This writing post will explain and break down the important elements of writing a good blurb.
All blurbs need to grab the reader's attention. It has to strike the reader and hook them into picking up your book.
You can have an introduction of the protagonist of the story, but with a twist at the end. Such as:
"Patrick Dane thought his life was going to be a boring, long one, until he discovered a baby dragon snoozing under his bed.
This is the problem which many writers meet when making their blurbs. Here's the rule: if you can tell what will happen for more than one third of the story, you've written too much.
Some blurbs tell way too much information until you practically don't have to read the actual book. So don't make this mistake. You will see what I mean:
'Megan discovers one fine day that she has superpowers, and can control fire. But before she can fully test them, an enemy organisation kidnaps her and sends her to a school for superpowered-kids, where she can train and they can monitor her. BUT Megan's powers are too powerful, and she burns her way out, before going into hiding with a very handsome teenager. They must find and defeat the organisation, JUBBER, without getting killed. It seems like an easy mission, with their powers, until Megan's sister is kidnapped. Oh well, Megan has always enjoyed such wild rides."
No, just, no.
No one would want to read a blurb that claims that everyone is now living happily ever after! Writing that would turn down 90% of readers, because readers want to see the stakes rise, and panic.
Can Megan control her powers, before it's too late? Will Mark and Beth finally get together? Will Everblaze be able to defeat Black and the cougar?
You need to have the readers ask these such questions. You can write such a question in the blurb too. They will act as cliffhangers that will make your readers want to pick it up.
If I read a blurb about dragons and a magical world, I expect the actual book to be a fantasy, and not the dragons to be a figment of a dreamy teenager's imagination.
Sometimes, the blurb does not give off the right genre vibes, meaning that the wrong audience picks up the book. They will be disappointed, and your actual target audience night never open your book in the first place.
How do you avoid this?
First, double-check the blurb to make sure it has the right elements to hook the right people. Second, you could also show the blurb to a friend and ask, "What kind of book do you think this is?" For an unbiased opinion, don't mention that it's your book. These two simple actions will benefit you, as well as the audience so both can avoid a bad experience.
Anthropomorphism is giving a non-human object human-like qualities, such as talking. It is very literal, meaning talking lions or moons with sleeping faces.
Flashbacks are very useful; an action-packed introduction can flashback to the past to give the reader some background information. A movie that portrays this is Uncharted (2022).
Dramatic Irony is when the reader knows something one character doesn't know. The character then will perceive event in the story differently from the character, which leads to suspense, as shown in Titanic (1997).
How else can you improve your writing? You can read books. One of my mottos is,"You don't have to write to read. But you do have to read to write."
Now, I have read many books in my life. But how on earth would I ever finish reading the series if I want to read more? I don't.
Before I fell in love with writing books, I used to read. A lot. But now, I used a tactic where I read the first book of a series, and if I like it, I continue reading. But why do I do this? It's so that I can see each and every author's writing style and vocabulary.
Some books have extremely good vocabulary. Others don't, but they still hook me on. "How?" you ask. They use 'writer skills' such as cliffhangers, plot twists, and betrayal to hook the reader in. From what I have learnt, you don't need to have good words and idioms and such to make a reader like your book.
That's it. Happy reading! :)
This month, we will be learning how to write a cliffhanger.
Cliffhangers earned their name in Thomas Hardy's A Pair of Blue Eyes (which was published in Tinsley's Magazine between September 1872 and July 1873) in which Henry Knight, one of the protagonists, is left hanging off a cliff. Now, back to the tips.
First, write the story from the POV (point of view) of a character who has to discover and learn all the information from other characters. Here is an example.
"But I don't know why he stole the exam answers. Jake is a very smart person, and I personally think he would do well in the exam. So why would he steal it? Unless..."
You can end the chapter right there. Yep, right there. This way, your readers would be like, "What? Unless what? What evidence can prove Jake did it?" And then they would turn the page. Simple.
Another note, do not describe the scene too vividly. You would want to describe a scene like this:
"Just then, Michelle smirked and she escaped with the crown." Avoid describing it like this:
"Suddenly, Michelle smirked and swiftly dashed out of the room, on her way to the hallway." You should not give away too much information, as that is the opposite of what cliffhangers are for.
I hope this tip helps you to write a great cliffhanger!
Every story starts with an idea, a book or computer, and an opening line. Without an opening line, how will a writer start his story? That is just the problem we are going to be discussing today.
Now, to get a reader turning the pages of your future book, you have to think of what kind of approach you want your reader to have. If you want your reader to feel curious and inquisitive towards your first line (or paragraph). Here is an example:
”It was the worst day of my life.”
Now, your reader would be feeling, whoa, why are you feeling that it is the worst day of your life? If you really wanted it to continue the curiosity, you may add a line like this:
I just wish it didn’t happen. I wish the ground would suck me up.
At this point, your reader is curious. Very curious. And then they go on to read why the character is so disappointed.
For another approach, you may put the reader right into the action. For example:
”Arms pumping, feet flying, he ran across the field like a hundred wolves were after him..”
Being put into the thick of things suddenly may surprise your reader, but it has enough action and excitement to bring the curiosity into the reader.
One last way to start a story is to have the protagonist introduce himself or herself in a surprising way.
“Everyone knows why I'm called Everblaze. Like, everyone. "Oh, well, his mum accidentally left him in a bush during a wild fire, but he survived, hence his name," That would be the typical response from any wolf you asked about my name. Here's a warning: Don't believe any of them. They don't know what happened that night. They weren't there at the wildfire. Since you weren't there at the fire either, here is my story.”
I hope you have learnt a new way to start your story. Oh, and by the way, if you liked the last example, do note that it was taken from a story in progress!
Still can’t start your story? We’ve got you covered. Email us today and we will reply to you as soon as possible! You may also send us your story to get it reviewed.
Foreshadowing is the act of writing about an event that in one way or another is bad before it actually happens. This trick is perfect as it will make your readers more connected to the story.
Cliffhangers have been used by authors for years. They end a chapter on a cliffhanger, prompting readers to continue to the next chapter in excitement, or maybe even the next book in a series. Cliffhangers are simply the act of ending an exciting idea abruptly.
A plot twist is an idea that twists the plot. Plot twists work well in most books, especially if the writer has Writer's Block (can't continue the story). Many movies and books use this trick too.
Some books write a prologue about the antagonist. This trick is good, as it allows readers to see things the protagonist can't, which will create suspense and anticipation.
If you switch between characters every now and then, you may also create a small cliffhanger if one of the characters is in trouble.
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