Blog Post 20
Promised I would share my pitch and blurb for the novel I’m reworking from a screenplay, High Desert Poem. Wrote the script almost two years ago when I was studying screenwriting to improve the story structure in my novels. Still think screenwriting is the best way to develop story and character arcs that satisfy readers. Anyway, there were a lot of script requests for a small cast in an isolated location, so Alyssa’s story is my attempt to write that type of story.
I taught high school for a lot of years and met many girls like the main character. Today, there are always children growing up with single mom’s or in broken homes. Most are searching for an ideal marriage, perfect home, and all the love they didn’t have growing up. Many of the girls are sub-consciously looking for a father figure in the men they marry.
For me, distilling an entire novel into a single sentence always seems impossible. The blurb at 250 words (a single page) is also daunting. I just do my best. Any comments or suggestions to improve these are welcome.
First, a little on the basics.
A short pitch or logline is a single sentence describing your story or novel. You describe, but don’t name the major characters. Basically, the story explained in 25 words or less. It should include three things. Who is the main character and what does he/she want? Who or what is standing in the way of the main character? What makes this story unique?
“A logline tells us the psychological tension of the main characters, the setting of the story, and shows us where the story goes without giving away the ending,” Nick Blake.
Short Pitch: High Desert Poem – 38 words (goal 25)
A young woman who wants poetry and romance, settles for security by marrying an older man, but then she learns he is a survivalist. Her everyday struggles end in a life or death battle in the desert.
Long blurb or back-of-jacket summary is one of your main selling tools for your book. It needs to convey the theme and emotional content of your novel in a bare bones format. Ideally, this is two paragraphs, but may run as long as three or four, depending on the complexity of your plot. The novel or story in 250 words or less. Most are under 150 words.
Long Blurb: High Desert Poem – 152 words
Alyssa Paige, a young woman raised by a single mother, has never felt loved. When she meets Lars Stedle, the handsome older man offers her marriage and a chance at a real home. Wary, but desperate to escape her present life, she settles for security, hoping love will follow. Once married, she learns Lars isn’t what she thought, but a doomsday Prepper.
Alyssa finds herself living a semi-isolated life in an underground trailer. Every day is harsh and full of challenges and she still doesn’t have the home or children of her dreams. In a community of other survivalist, Rose is the only one she can talk to. After Rose is beaten to death, Alyssa finds her buried body. She doesn’t know who to tell or to turn to for protection. When she talks to the police, Rose’s murderous husband comes after her. Now she is fighting for her life in the desert.
A few sites that I found that were good resources.
http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2010/11/16/how-to-write-back-blurb-for-your-book/ (the best at giving advice)
http://www.theawl.com/2011/04/six-writers-tell-all-about-covers-and-blurbs (six professionally published authors share)