Saturday, April 12, 2014

Keep the Change

Welcome to the A to Z challenge - Killer, dude!

A to Z Writing advice:
KISS (Keep It Short & Simple) – when writing queries and blurbs, you can't get into the juicy details. You have to tempt readers, agents, etc, with a brilliant taste of what's to come, an appeteaser, making them hungry for more. And a blurb is the shortest! But that's all anyone wants to hear when they ask: What's it about? They just want a quick few words to decide if they even want to read the back cover! My advice (which I got from SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder):
  • to sum up your story in one sentence, label the character and sell the twist - "It's about a broom salesman who falls in love with a witch" - get to the crux of the story
  • memorize your blurb, you never know when you'll be on an elevator with an agent, hence, the elevator pitch
  • try it out on strangers, get their reactions, like when waiting in line at Starbucks (this part I struggle with, but it sounds good!)
Easy? No way! I know, it's very hard to pack all that awesome into a couple of lines or paragraphs - but you can do it!!

Visiting BROKEN BRANCH FALLS (MG Fantasy) Teenage fantasy creatures in high school break the rules, causing chaos. Gabe the goblin leads a quest to find the Book of Ages, hoping it can help save BROKEN BRANCH FALLS:

kiss - yes, there's a sweet kiss scene in my MG fantasy. I love a little romance =)





And for laughs:
An alphabetical list of reasons men are happier people... 

K is for Keeper
Men get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness

22 comments:

P V Ariel said...

Hi Tara,
Nice to be here,
Part of this years a to z i am here, good to read this piece. Very interesting one. have a happy weekend.
~ Philip

Sarah Foster said...

I always struggle when people ask what my story is about. I think I need to actually write up a quick little description that gets the point across without explaining too much. I could never in a million years go up to a stranger and tell them! Yikes!

randi lee said...

KISS--I LOVE this, and it's so, so true! Thanks for keeping an explanation about shortness and simplicity so short and simple! Nicely done.

Sophie Duncan said...

I'd never thought of trying it out on someone in a shop queue before - god I'd have to be brave to do that. Although Brits do start to chat when they are stuck in a queue, it's the one place we seem to get over our inhibitions - I was at the cinema recently waiting to see Coriolanus and there were a load of us hovering round awkwardly - as soon as the cinema decided to find us somewhere to queue, we were all chatting away like old friends ;P
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

Kimberly said...

I love Save the Cat, I refer to that often because there is such good info in there. :)

cleemckenzie said...

Where can I buy the story about the broom salesman and the witch? :-)

As to kissing in YA. . .Y Not? Some nice smooching, especially with those green lips, is perfect to add a touch of romance.

I'm going give the man in my life a little extra credit today.

Calli D said...

Great tips about keeping everything short and sweet. As a rambler this is definitely something I struggle with :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey! I resemble that.
Save the Cat is an awesome book. I actually find it easier to sum up my books in a line or two than in a couple short paragraphs.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm getting better at writing blurbs and oneliners. I think. LOL

sydneyaaliyah.com said...

Save the Cat is my favorite writing advice book. Great stuff.

Fifi Islaih said...

Yes to all the things mentioned!

S. L. Hennessy said...

I could have used this advice so many times. I'll remember for next time. KISS.

debi o'neille said...

Great post. I love it! The advice is spot on.
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

The Armchair Squid said...

Kiss is a popular choice today. Happy K Day!

Lori L MacLaughlin said...

I think that's the hardest thing I've had to do with my writing -- boil a whole novel into one sentence. Thanks for more great advice!

Sarah Chafin said...

Great advice! I'm horrible at writing blurbs.

Carrie-Anne said...

Learning how to condense a long book into a succinct pitch is an artform and a very valuable skill to have. I got some wonderful advice from Diane Holmes of the former Pitch University on how to do this for a saga.

Michelle Wallace said...

Try it on strangers? Eeeek!
Well, there is this bank teller who keeps on asking me when's the book coming out... maybe I should try it out on him...

Suzi said...

Hmmm. I don't read much MG. I'm curious about how the kissing scenes go. Probably more sweet than hot, huh? Or probably more not as all. :)(Did that last line make sense? Cause it makes total sense in my head.)

Robin said...

I am still trying to find that perfect sentence that captures the essence of my book. Gah.

celinejeanjean.com said...

Great advice on the Keep It Short and Simple! :-)

Trisha F said...

I definitely have not mastered the enticing blurb, or the logline. I did write one great logline that got me an agent's attention, but that is just for one of 12 novels I've written. :P