Blurbs: Novels

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"It's your choice, kitten," whispered Damien Howred in my ear, his hand traveling down my waist. 

I squirmed, but with my arms pinned over my head, I wasn't doing much progress. His lips nibbled the edge of mine, and I shuddered. 

"Leave me alone, I'll never be yours!" 

His bright blue orbs flickered with malice, and a seductive smirk emerged on his lips as he pushed me dominantly, our hips firm against each other. 

"You're already mine."


Charlesetta Durden has always been known to make heads turn. She's got golden eyes, eyelashes that are longer than unwound paper clips, and cheeks as smooth as a porcelain doll. 

One day, she meets Damien Howred, a werewolf. Sparks instantly fly between them. But Damien has an oh, so dark past - and he won't let Charlesetta anywhere near it.

Will they fall in love? Will Damien let himself succumb to his desire? 

And that, my folks, was an example of what we call a not so great blurb. Why? 

First of all,  the excerpt answers the rhetorical question at the bottom. Yes, we know that Damien lets himself succumb to his desire - he even acts upon it in the excerpt. Secondly, the summary itself is missing so many factors - how did Charlesetta meet Damien? What exactly is Damien's dark past and why is it dangerous? Where is this story set? Why do we need to know Charlesetta's physical appearance? How is it relevant to the plot? 

It's not relevant to the plot. So we don't need it. 

And, of course, another drawback of this blurb? It's so incredibly cliché. Sorry, Charlesetta. 

So, what makes a good summary? 

These are the four main elements in a traditional blurb, and while there is definitely some flexibility when it comes to these elements, they are the fundamentals when it comes to writing a good blurb. These four elements are:

1. The Characters

Who is your story about? Who will the reader be spending their time with? While we don't need to know their entire backstory, nor do we need to know their favourite fruit and the colour of their underwear, it is important to know brief details about them - their name, their purpose, and why they are the main character. 

Common points of the MC one should place in the blurb is the occupation and/or age. That's the starting point. Next up should be what they did that had dragged them into the situation, or the plot.

2. The Conflict

What is the main character facing? What will be the big dilemma in the story? Is there a war? A boy? A boy who is dragging the heroine off to war? What is the story's Voldemort? Basically, you need to talk about what the climax of your story will involve, or at least allude to what will lead into this climax. Show the readers that something exciting is about to happen, and make them want to read on. However, whatever you do, don't spoil the ending! Otherwise they already know the end of the book before it even begins. 

3. The Stakes

Now, this is the important part. This is the part that I find most blurbs are missing. What happens if the protagonist does not accomplish their goal? Will their mother die if he fails to find the herb? Will the fire nation burn everything to ashes if she doesn't raise an army? Will the new boy move to Canada if she doesn't hurry up and confess her feelings? (Hopefully not all three at once - that would be one wild story!)

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