Monday, December 10, 2012

Blurb is the word

The art of summarizing an article or story is a talent not everyone has, as we are all reminded every time we go to a cocktail party or family gathering.  Nor is conveying the crux of a story while leaving everything else on the editing room floor an act for the faint of heart. Editing may involve murdering your darlings, but summarizing an entire story in 200 words or less is a very special sort of torture.

As you may have guessed, I'm working on summarizing a new book right now. Guarding Valentina is a story made up of over 50k words. It's filled with rich descriptions, symbolism, and dialogue along with my blood and tears, and now I need to condensed all of that down to three short blurbs. One will be 20-25 words,  one will be 40-55 words, and one will be a luxuriously long (by comparison) 155 words. 

If you're wondering why that's so hard, I will point out that the full first and last names of the hero and heroine are required as part of the blurb. I will then point out that the last sentence was 30 words long. Now do you see the problem?

It's part of  my nature that I cannot back down from a challenge, and so I tend to tackle this particular chore with a mix of dread and bull-headed determination. As I type this, I have the rough draft of all three blurbs done, and it took me more than 3 hours to get this far. I won't open that word document until tomorrow now, which will give my brain a chance to forget at least some of what I've done, and let me view it with fresh eyes. That is, if I can stop the stubborn part of my personality from opening and "tweaking" it a time or ten between now and the end of the day.

Now I need to switch gears from "condense" to "expand" and go tackle my next WIP. If you're curious what this one's about, I'll give you a single word hint.