Tuesday, February 21, 2017

3T Writing Tidbit

Blurbs. We all hate 'em, but we gotta write 'em.

Some people are actually good at blurbs, even exceptional. I bow to all blurb writers, especially the one who whipped Passion Bites into shape. Here is what I sent in:

When a blond god blows into Alexis Byornsson’s emergency room and interrupts her treating a little girl, Alexis is furious. Or, not furious exactly, because Alexis is known as Dr. Frozen, but severely, finger-shakingly disapproving.  Then he kisses her breathless, and Alexis is stunned, her logical armor shaken, when what should be a nice release of endorphins breaks into a steamy tropical storm.

Luke Steel hasn’t felt passion since his wife died in a brutal attack three hundred years ago and he felt powerless to save her. Alexis shocks him by bringing good things to life in more ways than one. Mates are forever, so what the hell is going on?

Then an old frenemy takes off the gloves. With Alexis’s life at stake, all-consuming passion is the one thing neither Luke nor Alexis can afford, yet the one thing that will never let them go.

Here is what I got back:

Dr. Alexis Byornsson has her hands full in the ER when her patient’s uncle blows into the exam room. Stitching up a five-year-old’s cut is hard enough without a blond god distracting her all to hell.

To say she’s furious is putting it mildly—not that anyone would notice. Not with the legendary control that’s earned her the nickname “Dr. Frozen”.

Luke Steel never knew a woman chastising him could be so sexy. But for the first time in three hundred years, passion stirs in his gut—along with panic. Since his wife was taken before his eyes in a brutal attack, he’s sworn he’d never feel that powerless again.

Almost before either Luke or Alexis realize what’s happening, they’re sharing a blazing kiss that shatters her logical armor and unleashes his wholly unwanted mating instinct. And spurs a closer-than-skin enemy to put into motion a devastating plan for revenge.

 Let's look at some of the changes:
  • I started with the blond god. Blurb writer started with the main character's name and her situation.
  • I had "interrupts her treating a little girl". BW has Alexis's "hands full in the ER" and "stitching up a five-year-old" (interrupts vs. hands full and treating vs. stitching, each more active or descriptive).
  • I had Alexis furious at the interruption.  BW differentiated that it was the distraction from her work that made her furious, showing her to be conscientious, not contentious. 
  • BW kept my verb "blows into", noun "blond god", and nickname "Dr. Frozen".
  • I had the kiss as part of Alexis's paragraph. BW moved it down to the third paragraph (the couple's interaction paragraph).
  • I had a paragraph for Alexis, one for Luke, and one for their enemy. BW gave an intro to Alexis meeting Luke, a paragraph for Alexis's initial problem, a paragraph to Luke and his problem, and a paragraph to combining their romantic attraction and their enemy.
  • I had "Luke hadn't felt passion". BW punched that up to "For the first time in 300 years, passion stirs in his gut" and then yanks it 180 with the "--along with panic". True genius.
  • I had "frenemy". BW has "closer-than-skin enemy".

There's more, but I'll let you figure out the rest.

But as you can see, a good blurb is worth 200 words, but a good blurb writer is worth a helluva lot more.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.


  1. Hi Mary, I was the one who worked up your blurb. I'm thrilled you were happy with the result! I'll tell you a little secret - I love writing blurbs for other authors, but I have trouble writing blurbs for my own books! I think it's because authors are too close to their own work to be objective about it. :)

    Thank you for your kind words! I hope we'll have the chance to work together again. :)


    1. Hi Carolan! I never knew the identity of my Samhain blurb writer until now. Okay, secret--this is a little like shaking hands with a rockstar I never expect to meet. lol.

      What you say makes a lot of sense. I know I have to take a couple steps back from my story before I can even think in terms of synopses and blurbs. But even so, in my experience, you add both sparkle and depth to the blurb while really revealing a story's essence.

      Thank you for all the work you did at Samhain! Hope to work with you again too!