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Old 10-23-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
mr ploppy
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Good, bad or ugly book blurb?

Bare Knuckle Bitch

I was just your average street-fighting hustler, yeah? Smacking people around for fun and taking the contents of their wallets to pay for a night out on the booze with my mate Shaz. Life was simple back then. We were always skint but it was a good laugh.

Then I met this skinhead called Dave. He’s a bit rough-looking, but that’s the way I like them. A proper man, yeah? Not like that bunch of useless walking pricks who beg for mercy as soon as you raise your fist to them.

Dave introduced me to the world of underground cage fighting, something I didn’t even know existed, and a way to use my skills to make some serious money. Enough to get a deposit together for a bedsit so that I don’t have to put up with my pathetic dad any more.

Dave introduced me to some other stuff too, but I’ll let you read about that for yourself. That’s if you think you're hard enough. Either way, if you ever see me on the streets you'd better stay out of my way or I'll deck you.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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I like it, especially the first-person-ness of it. Not sure if the question marks go with the "yeah" phrases. And there should be some better-sounding slang for "pathetic." Might be more amusing to end with "... or I'll take your wallet."
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
...taking the contents of their wallets... Dave introduced me to the world of...
A bit, like, literate... yeah?

Then he took me to this, like, cagefighting place, yeah? And I'm like woah! That's so ****ing me, right?

How do you spell woah?

Last edited by MartinC; 10-24-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:51 PM   #4
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A bit, like, literate... yeah?

Then he took me to this, like, cagefighting place, yeah? And I'm like woah! That's so ****ing me, right?

How do you spell woah?
How would you expect a female bare knuckle figher to talk? She wouldn't be right with a posh voice, she'd have to smash restaurants up and become a politician instead.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:33 PM   #5
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I will venture into this discussion for one reason. The importance of the blurb.

First a clarification:
If you are already a success and people are looking for your next work, just go back to your writing.

Otherwise pay close attention.

Blurbs are the single most important piece of writing most authors do and they usually don't do it that well.

There will be several blurbs for any book and sometimes many possibilities as to where to put them, and I count the front cover as a kind of blurb. There are the jacket spaces, the inside cover, the inside and outside of the back cover, the prologue, the sign in the store, the spiel on your or the publishers or sellers site, any place that you can get some words in. Every word is important and needs to be weighed as to whether it will pique interest in the reader. You need to take charge of all those chances to influence a buyer, unless you are positive that the person doing it is better at blurbs than you.

Every one of the blurbs should give information that is not just a rubber stand of the other blurbs. The wording will be about the book, about all your books, about you, about how your subject, your character, your world fits into the universe or into a small town or whatever. Each should have a different slant or add a bit of information to the pattern.

An interested reader should desire, but not need to check out each blurb just as he will desire to read each section of the book.

As for the above blurb, I get what the author is trying to say. The single most important thing I can say about the blurb itself is that the first person voice, the tone, the language and indeed the reasoning need to be more even, more readily character identifiable.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:23 AM   #6
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Very timely. I'm trying to write the blurb for my first book now - well, rewrite it, I've made several attempts over the last two years since I completed the first draft. I know it must be brief (which is always hard for me). I know it should entice the reader. But none of that gets me very far.

What I like about this example above is that it shows something of the nature of the book simply in the way it is presented, I find that intriguing. I can't really think how I can apply that in my own case, but it's definitely interesting.

Mr Ploppy: FWIW I like the blurb. Without reading the book I won't know if it's an accurate portrayal, but it definitely seems to give a strong impression of what I might expect if I did read it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:33 PM   #7
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The book itself is written from Abby's perspective and full of yeah, etc. But you're right, the blurb is always the hardest part.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
The book itself is written from Abby's perspective and full of yeah, etc. But you're right, the blurb is always the hardest part.
I like the blurb as well. In the first paragraph I'm being pedantic, but I'd stick a comma in here:
Quote:
I was just your average street-fighting hustler, yeah? Smacking people around for fun and taking the contents of their wallets to pay for a night out on the booze with my mate Shaz. Life was simple back then. We were always skint, but it was a good laugh.
I think the title of the book will sell it or at least get you a lot of interest.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:21 AM   #9
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Yes, the blurb works for me too. It strongly introduces the character of Abby and makes you want to know more about her story. Maybe a little tidying up here and there might be in order but not much. Too much working it over could ruin the freshness.

And actually I like the 'pathetic' father as for me, anyway,it shows a vulnerability in Abby that the other language doesn't. Was this intentional? If she's really a totally tough chic then change pathetic for something tougher.
It's got me in.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Katel View Post

And actually I like the 'pathetic' father as for me, anyway,it shows a vulnerability in Abby that the other language doesn't. Was this intentional?
That would depend on whether I cut the mum & dad subplot and go all out for mayhem or not.

I'm a bit worried people might think I'm trying to imply problems with her family are responsible for her violence. They're not, she just likes beating people up.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:14 AM   #11
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I have no interest in reading a book about underground cage fighters, but I would read that book based on the blurb; it makes the main character seem interesting and the writing style really resonates for me.

I realize gushing praise is nice to hear but not particularly helpful, but I really have no changes to suggest that wouldn't compromise the tone of the blurb.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:37 PM   #12
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Is this any better (or worse)? The cover image is on my blog.

Me and Shaz were just your average girls about town, yeah? Getting smashed out of our heads and smacking people around for fun and profit. Life was simple back then. We were always skint, but it was a good laugh. Except for my pathetic useless dad and his constant whinging, but you can’t have everything.

Then I met this skinhead called Dave.

He’s a bit rough-looking, but that’s the way I like them. A proper man, yeah? Not like that bunch of useless walking pricks who beg for mercy as soon as you raise your fist to them. It turns out Dave knows this geezer who organises cage fights, he says I’d be a natural at that.

I’m not really interested until he tells me how much they pay the fighters. Just one fight and I’ll have enough to pay the deposit on a bedsit of my own. I won’t need to put up with my dad any more, and it’ll be endless parties from then on.

Well what would you do?
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:51 PM   #13
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Holy elephant-arm! I feel like she needs a different expression. That one comes across as neutral. Not enough hate, amusement, or sneering.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:04 PM   #14
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I am partial to the classic three paragraph blurb format.

I think your blurb first draft is interesting. I would add some "punch" (pun intended) to the middle section. That is where the protagonist's world is really supposed to be rocked.

Is the introduction to underground fighting the biggest thing that ever happened to your protagonist? Or was it meeting that other fighter? Neither?

Last edited by Gregory Faccone; 12-19-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:27 AM   #15
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In the end, I've gone for this instead:

This ain’t no Chick-Lit!

Best friends Abby and Shaz like nothing more than sticking the boot into some mug after a night out on the piss. That look of sheer terror on the bloke’s face when he first realises what’s coming his way. The way he begs for mercy right up until the moment he loses consciousness. It’s the best buzz ever.

The money in their wallets is just a bonus, a means to an end. Men are just walking pricks with money there for the taking. Treat them as anything else and they’ll walk all over you.

At least that’s what Abby used to think, until she met the skinhead. He taught her men aren’t all the same, and showed her a different way to live. A way to make some serious money from doing what she loves best – hurting people.

There’s just one problem – what will Shaz have to say about all this when Abby starts spending more and more time with the skinhead instead of her?
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