Blurbs: Poetry + Short Story

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Now, let's face it: writing a blurb is tough enough as it is when you're writing it for one story, but what in the world are you supposed to do if you're writing it for multiple stories? Or a collection of poetry?

Well, the first thing I usually do is sit down and sob. Then, I scream and eat some pomegranate.

But it's okay: you can skip those steps! Because, hopefully, this chapter will make it a ton easier to actually sit down and write that blurb for your collection of short stories or your collection of poetry.

Basically, there are four types of summaries for short stories and poetry. None are particularly better than the other, really. It all depends on the style you're trying to achieve, as well as which one you think works with your aesthetic.

However, before we get into what the four types are, please be aware that your story MUST contain the following, regardless of the type you choose:

1. Your summary MUST tell the reader that they are about to read a collection of poetry/short stories. You don't want your reader to stumble into it, thinking it is a novel.

2. Your summary MUST tell the reader if there are any mature themes that might be confronting for them. This includes erotic imagery, mental illness, death, violence, and abuse.

Those two things are vital in your summary. Please make sure you mention them.

And now, onto the types of blurbs:

The SHORT Blurb:

These blurbs are, as the title suggests, short and sweet (no kidding, right?). These are very similar to the 'Aesthetic Summaries' discussed in the previous chapter. Basically, these summaries are only a single line long, and while it can contain the themes and mood within the story, the one thing it MUST do is tell the reader that this is a collection of short stories or poems. Usually, they look like this:

"A collection of short stories written by me."

"A collection of poems written by me."

However, a lot of people like to expand on it to make it just a touch more magical:

"A collection of short stories about love, laughter and learning."

"A collection of poems written while I was procrastinating instead of studying for a maths test."

"A collection of short stories, featuring pineapples taking over the planet."

"A collection of poems written by a girl who only wants to fly."

These aren't too difficult to write. Basically, just summarise what your stories/poetry is about in less than ten words, or even describe how they came to life.

The MEDIUM Blurb:

Boy, we went creative with these names, didn't we? These types of blurbs contain the following:

1. It must inform the reader that they are reading a collection of short stories/poetry.

2. It discusses the themes within the story and/or why these were written.

3. The purpose of the collection of short stories/poetry. This is the new part - the part that isn't in the short summaries. This part details why these stories or these poems came to be, and should detail what the reader will get from reading this.

Sounds complicated, right? What if the collection doesn't really have a purpose?

Well, maybe don't try this summary then. But, really, think about it: what do you want your readers to take from this? Perhaps the real purpose of your stories is to make the reader smile. If so, then that is your purpose, and that is what you write.

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