Why write a blurb? I haven’t even finished writing yet!
We all know what blurbs are for. They’re like little salesmen you send off into the world, the clinchers and deal-makers, convincing your would-be reader to take your book-baby home with them.
But writing a blurb for your novel can still be a valuable writing exercise, even if you haven’t finished yet for a number of reasons…
1.It forces you to consider what the key elements of your story are and how to communicate these simply. This is going to be essential for you in future when you want to market your book to potential agents and publishers.
2. It helps you streamline and focus when drafting. You can use your blurb to look back on as you continue writing. That subplot that you have spent two weeks on but doesn’t propel the story forward? Looking at what’s in your blurb can help you have the ressolve to cut material (or store it safely in another file) that isn’t focused on what the reader’s are going to be interested in – the action.
3. It’s super useful to have to hand when friends and family inevitably ask: ‘So what’s your book about?’ Being able to load up GoogleDocs on my phone and pass my pre-written carefully crafter blurb to them has saved me a lot of awkward embarrassment. Without it, I always find I explain my idea poorly or simplistically, and I’m hyper-alert for any raised eyebrows, smirks or scepticism lighting in their eyes. I’d end up cringing at myself and saying something like ‘so it’s about sea-witches who rule over an island and ride sea-serpents’.
So here’s my actual, probably-too-long-but-oh-well blurb:
25 years after the Rising, the people of the grim islands of Hekserid are living in a repressive theocracy, isolated from the rest of the world.
Ruaraidh Ironside’s miraculous recovery from the harsh, public, magical capital-punishment dealt out to him by the Coven starts the whispers of rebellion. Ruaraidh finds himself approached by a sinister rebel group who want him to be a political figurehead, a symbol of the Coven’s waning power, of masculinity in a remote, matriarchal society.
On the inside, Morvern, a young women who has betrayed her own family in order serve the faith, finds herself accepting truths that terrify her as she is pushed deeper and deeper into the regime’s ranks.
To the west, lies the last outpost of the Knossian Empire, the island of Osika, where the balance of power hangs by a thread. A sharp rise in shipwrecks on the island’s shores can’t be explained. Are the stories of the sea witches across the water true? Will the Osikans claim back their independence? Will the emperor even permit the Osikans to survive as a people?
What did you think? Would you be interested in reading this fantasy novel?
For more about world-building, creating your own fantasy-map and the writing process click here.