The Thinking Quill

Dear Readers Who Write,

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV at your service, ready and willing to continue our little seminars on the ticklish topic of creating perfect literature. For those poor uneducated few whose unheeding eyes my fame may have passed, I will begin with a trifling resume of my achievements. I am the sole author of the classic ‘Fatswhistle and Buchtooth’ and I am now devoting much of my time and effort to the production of this ‘The Thinking Quill’ which offers insight into the mysteries of the authorial craft for the less advantaged.

Lesson 8. The Write Blurb

Oh what an ugly word is blurb, how it cuts through the tenderness of one’s creativity with the hobnailed boots of its harsh ugliness. Oh how one wishes there was a pinker, tenderer, more luminescent word for the promotional literature one has, perforce, to provide alongside the fruits of one’s Muse. Oh words, words, how you torment me. How your twinkling syllables resonate inside my head like the tinkling bells on the ankles of the Muse. Oh words. But I am being sidetracked by ugliness.

The blurb is not only the ill-favoured child of literary composition, it is also that by which you seek to capture the imagination of those for whom your literary genius will become the lodestone of their lives. It is, if you would, the bait dangled in the water to catch a shark. It is, to carry my brilliant analogy to its most logical conclusion, the rotting carcase dragged behind the game fisherman’s boat broadcasting its siren song to the denizens of the deep. Get it right and you will hook a barracuda, get it wrong and your efforts will be rewarded with a white-bearded shrimp.

Your blurb must be as orchidaceously lovely as your main opus, it must sing from the same sheet of great and inspiring music, it must walk in perfect step with your narrative, it must call as the siren on the rocks, but it must never give away your plot.

I append herewith three examples of this type of writing, demonstrating the genre handled its worst and at its best:

The Bad:

A love story.

And what pray does that tell us other than this is the work of a lazy author lacking in the most elementary creativity?

The Better:

Permit Fatswhistle and Buchtooth to clasp your hand in theirs and accompany you on your journey as you laugh, cry, learn and celebrate in the company of two of the most engaging and life-affirming creations of modern mythology. A work of genius not to be missed.

The Best:

After years spent caring for her aging parent, beautiful and virginal, Clothilda is cast penniless on the charity of her cruel, chicken farmer, landlord. Can she win his love with her goodness and innocence, or will she lose everything at the hands of the bitch whore from hell who wants his money and his cock.

Read and learn and inwardly digest my darlings.

And remember. Promotional material is almost more important than that which it promotes.

Next time: Sex Sells. Writing a hot love scene.

A bientot.

Ecrit Bon.

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

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