every step of the way. It hasn’t been easy, but her hard work and dedication have paid off —the business is thriving and she’s slowly getting ahead. Just as things seem to be going her way, her childhood friend, Brad Logan, moves back into town and with his recent inheritance, buys Maya’s building, intending to help her out. However, Maya is so used to relying on herself that it’s a struggle to accept help from anyone, let alone a man with whom she finds herself falling in love. When the cafe comes under attack, first by what appears to be petty mischief but quickly escalates to dangerous sabotage, Maya will need all the help she can get to save her business and her life.

(‘Keep calm’ image credit: farenheit211)

54 thoughts on “Breaking Out the Blurb

  1. Sounds right Meg. Gives a glimpse of likable protagonist , conflict, challenges ahead, a love interest, and isn’t this just an exciting time for you, the creator of this story. Wishing you much success.

    My ‘go to’ during those challenging writing periods…remind myself that I have been successful at this before, take a challenging hike…one where I can’t be in my head but must be totally focused on making the right choices for feet and balance, and immersed in natural world, and finally, the fool proof method called ‘ass in the chair.’ Where I simply sit down and write won’t rise until task is complete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you JoHanna! For the feedback and for the excellent suggestion. I have been trying to extend my walking time for that very reason – but a hike sounds even better! Good advice!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m going to put it out as a mystery and not list it as romantic suspense, because it’s really secondary to the story I think. So I’ll try to amp up the suspense/danger in the synopsis then….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I thought I recalled you saying that a while ago, so I figured that was the route you were going. Upping the intrigue and suspense would be my only suggestion. But, not being a writer, what do I know? 😃😃

        Liked by 1 person

      1. As synopsis for the book – is ok (id change the sentence “it hasn’t been easy…” or I think (personally) u don’t need it at all).
        As for traditional publishing- sending to the agent – this synopsis doesn’t work. Only if u already have a deal of coz…

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I sent once my synopsis to the publishing company lol without any book (I had only 3 chapters done) & they wanted my book…so I don’t know if I’m a good writer (I guess not lol) but I’m probably good at synopsis-writing haha 😆
        It was in my native language tho :))

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      2. Absolutely. Most of us are fitting it in around other responsibilities, so it doesn’t always take first place. But I hope you’re able to write to the finish this time!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. If I were to ever write a novel (which I fear will be never) I think I’d actually like this part! I guess it’s my years of writing business marketing stuff. Anyway, I think you definitely have nailed it. It sounds great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Romantic suspense vs. mystery… you are probably right. Even though the mystery part is more the focus of the story, the romance is an essential component. I appreciate the feedback!


    1. Thank you! I’m very glad you think so. Trying to encapsulate a novel in a short but captivating paragraph is a difficult task and I always struggle with it. Best of luck with yours!

      Liked by 1 person

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