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Monday, March 30, 2015

Blurbs, Excerpts, Taglines and Loglines OH MY!


A blurb is a summary for a short story or book both fiction and nonfiction that should tempt a reader into wanting to purchase and read the book/eBook. Blurbs reveal the goal of the protagonist (or hero and heroine for a romance), why he/she wants what he/she wants, and the conflict that stops him/her from having it. This is called GMC (Goal, Motivation and Conflict.) For romance, the blurb usually has one paragraph for the heroine and one for the hero, even if the story is only in one of their point-of-views.
TIP #1: Read several blurbs for books you like to get an idea of what you could write for yours. 
TIP #2: Have a few people read you blurb and offer an opinion on it. You should ask someone who has read your story and someone who hasn’t to see if your blurb is satisfactory and tempting for both.
An excerpt is an alluring scene taken directly from the story. It’s usually one page long. For romance, the excerpt should be a romantic passage between your hero and heroine. For erotic, the excerpt should be steamy. For a suspense story, the excerpt should be thrilling. Search your manuscript for a scene that really conveys what your story is about, without giving away the ending, and select about one page from that scene to serve as your excerpt.

Image from PixaBay

A tagline is defined as a single sentence that describes a story. Just like everything else this is meant to entice, but with the fewest words possible, like a catch phrase. It can be a statement or a question. Taglines can be found on book covers.

Examples of taglines:

Don’t go into the water! – Jaws
One ring to rule them all. – Lord of the Rings

A logline is defined as another type of summary but is longer than a tagline (can be up to three sentences) and includes more information such as who the story is about and the problem/conflict.

FYI: You don't have to follow these rules though. My loglines are usually a single sentence, and my taglines, if I use one, are roughly 5-7 words long.

Here are my loglines:

Hurricane Crimes: During a hurricane, Beth Kennedy finds herself trapped with a man who might be a murderer.

30 Seconds: When a woman finds herself in the middle of a war between a police force and a Mob, 30 SECONDS is a long time.

Witch of Death: Murder isn’t always committed with magick, unless a witch is involved.

Ghost of Death: Dead men may not talk, but dead girls do.


SHARE: Your favorite tagline and/or logline for one of your books.


QUESTION: Do you have a favorite tag/logline for a book or movie?



44 comments:

  1. I'm better with the shorter logline than I am the longer blurb. I liked my tagline for CassaStorm - A storm gathers across the galaxy...

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  2. I have the hardest time summarizing my book so I have none of these things figured out yet. I do have a scene I would use for a excerpt, though.

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    1. Knowing what scene to use for an excerpt is actually tough for me, because there's always so many I love and I don't want to reveal too much.

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  3. My working tagline for my alternative history: Following a miraculous rescue, a sickly, unlikely boy Tsar defies expectations by surviving into adulthood and becoming the most beloved ruler in Russian history.

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    1. That's awesome! Certainly sounds like an epic novel. :)

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  4. Love your loglines! I wish I could write loglines like that . . . I don't have any faves from my own books. Sigh. I think that could seriously help with twitter campaigns and other such things. I think the one I like best is from my flash fiction story, "Seedling." Dunnie has a secret: a power inside him that's gone wrong in the past. When it's time to introduce himself to a new teacher, what will he say? (The problem is - it's two sentence! agh!)
    Thanks for getting me thinking about loglines - I need to put myself through a course of them.

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    1. gThanks, Tyrean! :) It's so tough to get a logline down to one sentence but I love what you came up with for Seedling.

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  5. I always write numerous taglines and blurbs and run them past a few colleagues. Sometimes I pick an excerpt easily and sometimes I can't decide.

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  6. I was honoured to have Alex to write blurbs on two of my books and Daniel O Donnell(Danny Boy) on the other.
    Great post.

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    1. Alex wrote two of your blurbs? What an honor!

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  7. I can't think of a tagline I like, unless you count the "These are their stories" line from the opening credits of Law and Order. I especially like your line about the police and the mob; I've always thought the two groups were interesting, especially because they both have teams of people working together and both are hierarchical, yet they fight for opposing sides.

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    1. Thanks! I've always been interested in cops and the mob too.

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  8. These are some of the challenging things to write, aren't they?

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  9. I do the big blurbs fine, I tend to get too mouthy for shorter ones lol

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    1. Haha. I tend to want to write more than is necessary too.

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  10. I really like your tagline for Ghost of Death. I'm horrible at coming up with short, punchy stuff. If it doesn't come to me right away, forget about it.

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    1. Thanks, Quanie! I thought that one was clever myself. ;)

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  11. That was a good description between them. I tend to look for blurbs when deciding what book to read :)

    betty

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  12. Blurbs are hard to write yet the right blurb will hook a reader in.

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  13. Excellent information, Chyrs. Maybe one day I can give them a test drive for my own book.

    June tour - I can help. All Fridays are taken. June 1, 7, 15, & 21 are taken. Any other day is good for me! You already have my email. (smile)

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    1. I think you will definitely use those information for your own books.

      Thank you, Dixie! June 15th would be great. :)

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  14. I love your loglines. I have an easier time with blurbs/short synopsis then I do with the shorter descriptions of taglines and loglines. But I will be working on it.

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    1. Synopses kill me. I think I'm better with the shorter descriptions.

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  15. Thank you for such a helpful post! I've been struggling with these lately, particularly blurbs. This was very enlightening.

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    1. You're welcome, Anne! I'm glad to help! :)

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  16. ooh never knew the difference before! great post :)

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  17. These are great tips and thank you for deciphering the difference between each promo. Your taglines are fantastic, Chrys! I'm always fascinated at the movie descriptions/blurbs on the cable network. Some are terrible while others capture my attention. My blurb on the back of my book tells what the book is and how it will help the reader, i.e. why they should buy it. (Non-fiction).

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    1. I used to have all of these confused. For the longest time, I didn't even know what a tag/logline was. lol

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  18. Great information, as always. This is something I've only recently started to work on. I'm currently revising an old YA series I wrote about 25 years ago. I never had taglines, never really advertised it much. Just passed the stories to my friends. Now that I've been slowly updating them, I've realized I need some way of explaining to others what the stories are about. Before starting to figure a tagline/logline, I was recently asked what the story was about and I just about with an explanation. Trying to think of some way, on the spot, to describe the entire series. So I sat down and started working on this. I came up with one for the series as well as one for the first two stories in the series. I feel they are still a work in progress as the entire series in flux as I do my revisions, but here is what I've come up with so far. Again, they are more loglines than taglines. Hard to boil down to just one sentence.

    Writer's Block - A young writer suffering from Writers Block, looks for inspiration from his friends and those not quite. Prone to daydreaming and vivid dreams, his feelings of self doubt insure he is his own worst enemy.

    I now try to use the above when asked abut the entire series. Below is what I came up with for the first two episodes. These are YA stories, based in High School, targeted for a young audience.

    Episode I - Jenni:
    Erick hopes to win the heart of his sweetheart, Vicki, and join the school newspaper team. But things may not go as well as he hopes if his literary rival and ex-girlfriend, Jenni, has anything to do about it.

    Episode II - Revenge:
    Erick's new duties on the school newspaper go horribly wrong. Is Jenni seeking revenge for one of Erick's past mistakes?

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    1. I always hated it when I was an aspiring writer and someone would ask me to tell them what my book was about. I'd freeze. My mind would go blank, so I'd say, "It's complicated. A lot happens." Haha!

      I bet a lot of writers will relate to your Writer's Block story.

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  19. All signed up. Aside from the first week in June, I'm pretty much free and clear that month, so just let me know and I'll hold a date for you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Stephanie! I'll email you later. :)

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  20. I only recently learned the logline for Die Hard When it came out:

    12 terrorists. 1 cop. The odds are stacked against John Maclane. And that's just the way he likes it.

    I love it.

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