So, if the first step is creating that hook, the second step, according to Shayla Raquel is dangling the characters. Then our next step is what Shaun has no problem doing in real life with anyone other than his own daughter, dive into the conflict.
- Create hook
- Dangle characters
- Dive into conflict
What does “dive into the conflict” mean?
It means that in that book blurb, you want to show your potential reader what the conflict of the story is.
What’s a conflict?
It’s just when one force goes against another while the character tries to get their goal. The character wants something. The conflict is the obstacles that stand in her way. Super simple, right?
Or as Sean Glatch says in Writers.com,
“At its most basic, conflict is the clash of opposing forces with a character’s own pursuit of a goal. The character must overcome these opposing forces to achieve the goal. These opposing forces might take on numerous shapes, and might even exist solely within the character’s own psyche.”
Shayla Raquel has a couple great examples of blurbs that show conflict.
Frederick Starks has it all—a gorgeous wife who was his high school sweetheart, three beautiful children, a mansion and cars others envy, millions in the bank, respected in his community, admired by his employees, loved and respected by loyal friends. He revels in the hard-earned power and control he’s acquired.
As the saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold,” which Starks discovers when gut-wrenching betrayal by his wife sends him over the edge and into a maximum security prison.
—When the Serpent Bites, Nesly Clerge
THE FOURTH STEP
This brings us to the fourth step and that’s DETERMINE THE CONSEQUENCES.
You want to show what is about to happen. It’s that formula we talked about before.
“Conflict (“Character must do this”) + Stakes (“Or this will happen”) = Consequences.”
This is basically showing the reader what will happen if the character does or doesn’t get their goal.
THE FINAL STEP
And the final step according to Shayla Raquel? It’s just DINE ON THE BIG QUESTION, which, of course, makes me hungry.
“End your blurb on an intriguing question or a point of tension—something that will convince the reader to take a chance on buying your book.
Bruce the bear likes to keep to himself. That, and eat eggs. But when his hard-boiled goose eggs turn out to be real, live goslings, he starts to lose his appetite. And even worse, the goslings are convinced he’s their mother. Bruce tries to get the geese to go south, but he can’t seem to rid himself of his new companions. What’s a bear to do?
—Mother Bruce, Ryan T. Higgins
Whew. And there you go.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
Sometimes, you know, I don’t think about the consequences, but it’s important to or else you might get put in time-out for the dog kennel – Pogie
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream biweekly live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every once in awhile on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!
LINKS WE MENTION