How to write an irresistible book blurb in five easy steps

“Your blurb will be an important part of your marketing. It is vital to get a reader’s attention. To write a good blurb, you have to make it short. Cut out sub-plots. Add tension to make it dramatic. Try not to mention more than two character’s names, and promise your audience a read they won’t forget.

I’ve come up with this easy acronym to help you create a blurb. I call it SCOPE. Follow these five pointers and see if it works for you.

Setting
Conflict
Objective
Possible Solution
Emotional Promise

  1. Setting: All stories involve characters who are in a certain setting at a certain time. 
  2. Conflict: A good story places these characters in a situation where they have to act or react. A good way to start this part of your blurb is with the words: But, However, Until
  3. Objective: What do your characters need to do?
  4. Possible Solution: Offer the reader hope here. Show them how the protagonist can overcome. Give them a reason to pick up the book. Use the word ‘If’ here.
  5. Emotional Promise: Tell them how the book will make them feel. This sets the mood for your reader.

I saw The Edge of Tomorrow today, and I decided to write a blurb using this formula.

Example

  1. London. The near future. Aliens have invaded Earth and colonised Europe. Major William Cage is a PR expert for the US Army, which is working with the British to prevent the invaders from crossing the English Channel. Battle after battle is lost until an unexpected victory gives humanity hope.
  2. But the enemy is invincible. A planned push into Europe fails and Cage finds himself in a war he has no way to fight, and he is killed. However, he wakes up, rebooted back a day every time he dies.
  3. He lives through hellish day after day, until he finds another soldier, Sergeant Rita Vrataski, who understands what he can do to fight the enemy. Cage and Vrataski have to take the fight to the aliens, learning more after each repeated encounter.
  4. If they succeed, they will destroy the enemy, and save Earth.
  5. This thrilling action-packed science fiction war story will show you how heroes are made and wars can be won. Against the odds.

SCOPE will work for any blurb. Why don’t you try it?”

This interesting article was taken from:
http://writerswrite.co.za/how-to-write-an-irresistible-book-blurb-in-five-easy-steps

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It Bites and Poisons

I abruptly yanked my hand back when I accidentally touched the hot kettle. I quickly stuck my finger under the cold running water and smiled. Now, this might seem weird, I just burned my hand, and yet, I am smiling. The usual protocol would be to yell, cry, or be shocked quiet. And, no, I am not a sadist. Here’s the reason why – I am glad that I still have my right hand. The pain is just a reminder that I could have lost this arm.

I am a biology teacher and an avid photographer. Combine this two qualities, add a nice forest – by my house – to the mix, and you get a person that regularly takes hikes in the wooded area.

On that fateful day, I had taken my camera out and went towards the forest, in hopes of spotting this flower that I had spotted in one of my earlier hikes. I wanted to see if it were not fully bloomed.

I tramped towards the spot, brushing aside overhanging branches, preventing them from slapping me, and ferns that threatened to sweep my face. At last, I came to my destination.

The flower was gorgeous! It measured about ten centimeters from the furthest opposite end of each petal. It had a bluish hue to it, almost going into a violet color, but not quite. Even from a few feet away from it, I could smell its wonderful, flowery scent wafting towards me.

I walked forward and reached out my hand to push aside the small bush that was blocking part of the flower. That’s when the snake decided to bite. I gasped aloud and abruptly pulled back my hand and blindly shuffled backwards, as far as I could from the snake. All the while, trying to take in as much descriptive information of the snake.

I looked down at my right hand and saw the tell-tale snake bite marks. It was starting to swell. The color was slowly turning towards an angry red. I was starting to feel nauseated. I realized with dismay that I had left my phone and car keys at home.

But, first things first, I had to stop the venom from spreading, especially since I was going to be walking. I quickly undid my belt, tied it around my hand – slightly above the wound – and tightened it as tight as I dared. I then set off to my house.

By the time I reached the house, my hand felt like I had dunked it into a cauldron of boiling oil; I was staring to gasp for breath, and my vision was starting to get blurry. I snatched up my keys and phone. I fumbled a bit with the phone before I managed to dial the local clinic near my house.

“Hello, Florida State Clinic, how may I help you?” a female voice answered.

“I just got bitten by a snake. I am on my way to the clinic now. I am quite sure that it was a copperhead. It was about seventy centimeters in length, of a reddish-brown, coppery color, plump.” I blurted as I started pulling out of my drive way. I know, it was probably hazardous to drive and talk on the phone – even more so when you have just have been bitten by a snake. However, all these seems trivial when you start hyperventilating, wondering if every breath you take would be your last.

“All right. We will have the anti-venom ready for you, and a medic team present as soon as you arrive.”

Thank God that the roads were fairly empty. I only encountered two cars on my way to the clinic. I saw the sign for the clinic and swerved into the drive way. The medic team was present and as soon as I tumbled out of the car, they hurried over.

They lifted me up to the gurney, but not before I lurched to the side and vomited. When I lay back down, I felt the gurney being pushed forward, and then I lost all consciousness.

Needless to say, I made it back to good health. The doctor had been mildly surprised that the poison hadn’t taken my arm. He did pointedly say that it was probably because of the quick actions that I took.

I merely smiled for I knew that it was not by my strength. When I went back home, I cautiously went back to the flower. This time, I brought my baseball bat and a long pole to push aside that same bush which the snake had been hiding in. The coast was clear.

Finally, I managed to take the photos of the flower that started it all.

 

AN: I have never been bitten by a snake, never had any experience with handling snakes. Therefore, I do not have any firsthand experience with this kind of scenarios. This original short story is just based on the first aid that I have learned, and from research regarding poisonous snakes. For those with experience, please feel free to comment on any mistakes!

The Hike

An original short story. Hope you guys enjoy it.

August 17, 2012, is a day I will never forget; for, God’s hand was surely over my friend, June, and I.

This was our third and last day in the forest already. My best friend and I had this yearly habit of taking time off from work and family to spend some time in nature and catch up with each other.

Right now, the weather was perfect. The streams of sunlight pierced through the even spread of foliage, giving the surroundings a natural lighting. Dew still rested lightly on the carpeted forest floor.

June was telling me about her seven-year old Kate being excited to enter first grade. I listened with a mixture of happiness and sadness. I was happy that June was the joyful mother of two kids; but I, married to Gary for seven years now, still had no children.

June was going on about how Kate had picked her own stationary and school bag, when, abruptly, her speech morphed into a scream. I turned my head to face her and shock punched me in the guts. Behold, a bear had reared up on its hind legs right in front of June and slashed its paw downwards, hitting her square in the side. It sent her flying, knocking her out as she hit a tree. That just left me staring wide-eyed and gaping at the bear. The bear stood eight feet tall and looked to weigh about two hundred kilograms. There was a wild look in it beady brown eyes. When it roared at me, I finally snapped out of it.

Adrenaline started pumping into every crevice of my body. I took out the Glock strapped onto the back of my bag. However, instead of lunging at me, it turned towards June and lumbered over.

I was bewildered, wondering what it was going to do. But, I didn’t to find out, for I shot it. *BANG* went the gun. I had aimed for its head, but my shot went to low and hit it in the side. Oops I thought. Angered, the bear turned around and thundered towards me.

I turned and fled. I must say, that was the fastest I have ever ran in my life. The forest floor, thank God, was relatively even, and there was no over hanging branches that could reach out their gnarly finger to scratch you.

I tried my best to get far ahead of it so that I could turn around and get another shot at it. To my horror, I felt the bear’s hot and fetid breath on my neck, making every hair on my neck stand straight up, before it swiped its paw and swept me off my feet.

Now, I was facing it, while lying on my back. Staring into the eyes of the beast, my life flashed before me. Everything moved in slow-motion. I remembered every tiny thing that I did just before I went hiking. Like how I had kissed my husband goodbye before the hike. How I had felt as I had slept under the stars last night. Ha! I didn’t want to die yet, though.

I thanked God once again when I found the gun still in my hand. It was now or never. I hysterically fired into the bear’s face, emptying the entire magazine in the Glock.

It swayed slightly before falling straight towards me. I quickly rolled away; alas, I was not fast enough. One of its claws found its way to my face, leaving a scratch about half a centimeter deep from my cheek to my chin. I stumbled onto my feet and nearly fell back down.

The adrenaline now gone, and the shock from almost being killed now taking over, I felt like retching everything in my stomach.

I hurried back to June. It was easy to track my way back, even with blood and sweat starting to spread across my face. The wreckage left by the chase – trampled plants, overturned earth – stood out like a neon sign.

June was still unconscious when I reached her. Her side had stopped bleeding, and on closer inspection, the three cuts on her side were not very deep. Hesitantly, I tapped her and called her name.

To my surprise, she opened her eyes and winced. Being overjoyed that we had survived without any major injuries; we hugged each other and thanked God for keeping us safe.