I hate writing blurbs

Posted: May 18, 2012 in Editing, Kikimora, Writing
Tags: , , , ,
Dead tree in yellowstone national park

(last year’s holiday to Yellowstone National Park is proving a great source of atmospheric photos)

I am terrible at writing blurbs for my novels. I agonise over it for hours – weeks – months – years. In the end I reach a level of snowblindness where the words kind of lose all meaning and are just wierd noises.

I now hate the blurb I wrote for Darklands, but have been unable to come up with anything better, so it stays. In any case, there’s probably nothing wrong with it – except my extreme over-familiarity with every damned word of it.

Having read a pretty good post on synopsis writing last week, I’ve been trying to rewrite the blurb for Kikimora. This was the original blurb I came up with last year:

Raised in isolation by a brooding magician and his learned cat, Kikimora has almost come of age – and that means she has a destiny to fulfil. For Kikimora is no ordinary girl, but a monster spun from the breath of an ice wyvern and the crocodile tears of a killer, and her purpose is to wreak vengeance on mankind.

But Kikimora’s nature is not harsh or cruel. Sent out into the human world alone, she will need all of her ingenuity and resourcefulness to overcome the destiny laid out for her, and perhaps find her own path to happiness.

I quite liked this at the time. It captures the fairy tale quality at the heart of the story. But, as a writer friend pointed out, there’s no catch. No hook. No question to be answered.

When I tried to come up with a new blurb using the formula outlined in the post on synopsis writing, I surprised myself by the themes I revealed about my story. I hadn’t actually realised the central dilemma was between love and duty. I’ve been painstakingly re-ordering words for some hours now, and this is what I’ve come up with:

The spirits of Korsakov forest are unhappy, their home under threat from mining pollution. So they enlist the help of the magician, Anatoly, to create for them a fearsome monster.

Spun from the breath of an ice wyvern and the crocodile tears of a killer, Kikimora’s sole purpose is to terrorise the miners and drive them from the forest for ever.

But Anatoly made a mistake, and gave his monster a brave and loving heart.

Kikimora finds that cruelty does not come easily to her. Instead she sees the good in everyone – even the very worst of the miners, the gunpowder master. And the longer she spends trying to torment him, the more her heart rebels against her duty.

When disaster strikes the miners, Kikimora must decide whose side she is on; the men or Anatoly. But saving the miners will mean sacrificing everything – perhaps even her life.

I am not at all sure about this new blurb yet. Odd as it may sound, most of my reluctance stems from it sounding *too much* like a hollywood film trailer :-/ I’d love to hear some opinons. Is it good? Is it bad? Does it give too much away? Does it sound cheesy?

  1. Abigail Watkins says:

    Am looking forward to reading this! Sounds very different to Darklands, but just as intriguing.

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