Anyone really good at story pitches / blurbs?

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#1

Hi everyone! I’m working on my story and I am TERRIBLE at pitches. I feel like I make my story sound so boring and don’t understand the art of blurbs. I was wondering if I could get some feedback by anyone? Does anyone have any tips when writing a story blurb to capture attention and intrigue? Thank you so much!

Here is my blurb:

After a family inheritance and a mysterious fire destroys her home, seventeen-year-old Orion Candor begrudgingly moves to the peculiar town of Crystal Manor. Born with unexplainable abilities and a professional loner, she only wants to blend in - until after a near-death experience exposes her for who she really is. She’s a sorcerer who can wield elemental magic and must attend an elite sorcery school in the enchanting country, Isoria. But she’s not just any sorcerer.
Her powers are stronger and more erratic than her new classmates,’ attracting her unwanted attention. But after unearthing a hidden family artifact, she’s convinced her deceased grandmother, Cordova, is connected to her enigmatic past and intense powers. Cordova had a knack for magnetizing trouble with lethal consequences – and left one in Orion’s hands. It could be the key to liberating this magical world from crumbling beneath a cruel crown, but also to luring in Cordova’s vengeful foes. While following Cordova’s clues, Orion soon learns she’s more than a piece in Cordova’s twisted puzzle, but the missing one. As this fate falls upon her, Orion must accept that moving to Crystal Manor and discovering Isoria was not by chance, but someone’s mission – because they’re hunting her.


#2

So, it seems like there may be some redundancies in the blurb because there is so much going on. The concept is there for sure and it seems like a great read. If I may I have a potential “cleaned up” version if I am understanding the plot:

Orion Candor nearly died when someone or something set fire to her home. This event brought out magical abilities she never knew she had. Now, forced into a new town and a school for magically gifted individuals Orion must find the truth of her ancestors while trying not to make too much of a wave with her new class mates. Wanting nothing more than to be a normal teen age girl seems like a pipe dream for her with the fate of a magical world potentially falling right into her hands.


#3

thank you! i think you’re totally right. i worry that i’m not getting my point across so i end up repeating stuff. definitely taking some of your pointers and will work off them! :slight_smile:


#4

No problem. A word of advice I was given about blurbs is: less is more. Give them some vague points about why they should be vested in the story and let the rest come in the pages. Too much up front will discourage readers because they already know the entire plot. :slight_smile:


#5

This is what I noticed at first glanze

  • what does “after a family inheritance” mean and it doesn’t make for a good opening tbh. You could go with only the fire and then have her look back at the inheritance as a reason later. Without it the first sentence is good. It say something about a happening, introduce the character and that she moves to a new town. Then, it get’s messy…
  • “Born with unexplainable abilities and a professional loner.” Two widely different subjects in one sentence makes a mess.
  • You spoil what she is: not fun
  • Too many details
  • The Cordova part sounds interesting and I like the idea of a puzzle-like plot
  • You need to focus more on what’s happening in the beginning without giving the too much of the story away
  • You’re skipping back and forth on the timeline which is confusing
  • I don’t understand how and where the crown and magical land comes in
  • Things are vague!!

Here’s an idea & overview:
Start point: Orion moves
First goal: she wants to blend in
Trouble: her powers awaken, unwanted attention
Additional plotline: the Cardova artifact, the crown in a magical world(?), her fate
The result: she’s being hunted

After a family inheritance and a mysterious fire destroys her home, seventeen-year-old Orion Candor begrudgingly moves to the peculiar town of Crystal Manor.** Born with unexplainable abilities and a professional loner, she only wants to blend in - until after a near-death experience exposes her for who she really is. She’s a sorcerer who can wield elemental magic and must attend an elite sorcery school in the enchanting country, Isoria. But she’s not just any sorcerer.
Her powers are stronger and more erratic than her new classmates,’ attracting her unwanted attention. But after (be more specific) unearthing a hidden family artifact, she’s convinced her deceased grandmother, Cordova, is connected to her enigmatic past and intense powers. Cordova had a knack for magnetizing trouble with lethal consequences – and left one in Orion’s hands. It could be the key to liberating this magical world from crumbling beneath a cruel crown, but also to luring in Cordova’s vengeful foes. ( Wait what just happened?) ( not sure if the following even is necessary if you present it earlier, then we don’t need an extra ‘summary’ of the happenings.’) While following Cordova’s clues, Orion soon learns she’s more than a piece in Cordova’s twisted puzzle, but the missing one.As this fate (Which fate?) falls upon her, Orion must accept that moving to Crystal Manor and discovering Isoria was not by chance, but someone’s mission – because they’re hunting her. (why does she need to accept it? or did she just discover it? like how hard dit it actually hit her? is it so important to the plot it need a place in the blurb?)


#6

thank you that is helpful!!


#7

omg thank you so much for breaking it down for me. you really went the extra mile. i definitely struggle between how vague and how detailed i should be. there is a lot that happens in my story, which i think is the problem, so i don’t know what i should mention in detail, summarize, or just leave out all together. since you said you like the whole puzzling plot part, do you think i should focus on that more? again, thank you so much i really appreciate it!


#8

It’s hard to give a definite answer since that boils down to how much of the book do actually adress that part of the plot, but if that’s a huge part of it I wouldn’t necessarily add more (because you do say quite a lot about it and it was enough to hook me) but maybe remove some of the other things that fly around in your blurb to give it a focus.

This is more how I would have done it (based on the information you have given):

  • After a mysterious fire destroys her home, seventeen-year-old Orion Candor begrudgingly moves to the peculiar town of Crystal Manor - which is a fine sentence, as said.

An example \ added some ideas\imagination so edit\use after wish and what fit your story \ not good, can do a lot of edit rounds tbh.

  • There, she has to start anew - new school, new friends etc. - but there’s little she wants more than to blend in. So when a near-_emphasized text_death experience exposes her powers to the public, she’s enrolled to (school name), a foreign, elite school for sorcery. As she tries to settle into the new regime, and a new world for the matter, it becomes clear that her powers are different from her classmates and is starting to attract unwanted attention.

One evening, as she discovers an (artifact) in the ground, she’s convinced her long-dead grandmother, Cordova has something to do with her powers. Intent on figuring exactly what and how to control them, Orion start’s following Crodova’s Clues, suddenly finding herself too far into a twisted puzzle.

  • you need to involve the problem with the crown earlier than I did here. If it is important to the plot. I didn’t mention it because it seems a little out of the story based on what I know. On another note, it feels like it could fit more as the plot for a second book since this one has a lot going on already.
  • another thing I fail is presenting the grandmother, the artifact and the puzzle as a collected thing and in a chronological order. Now it’s a bit messy, since there’s no explanation to what “Cordova’s clues” are (i expect it to come from the artifact, but we actually don’t know.) And the grandmother should probably have been mentioned earlier, for example, that she moved into her old mansion because right now there’s little connection between the beginning and the end of the blurb besides that something happens that makes her go to this magical land and start at a new school. But HOW does this fit into the world? How does she react? Is magic normal? We know so little about the place she goes to or if this is fantasy or urban etc.
  • This makes me think that you could focus your blurb on the beginning, and then kinda cliffhang us at the mention of the artifact because that seems to be what pushes the plot forward right now. OR that you remove some from the beginning because there are so many different things happened, that you could start it at when she moves to the new school because the new town and fire doesn’t seem to add much tension in the present as it only forces her to go to her next school to discover her powers and the artifact. that’s where the story seems to start a lot more naturally for me, but you obviously decide. Then the fire and the first moving could be told as backgroundstory when it is relevant or to introduce the character on how she ended up where she is.

#9

thank you so much this is all really helpful for me. i’ve been doing all of this in my head that it all starts sounding the same to me (i’ve written like ten different versions lol). im really going to take the time and sit with this for a while. i really appreciate your help! :slight_smile:


#10

Hey! So after taking your advice and some of your revision edits, I’d thought I’d share this new blurb I’ve come up with. Again, thank you so much for your help. I feel like this is the first time I’ve felt much more confident about it. No words can express my gratitude! :slight_smile:

New and Improved Blurb:

After a mysterious fire destroys her home, seventeen-year-old Orion Candor begrudgingly moves to the peculiar town of Crystal Manor in her grandmother’s passed down home. There, she has to start anew, but all she wants is to blend in. But after a near-death experience exposes her unexplainable powers to the public, she’s enrolled at Isoria Academy, an elite school for elemental sorcery in the enchanting country, Isoria.

As she tries settling into her new regime in this new world, it becomes clear that her Air powers are different from her classmates and starts attracting unwanted attention. But when discovering a hidden journal in her house, Orion’s convinced her long-dead grandmother, Cordova, is linked to her erratic powers. Determined to solve exactly what and how to control them, Orion follows Cordova’s clues, only to find herself deep in a twisted puzzle that puts Orion’s life in danger. She soon unravels that moving to Crystal Manor and discovering Isoria was not a twist of fate, but someone’s mission, and must solve the riddles before her foes do, or risk losing what Cordova sacrificed everything for.


#11

Blurbs yes. Pitches…? No.


#12

Thats okay! Any advice is better than none! After doing edits with some help, this is my new and improved blurb / pitch. Any thoughts?

After a mysterious fire destroys her home, seventeen-year-old Orion Candor begrudgingly moves to the peculiar town of Crystal Manor in her grandmother’s passed down home. There, she has to start anew, but all she wants is to blend in. But after a near-death experience exposes her unexplainable powers to the public, she’s enrolled at Isoria Academy, an elite school for elemental sorcery in the enchanting country, Isoria.

As she tries settling into her new regime in this new world, it becomes clear that her powers are different from her classmates and starts attracting unwanted attention. And after discovering a hidden journal in her house, Orion’s convinced her long-dead grandmother, Cordova, is linked to her erratic powers. Determined to solve what they are and how to control them, Orion follows Cordova’s clues, only to find herself deep in a twisted puzzle that threatens her life. She soon unravels that moving to Crystal Manor and discovering Isoria was not a twist of fate, but someone’s mission, and must solve the riddles before her foes do, or risk losing what Cordova sacrificed everything for.


#13

Life for seventeen year old Orion Candor couldn’t come at a worse possible time. For one thing, her routine gets disrupted by having to move to her family’s old stomping ground of Crystal Manor–after a fire torches the family home.

Even though she is among friends and family, the young woman’s inherent lifestyle of the weird and strange continues to take on new meaning after a near death experience has her re-examining things all over again through a new light.

Not sure what to do next, Orion decides the next best thing is to enroll at the local Isoria Academy for teens like herself who has strange gifts or peculiar abilities. But her exposure to the real world left the girl with a quandary all her own–seeing how her powers differ from those of her classmates.

Abilities that begin to attract some unwanted attention and further problems and complications.

But who to turn to to solve these issues remains a bit of a mystery. But only after discovering a hidden journal buried deep in her grandmother’s house, Orion is convinced that her dead grandmother is somehow linked to her erratic abilities.

But the question is why?

Determined to solve this little mystery (among others), the young woman embarks on a journey of self-discovery seeded with clues left over by her deceased grandmother in the pages of her journal.

And what comes to light has Orion questioning a lot of things all over again–leaving her to wonder just how far her grandmother went in order to keep whatever was secret in the beginning a family secret now.


How’s that?


#14

I might need to shorten it a bit since I’m trying to keep it between 150 - 200 words, but this is excellent! I like some of the wordplay here, like “stomping ground,” “fire torchers” and “seeded with clues left over.” Amazing. Why do I suck so much at this??? lol okay give me time I’m going to try to reinvent another blurb with some aspects you put here. thanks so much! :grinning:


#15

You’re welcome to take it and use it as your own with some modifications. I don’t mind. I tend to get carried away with blurb writing and stuff. It’s a weakness of mine.


#16

thank you so much :blush: i shall be back on this thread when I revamp it.


#17

Anytime. :slight_smile: