Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Attack of the 200 Word Blurb (Part Two)

...The part with the actual blurb.

The past couple of days have not been pretty here at the ranch. I've been stressing Big Time over this blurb and dealt with the stress in my typical not very good way. I've slept even less than usual; I had even less chocolate than usual. According to my pedometer, I paced three miles yesterday during a brainstorming session, and when The Man came home from work, we had the following conversation:

Him: What are you doing?
Me: Brainstorming.
Him: All over the place, too, from the looks of it.
Me: (screeching in sweet, dulcet tones) Well, I have to get this done!
Him: Maybe I'll just go hide now.

This is kind of like the mess to which The Man come home yesterday. Sorry, hon!

But it's now safe to emerge from hiding because I am currently in possession of a blurb that isn't a complete embarrassment. Probably. Not to get crazy or cocky or anything, but it might even be kind of okay. Maybe. At the very least, I don't feel as terrified at the notion of sharing it with you all today as I did with some of the other blurb drafts. Just the normal amount of terror.

So now, without any further rambling on my part, I present for your consideration and potential ridicule, my current blurb draft.


The survival of a once-mighty kingdom rests in the hands of Queen Haleine Coileáin, as it slowly succumbs to an ancient evil fueled by her husband's own insatiable cruelty.

Haleine is determined to stop it, but the task is such that she cannot hope to succeed on her own. A chance encounter provides the solution, and she joins forces with Dana, the leader of the people's rebellion, giving to him her support, soon followed by her heart.

Loving him is inadvertent but becomes as natural and necessary to her as breathing, so she lies, manipulates, and steals on his behalf; doing anything she can to further his cause. She compromises beliefs held all her life, for what life will exist if the evil continues its campaign unchecked? 

With this in mind, Haleine leaps into a deceiving world of magic, monsters, and gods she never believed existed outside of myth. The deeper she falls, the more her soul is stripped away, but she is desperate to see her quest complete. If she can bring her husband to ruin and save her people, any sacrifice is worth the price—even if it means her life.


And there you have it. Not to be a pushy pain in the butt begging for feedback, but (if you're so inclined) any thoughts, comments, criticisms or whatever else you care to share would be most welcome. Even if it is ridicule. (I can take it. I have vodka.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a desk under which to hide (it won't hide under itself, you know.). Have a great day, and thank you for stopping by. It's always appreciated.


  1. It builds well. The ending is really strong. Maybe just a little tightening of the beginning. It's really coming together though!
    Off to hide now...

    1. Why are you hiding? I said it was safe to come out. I'm the only one who has to hide now.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  2. I agree with Alex that it builds well and ends strong. You did a good job getting the essence of the story down, the stakes, etc.

    I also agree with Alex on tightening up the beginning. I wonder if some of the info is too vague for a back of the book blurb? Would you want to name the kingdom, the king? Mention something specific the king does that's cruel - keep his people hungry, lock up the queen, etc? Give it a little more color, more excitement?

    (I'm not the best with synopses or queries etc, so I tried to look at this as more of a reader than a writer. Not sure how it worked.)

    1. I think it worked just fine. Thank you for taking the time.

  3. I think your blurb is great, and that you don't have anything to worry about!!! Good for you or putting it out there - I know how scary that it.

    I agree with Alex - it just needs tightening up. I have a feeling you're trying to use the same style here as in the book, but for a blurb, you really want the language to be as simple, tight, and clear as possible.

    Here's an example of what I mean: instead of saying "Haleine is determined to stop it, but the task is such that she cannot hope to succeed on her own", how about simplifying, and saying, "Haleine is determined to stop it, but she cannot succeed on her own." Same exact meaning, but much simpler to read.

    1. Well, thank you—you're very kind.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Alas, this blurb doesn't have quite the same impact as Callie's suggestion from the other day. Then again, little does.

    I like the direction you're going, but I'll echo the others before me and say "simplify." Perhaps it's presumptuous of me to attempt to rewrite the beginning -- actually, I know it is -- but I'll give it a shot anyway:

    Queen Haleine's once-mighty kingdom is in the grips of an ancient evil, fueled by her husband's [insatiable cruelty (be more specific)]. She holds the key to her its survival, but the task is too large for one person alone. She secretly joins forces with Dana, the leader of the people's rebellion, and gives him her support, soon followed by her heart.

    Yeah, it's not great, and it's in my voice rather than yours, but perhaps it'll spur some ideas you can use in your own revision. (Or not.) Best of luck!

    1. Yeah, I knew I could never come close to Callie's brilliance. I was just hoping for something passable. And now I'll keep working.

      Thanks for coming by today!

  5. Everyone's already saying be more specific, so I guess I won't be saying that. I think the writing is smooth, although I'd like to know what exactly the evil is and what it's doing.

  6. I think you did amazing. I couldn't tell that it is a work in progress and I would so read this book. Great job! I just feel bad for the queen, who has to go through all that, but a woman has to do, what a woman has to do.

  7. Good job. The first sentence definitely hooked me. You laid what she needed to do to save everything and it had a suspenseful feeling to it. I think you work on it a bit more you can improve it with everyone's suggestion and make it something people can't pass up.

  8. I really like the last paragraph. It sets the scene and really explains the stakes. The first two paragraphs need a little work--perhaps a little more specificity?

    It's coming along. I don't see why you're so worried. It's much better than anything I could come up with. It gives me an idea of what it's about, and I so want to read it!

  9. I HATE writing blurbs, so I feel your pain. But I really like yours. It got me to want to read the book anymore, so you've got your goal.

  10. First off, congrats! Blurbs are always such evil, evil things, so I'm glad you finally managed to churn out a draft! I thought the prose was very smooth, and I absolutely love the last paragraph. It hooked me in, for sure. Good job!

  11. WOW! Yeah, M.J.!
    You are THAT MUCH closer to getting published. I can feel it.
    I'm just going to echo what the other people are saying. A little more specific on the evil, a little less wordy to make it smooth.
    I want to be nervous at the end. Nervous that if I don't read your book, I'll never know what's going to happen to the world.
    Great job, M.J.