Write The Blurb For Your Novel
Write the blurb for your novel – the summary that appears on the back jacket of a book -including some notion of who the central characters are and what happens in the story.
You could include the date or era, the main location, character names, an indication of how the narrative begins, a hint at something that changes for the main character, or something that the character discovers, and some idea of how the story develops thereafter, perhaps with a nod to the state of play at the conclusion without giving too much away, since the notion of a jacket blurb is to tempt and tease without providing the whole plot.
For more guidance on how to write a blurb, have a look at the backs of various novels on your bookshelves, at the library or in a bookshop.
For instance, here is the blurb from the back of the paperback version of The Sisters Brothers by Patrick De Witt, published in 2011.
“It is 1851, and a lust for gold has swept the American frontier. Two brothers – the notorious Eli and Charlie Sisters – are on the road for California, following the trail of an elusive prospector, Herman Kermit Warm. On this odyssey Eli and his brother cross paths with a remarkable cast of characters – losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life – and Eli begins to question what he does for a living and who he does it for.”
Now, write a short blurb for your own novel. This will help you to bear the overall story in mind as you’re writing the actual novel. A blurb is just a starting point and an overview, not a detailed chart, but it should help to keep you on course. And with any luck, once you’ve finished your novel, you’ll have to start writing blurbs for real – so this exercise is also good practice for the future. Find out more
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