The troublesome blurb

That sounds like the title of a monster movie, doesn’t it? THE BLURB.

As a writer, I think one of my least favorite things to do is writing the blurb for a new book. One has to remember that a blurb is NOT a summary or a synopsis. It’s basically an advertisement to coax a reader into reading more. You want to present the hook and just enough detail to inspire their curiosity. And generally you want to do this in about 150 words.

So as I’m working on the cover for my upcoming novel Journey to Landaran, I’ve come to this dreaded step. I’d love to get some feedback on this from other writers, so I’ll be sharing this post wherever I have writer friends.

Oh, and by the way. Meet Aidah:

Aidah

Here’s attempt # 1:

Twins born of a magical heritage.

Aidah controls life and spirit while her brother Tavish controls light and heat; a Firestarter. Living sheltered in the mountains, they think little of their abilities, always getting into typical teenage mischief.

Until disaster strikes.

Two nations fight for possession of the twins, forcing them to flee. With their uncle and a talking dog as companions, Aidah and Tavish must make the perilous journey to Landaran, city of the Protector. They will need all their skills, all their cunning along the way, against enemies, against nature, and most of all against themselves.

For they say Spirit Mages are either angels or devils. And Firestarters are ruled by emotion.

And here’s attempt #2:

The power to read minds. To possess bodies. To travel inside dreams.  In the world of Ernid, Spirit is the ultimate power.

Aidah and her twin brother Tavish Dernholt have grown up hidden away from the political maneuverings of mages born and bred to rule. That is about to change. Aidah begins seeing visions through her brother’s eyes. He struggles to control his own powers of light and heat, a Firestarter. But nothing in their experience can prepare them for what is to come.

Nations will go to war over them.

As lightning strikes and enemy forces converge, Aidah and Tavish must flee everything they have ever known. To Landaran, city of the Republic, home of the Protector.  To safety.

But will the twins ever be safe from their own powers?

Thoughts?

Update 10/9:

Okay, I had it reworked in one of the Goodreads forums to make it shorter and punchier. In general, Version 2 seems to be more popular.

So Version 3:
The power to read minds. To possess bodies. To travel inside dreams. In the world of Ernid, Spirit is the ultimate power.

Aidah and her twin brother Tavish Dernholt have grown up hidden away from the political maneuverings of mages born and bred to rule. That is about to change. They say Spirit Mages are either angels or devils, and Firestarters are ruled by emotion.

Nations will go to war over them.

I think I’m getting close here.

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3 responses to “The troublesome blurb

  1. I like both, but Version Two is the one that seems to intrigue me a bit more. There seems to be a bit more at stake, a little more adventure and danger involved. However, it depends on the audience you are trying to reach.

  2. I think the second one is better but needs a tweak to get it to flow better. It’s more like a synopsis. Try this

    Hidden from birth, twin sister and brother Aidah and Tavish Dernholt, are unaware they possess powers which are a political threat to mages born to rule [place?]. That changes when Aidah begins seeing visions through her brother’s eyes.

    Aidah discovers her power to read minds, possess bodies and travel inside dreams. Tavish struggles to control his powers of light and heat. A fire starter, he is as much of a danger to themselves as he is to [insert name of opposing force]

    Nothing in their experience can prepare them for what is to come.

    Nations will go to war over them.

    As lightning strikes and enemy forces converge, Aidah and Tavish must flee everything they have ever known to the safety of Landaran, city of the Republic, home of the Protector.

    Will the twins reach Landarin and be safe from their own powers and [who are they fleeing]?

    authorhannahgraham.blogspot.com

  3. Definitely version two. It seems punchier. The only thing I didn’t like was “a firestarter.” I don’t think it’s necessary to name his gift here–you didn’t name hers, and the power of heat and light tell me enough.

    Just MHO. Sounds like a great story, though!

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