|Kitty's little dog Spade, sometimes known as 'No-Spade-No!'|
Dognapped? A Dog Show Detective Mystery is almost ready for release. As the cover is getting put together by the team at Book Cover Cafe, I'm writing the blurb. Hey, it's just a short description for the back of the book, how hard can it be?
Um, yeah. How to summarise the story without making it sound dull or too complicated?
There are no rules, but, I try to include: Character (this is the most important part for me), premise or plot, setting, conflict and a hint at the theme or message of the story (although I don't think it needs to be stated). Then I try to find a creative way to portray this, so it doesn't read like a list.
So how do you start? I cheat. Yep, I do. I grabbed about twenty novels in the same genre (girls' mystery novel) then rewrote their blurb out with my story's information.
Here's an example changing Trixie Beldon's story to suit mine:
Kitty can't believe she's stuck in this sleepy little town with nothing to do and no friends. Then she enters her miniature schnauzer Spade into the local dog show, and things start to liven up. A lost dog is found, and another stolen, a secret inheritance is revealed and Kitty teams up with an unlikely sleuthing partner. Could all this lead to murder? Maybe living in the country won't be so boring after all!
I didn't stop there. I rewrote at least ten more. By the time I finished this exercise I knew which things were important for me to include, and what could be left out. If the blurb is too long, the reader will lose interest. Then I took the parts I loved, tweaked and merged them and came up with this:
One dog found
One dog stolen
A mysterious will
All this equals murder!
Introducing Kitty Walker and her mischievous dog Spade in the first Dog Show Detective Mystery:
Twelve-year-old Kitty, friendless bookworm and amateur sleuth. All she wants is to gain her mother's attention, spend time with Spade and avoid Miss Perfect, Jessica Jones. But now she needs Jessica's help to find the owner of a lost dog, hunt down a dognapper and solve a murder!
Can you solve the mystery before Kitty?
And look, I managed to get a list in! What do you think, does it work? Do you like writing blurbs? Any tips on blurb-writing?