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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Still no improvement in my blurb writing skills. This is my attempt for the first of the 14 episodes in my new serial. Each episode runs 14-19,000 words. (This one comes in at 16,100.) Target audience is 16-25 year old females. I can't really call it "Coming of Age" because sex is handled without graphic details. I think this blurb needs a lot of help from all you experts out there:

"Break away, Hayley, break away!" Anna implored her beloved great-niece so many times. Hayley hears the words again as the lawyer reads the terms of the trust.

At twenty one, the college senior still lives at home and follows all the rules. In accepting Anna's bequest, she disobeys her parents and leaves school mid-year to move into Anna's upscale New York City apartment.

BEGINNING is the first of fourteen episodes in which Hayley explores far flung corners of the world, and also herself. Romance finds her more than once, sometimes with the right guys and sometimes with the wrong ones.


EDIT to make type font legible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oops! How did that happen. I'll be right back. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My computer skills are almost as bad as my blurb skills. I did a 'cut and paste' that went very wrong. So, I just typed it in directly. That made it readable. It didn't help the blurb any though. :-X
 

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My first thought is it's not very exciting. In particular, this:

Sapphire said:
At twenty one, the college senior still lives at home and follows all the rules. In accepting Anna's bequest, she disobeys her parents and leaves school mid-year to move into Anna's upscale New York City apartment.
seems to be missing a big chunk of "and" at the end of it. And what? What does she do when she moves in? Redecorate? Watch TV? Abseil from the top floor? I have no idea what I'm supposed to expect from this story.
 

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I'm hopeless at blurbs, but I was going to write something similar to what Lydniz just said. I think you need more specifics about what is going to happen in THIS chapter, rather than just a general overview of the serial. Hope that helps  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, you're both right. Give me a half-hour. I'm going to come at it from a different angle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK, maybe this one will give us something we can work with:


A summons from Anna's lawyer, an untouched apartment, and a box of books with blank pages--

Twenty one year old Hayley must put her senior year of college on hold to accept her great aunt's bequest. How does a girl go from living in her childhood bedroom to an upscale New York City apartment? How does she travel the world when her parents haven't ever crossed the state line? And how does she handle sexual attraction when she's never had a real boyfriend?

"Break away, Hayley, break away!" Those were the words she heard so many times from Anna. That meant breaking the rules, all the rules she'd always followed. Before her year of adventure even begins, she survives war with her parents, a rape attempt, a sleazy cab driver, and a cold fish of a man who controls the purse strings. Unknown risks may lie ahead, but the biggest risk of all is saying no to the bequest and settling for a predictable but boring life.

BEGINNING is the first of fourteen episodes in which Hayley explores far flung corners of the world, and also herself. Romance finds her more than once, sometimes with the right guys and sometimes with the wrong ones.
 

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I think the first part is a lot better - up until 'Break away...' I've made a few changes below, but I still think it needs more work.

A summons from Anna's lawyer, an untouched apartment, and a box of books with blank pages--

Twenty one year old Hayley must put her senior year of college on hold to accept her great aunt's bequest. How does a girl go from living in her childhood bedroom to an upscale New York City apartment? How does she travel the world when her parents haven't ever crossed the state line? And how does she handle sexual attraction when she's never had a real boyfriend?

"Break away, Hayley, break away!" She'd heard this so many times, but it meant breaking the rules... the rules she'd always followed.

BEGINNING is the first of fourteen episodes in which Hayley explores far flung corners of the world, and also herself. Romance finds her more than once, sometimes with the right guys and sometimes with the wrong ones.

I'm useless at writing blurbs, so feel free to ignore the changes I've made, but I do think you need to think again about the second part of the description. It just doesn't grab me.  :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Annabel Chant, your version reads better.


I still can't figure out how to get tension in it. And how do I hook that particular demographic?
 

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A lawyer's summons, an untouched apartment, and a box of books, all with blank pages--

Twenty one year old Hayley puts her senior year of college on hold to fulfil her great aunt's bequest. But how does a girl go from living in her childhood bedroom to an upscale New York City apartment? How does she travel the world when she's never crossed the state line? And how does she handle sexual attraction when she's never even had a boyfriend?

"Break away, Hayley, break away!" She's heard it so many times, from so many people, but breaking away means breaking the rules... the rules she's always played by.

BEGINNING follows Hayley's bid for freedom, as she explores the world, herself, and what it means to love. The first in a new coming-of-age serial by the author of...

It's not perfect, I realise, and the last line needs some more work, but it's the best I can do  :) Hope it helps but, again, feel free to disregard!
 

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Just to add:

You might want to add a line after 'played by.' beginning: When a... (something to do with a key episode/theme/character in the book) and follow it up with a rhetorical question.

Just for an example: When an exciting date becomes an escaped rape, will she be able to pick up the pieces and follow her heart? Or something along those lines. Just to give it an additional hook. But then, you don't want to give too much away either, so... I don't know.

I did say I'm not much good with blurbs! There's a thin line between hooking the reader and spoiling a key scene. I hope it helps one way or another, anyway  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It sounds to me like you're pretty good at blurbs. This one is especially important because it kicks off a serial. If no one read Episode 1, they sure won't read Episodes 2 through 14.
 

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We miss you, Harvey Chute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
TeaBell, this is a perfect example of "less is more." I do think I need to add that this is the first of 14 episodes.


All these suggestions sound far more interesting than my feeble attempt. Anyone else have any thoughts on this? Are we catching the ear of the 16-25 age group of females?
 

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Hi, Sapphire.

Like Teabell's version a lot.
You're probably right to want to indicate that it's the
1st of 14, etc.

For me, the dreaded blurb is just not something I ever look forward
to. Good thing is we have peeps on the board who are really
skilled at it. The blurb doc himself, Lummox, Jr., would be one;
others would be Marina Finlayson, Bluebonnet, Jack Krenneck, et al.

Could be they're either away from their computer, or just didn't see your thread.
I'd PM some of these folks. You need a top-notch blurb to get the series
off to a great start.

Hope this helps.
 

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  Twenty -one year old Hayley feels grateful, but trapped, living in her parent's house. Grateful because it allows her to financially finish her senior year of college. Trapped because she's following the rules, not making them.
  "Break away! Live your life on your own terms." That's what her Aunt Anna always told her. Easy to say. Tempting. But, under her circumstances, impossible to do.
    Anna's death, and a surprise trust left in Hayley's name, changes all that.
    Against her parent's wishes she leaves college and moves into her aunt's upscale New York City apartment that was also left to her as part of the will.
    Now what?

    Read "BEGINNING" the first in a fourteen - part series and find out.
   
 

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I don't know, Sapphire, but the quote bothers me: "Break away..."
Is there any way to say the same thing without using a direct quote?
Are quotes normally used in blurbs? (I don't mean endorsements; which is fine)

Maybe it's just me.
You probably need the info conveyed in the quote, so I get that,
it's just that I'm not comfortable with it being a quote. 

My 2 cents.
 

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I like Tea Bell's version, but I'd like to know more about the particular stakes in this episode. Presumably there are strings attached to the bequest of the apartment? She has to live there for a year? Travel the world and fill in the blank books with tales of her adventures? I'll take a stab at it based on that assumption.

Haley's Aunt Anna always begged her to get out and live her life, but twenty-one-year-old Hayley has always followed the rules, not broken them. So Anna tries one last trick: in her will she leaves Hayley an apartment in New York and a box of empty books. If Hayley wants the apartment she must travel the world and fill the books with the stories of her adventures.

It's a scary prospect for someone who's never even left her home state. The world's a dangerous place, but the biggest danger may be one Hayley never expected, in the form of tall, dark and handsome Mr X [okay, I'm obviously making stuff up here, but I think something more concrete here about the "sexual attraction" you mentioned might be appealing to the target audience, particularly if that's a major part of this first instalment].

Hayley's never been a risk-taker, but the biggest risk of all might be saying no--to Aunt Anna's bequest, and to the whisperings of her own heart.

BEGINNING is the first of fourteen episodes charting Hayley's exploration of the world in her bid for freedom.
 

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Aww Marina beat me to the punch =P Here's a whack at it nonethless, expanding on some of the other wonderful suggestions here :)

====================

Prim and proper college senior Haylee Lastname receives a great aunt's bequest--but following through with it will mean going against her parent's wishes. If she accepts, she'll get to move into an upscale New York apartment ... and begin an exciting new life as a Manhattanite.

But she's never even crossed state lines before, or had a boyfriend--or done anything remotely against the rules.

Beginning follows Hayley's bid for freedom as she explores the world, herself, and what it means to love. The first in a new coming-of-age serial by the author of...

====================

Feel free to ignore it all, of course :)

EDIT: Ooooo Marina's has some juicy stuff in it! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Now I have to figure out how to incorporate the best of everyone's ideas and suggestions. This has been a full day and I'm about to crash. I'll take a fresh look at this after a good night's sleep and see what I can do with it. What is so blasted hard for me about writing a blurb anyway? It makes me want to pull my hair out. Marina, I must say you deduced the gist of the story pretty well.
 
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