#Wattpad4 May Chat: WORKSHOP: Story Blurbs and Query Letter content!

Hi everyone! I’m @RebeccaSky, your host for May’s chat/workshop. I’m a little excited about this workshop so I’m posting a few days early! Writing on Wattpad is a great way to get your work in front of readers and grow your audience. But how exactly do you catch their attention? One of the things that kept coming up in our Grow Your Audience chat is your story blurb! So we thought that this month we’ll do a workshop for your story blurbs! Answer the questions, share your blurbs and comment on each others with your thoughts (please remember to be constructive and kind!)

I can’t wait to read your blurbs!

Happy chatting!
Rebecca

Meet the Wattpad4!
wattpad4

From left to right:

  • Lindsey Summers @DoNotMicrowave author of Textrovert & The Trouble with Friendship
  • Fallon DeMornay @FallonDeMornay author of The Stiletto Sisterhood & Out of Focus
  • L.D.Crichton @LDCrichton author of All Our Broken Pieces & Enchantment of Emma Fletcher
  • Monica Sanz @DistantDreamer, author of Seventh Born & Mirror Bound (Witchling Academy Series)
  • Rebecca Sky @RebeccaSky author of Arrowheart and Heartstruck (The Love Curse series)

INTRO: The content of a story’s blurb to attract readers and a query letter are often the same thing or slightly tweaked versions of each other. Whether you’re trying to attract readers or a literary agent, it’s important to have a good descriptive account of your story! This month we’ll be doing a blurb workshop to help you hone the key components of your story and package it in a way readers can’t resist clicking to find out more!

  1. Blurb opening: What is your story hook?
    *a hook is something that sparks reader curiosity. Try answering the following questions: What is your: conflict, compelling question, twist on the expected, personal connection, and/or unique setting?

Other questions to consider:
Is your hook alluring? Is it designed to catch the readers you want?

Here’s an example from one of my story blurbs:


The next part of the blurb are your story stakes! And should include answers to the following questions:


2. Tell us about your main character!


3. What is your main characters Problem? (This is a capital P Problem because it is a driving factor of the story!)


4. How can your main character solve the problem?


5. What’s standing in their way?


6. Now that you have your hook and your answers to the above questions, put it all together:

Here’s an example from @elatimerwrites debut novel (a former member of Wattpad4 and brilliant writer!):
Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 11.05.52 AM


Here’s the full example from my story that I showed earlier for the hook:
Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 11.05.40 AM
Now it’s your turn, share your story blurb with us:

Try to comment on at least two other blurbs too! So we can get this workshop really swinging!

BONUS CONTENT FOR QUERYING AUTHORS: If you are looking to query agents, I’ve put together a Query How To for Wattpad authors querying Wattpad stories. You can find that here!

Thanks for chatting with us and sharing your blurbs this month!
xo
Rebecca Sky
instagram | twitter | wattpad

My Blurb for my book Miller’s Bay
Luther Garrett runs the ferry in the small town of Rideau Ferry, and if you don’t make the ferry in time, he invites you to stay at his house till morning, and the legend is you don’t make it out alive. Luther Garrett tells his life story of growing up in a mental hospital after his parents are murdered by the previous ferry man and how he was wrongfully convicted as he falls in love with one of the nurses there. He needs to solve the mystery of the serial killer, and keep himself alive.
Will he leave the hospital alive or in a body bag?

5 Likes

Thank you for hosting this workshop.

I’m going to start with my ONC story.

1. Hook
Believing that she’s the prophesied hero, a winged demon travels to a realm where islands float in the air to free Dragons from a curse.

2. Main character
Ansgarde, a winged demon, loves everything fantasy, and most significantly, loves dragons even if everyone insists they’re a myth.

3. Problem
No one shares her belief in the prophecy that dragons can be freed by one of her people, her family doesn’t respect her interests, she doesn’t belong in the life of order and monotony.

4. How to solve the problem
Prove to everyone that dragons are real and that her obsession with them was not a childish whim. Become a hero, and you gain respect.

5. What’s standing in her way?
She doesn’t know how to free the dragons. She doesn’t believe that she’s capable of doing it on her own.

6. Put it together.

They told her that dragons are only a myth, but Ansgarde, a winged demon, believes that dragons await someone like her to break their curse.

The life of order and monotony is not enough for someone who dreams of flying among dragons in the land where islands float in the sky. When the obstacle that prevented her from going on a quest to free the creatures she idolizes is removed, only her own doubts in her abilities can stop her from achieving her goal.


A bit clunky but I think a little better than what I had before.

For comparison, I’ve been using below blurb for a while, but I think it can be improved (plus, it gives away a bit of a spoiler):

Old blurb

Prophecies should come with warning labels.

They told her that tales of dragons and islands floating in the sky are only bedtime stories. But Ansgarde, a winged demon who secretly loves all things fantasy, never grew out of her childish dreams.

The life of harmony and order is not enough for someone who yearns to taste adventure and fly alongside dragons. The legends say a demon like her is the key to unlocking the curse that trapped them.

The legends did not mention how to get to the Cloud Empire or what the curse entails. And they did not mention that Ansgarde would have to team up with humans, creatures she despises, to complete her quest. Do they care enough about Dragons to help a demon?

If the legends are true, Ansgarde will fly home next to a real dragon.
If the legends are true, she will be a curse-breaking hero.
But she might be the last demon to believe that the legends are true.

2 Likes

Hey @cate61 this is such a great start! Here’s my thoughts:
Is the town called Rideau Ferry? There is a lot of the word ferry in the first couple of lines, can you call the town just Rideau to avoid overuse of the word?

I’m a little confused how Luther runs the ferry but is also in the hospital, is this duo timeline? If so I’d clarify.

The second part where you start with Luther Garrett tells his life story… is a little telly, and we want to show readers, I suggest tweaking it to something like this:

Luther Garrett runs the ferry in the small town of Rideau, the only way in and out of town and if you don’t make it in time, you have two options, sleep in your car, or stay the night at Luther’s house. But with the legend of a murderous ferryman you might not make it out alive… Luther Garrett grew up in a mental hospital after his parents were murdered by the previous ferryman, and though he was wrongfully convicted for their deaths, he falls in love with one of the nurses there. He needs to solve the mystery of the serial killer, and keep himself alive or he’ll be next to leave the hospital in a body bag…

Hope this help! xo

1 Like

I really like this! I definitely find it stronger than your previous blurb. My only thought while reading was is it’s a bit weird that in a world where demon’s exist they don’t believe dragons can too. You could even play on that a little in the blurb, like, “but Ansgarde, is a winged demon, and if she exists, why couldn’t dragons. Despite what the others tell her, she knows they’re real and they’re waiting for someone like her to break their curse…”

3 Likes

Ok, this time, let’s try my novel. This one is more complex, so it’s tricky business. But let’s give this a try again.

1. Hook
After his experiment fails, a magitech inventor becomes a suspect in his own missing person’s case and has to rely on the help of a stranger to hide from the cops.

2. Main character
Merlin, an elderly, famous magitech inventor, notorious risk-taker and also a half-demon.

3. Problem
His invention malfunctioned, stripped him of his memories, and aged him down to his teens. He doesn’t know who he is, is mistaken for a burglar, and the cops want him in connection with his own disappearance.

4. How to solve the problem
Get his memories, identity, life back.

5. What’s standing in his way?
While he needs someone to recognize him and tell him who he is, he also needs to hide so he wouldn’t be recognized as the burglar everyone is looking for.

6. Put it together.

The above points don’t take into account the second main character who greatly impacts the story.
I think my current blurb combines the two stories well, but does it leave out too much? Maybe if I just add the irony portion to it?
Going over the questions above and the blurb below, it feels like a different story. Sweating here a bit. What do you think?

Current blurb
The last epic invention of the famous Merlin turns into his last epic fail. Magically stripped of his memories and aged down to his teens, he’s mistaken for a burglar in his own house and is on the run.

Being a half-demon makes him a lower-class citizen and an easy suspect in his own missing person’s case. Being half-blind makes him easy to catch. If he doesn’t get himself killed first.

The perfect person to hide him from the law is Seri, a lonely, winged boy, who’s well familiar with the art of flying under the radar. Sharing his safe haven with this handsome stranger could become his best decision or the gravest mistake.

Stranded in a derelict house with only each other for company, the adventurous amnesiac and his cautious host can teach each other a thing or two about life. But being caught by the cops is not the worst-case scenario for two half-demons hiding in the city of glass.

2 Likes

What if I flipped it a bit?

They told her that dragons are extinct, but Ansgarde, a winged demon, believes the myth that the ancient race is but trapped in a curse that only a demon of her race can break.

1 Like

This is the blurb for my ya thriller novel Cute but psycho:

The 2007 freshman batch of Arlington University is the same as any other– except for the five elites wrecking havoc on the campus grounds. They are probably the worst bullies you could ask for. But someone is capable of becoming their worst nightmare, if their closet of skeletons is out in the open.

When Kylie a.k.a the rebel of the core five goes missing, fingers are pointed at their loose integrity. The social hierarchy of Arlington is on the verge of getting dismantled, and there is only one student who can take the throne– Rachel Stinson, the self made princess of Arlington.

A murder. A missing case. A broken heart. And a vindictive mastermind. Who is willing to enter this game?

1 Like

This is such a great blurb, and this story sounds sooo good. I’d just tweak it a bit to make it more active phrasing. Also I’d love to have something connect the last line “– Rachel Stinson, the self-made princess of Arlington.” Such as, who has secrets of her own she’ll do anything to protect. Or, who might have more to do with Kylie’s disappearance than her good girl vibe lets on.
EG:
The 2007 freshman batch of Arlington University is the same as any other – except for the five elites wrecking havoc on the campus grounds. They’re probably the worst bullies Arlington’s ever seen. But if someone was able to get their hands on the elites closet of skeletons, they could take the bullies down.
When Kylie a.k.a the rebel of the core five goes missing, fingers are pointed at the elites and their loose integrity. The social hierarchy of Arlington is on the verge of being dismantled, and there is only one student who can take Kylie’s throne – Rachel Stinson, the self-made princess of Arlington, who might have more to do with Kylie’s disappearance than her good girl vibe lets on.
A murder. A missing case. A broken heart. And a vindictive mastermind. Who is willing to enter this game?

4 Likes

Thank you so much for the pointers

1 Like

Hello. Here’s mine:

Not Yet Found

He knows she’s not lost. She knows she can never be found. He can die trying to find her. And she can kill herself trying to prove him wrong.


Hayden Jones only joined Winston Royal Academy to get closure, as advised by her therapist. She braced herself for drama, spoilt brats, and queen bees. What she didn’t expect, however, was a handsome boy named Calvin, who just won’t take no for an answer.

2 Likes

The opening bit is interesting, but where i really started to engage as a reader was when you got into the heart of it, the

That sucked me right in and made me want to read more. I wouldn’t change a thing, except cut the opening and start there! xo

3 Likes

Aww, thank you so much! I’ll switch their positions, make the one you like first, then the other. :heart:

2 Likes

that’s a great idea!

3 Likes

Thank you so much!!:heart:

1 Like

Hi
Here is mine time of emers
16yrs old girl lives with her grandpa who’s a powerful wizard.she’s yet to have her own power ,going to xania on a mission she don’t know what to expect,she will only keep trying with the help of her friends hoping she could find her powers.
How will she cope the Evil witch
with the an unfinished business or highest ranking vampire who only she could cure him.

Heres the current one,
I want you to come with me Arabella," no that will only happens in your dreams “,after what you did to my grandpa.” I’m so sorry I know that you are the only one who can help", please leave me alone, I don’t want to here your voice

I’m a vampire of highest rank with a disease that only she could cure it.

1 Like

Hi Faiza! This is a great start, and I think if you add a bit more story detail, like instead of saying 16year old girl, you can say her name (you only need the age when querying agents, it’s not necessary for a blurb, but you can include if you like). Also you have all the info, but i think if you reword a little in a few places it will make the burb more active sounding. Here’s my example:

16yrs old Arabela lives with her grandpa who’s a powerful wizard. Though she’s yet to have her own power, she’s sent on a mission to Xania and doesn’t know what to expect. With the help of her friends, she hopes to find her powers and defeat the evil witch with unfinished business, and save the highest-ranking vampire that only her magic can cure.

Hope this helps!

2 Likes

The blurb I have for my book To Save our Families, Let’s ‘Marry’ (haha yh titles aren’t my strong point either) :

“They tried to kill your sister, thrice.”
“As well as your company, and sister-in-law with it.”
They were both more than aware that the merger have become a matter of life and death, that it had been that way from the moment the Q Group suspected anything, that it had reached a terrifyingly dangerous level.
More terrifying than the prospects of being engaged to a man.
The two could only grimace and mutter in unison.
“We have to get married.”


Joshua Lore is the 23 year old second son of the second most successful company in Country A.
Henry Reyes is the 22 year old second son of the third most successful company in Country A.

Both very rich. Both very pretty.
Most importantly, both extremely straight.

Yet due to a misconception on their parents’ part and a company merger combined with some questionable photography with their androgynous looks, they find themselves in a marriage meeting, with each other.
Of course they are going to reject this, or so they thought…

(let’s ignore the fact that I didn’t want to decide a real country too :sob:)

1 Like

Hello! Just wondering if there is too much lore/exposition in this blurb :thinking:


From the untitled and unpublished rewrite of Crossroads:

Eliah is one of the Seren, an immortal race of warriors created by the Gods to protect the Mortal Realms. To become a shieldmaiden is her biggest dream, but in order to become one, you must pass the Rite: face one of the Dark God’s demonic Fal’mor and live to tell the tale.

On the day of her initiation, something goes terribly wrong. Someone has betrayed them. The Fal’mor are released from their cages, and the floating mountain falls. With nowhere left to run, Eliah takes a leap of faith and ends up in Kyria, the Mortal Realm.

But centuries have passed since the Seren walked those lands, and their contributions to the Godswar are but the stuff of myth and legend. The Mortals of this era are hostile, and the other guardian races are absent and complacent. The Seren will not be the only ones to fall…

2 Likes

Hi there! This is the blurb of my story…

               The Suicide Sinner 

Eighteen-year-old Ivy Aaron is done with her life. She is ready to bid ultimate goodbye to her alcoholic father, her poor grades, and her eating disorder. What she doesn’t expect is to be saved at the last second by her Mathematics teacher, Vishal Mishra. Now she must convince him not to notify about her suicide episode to anybody, especially her father. Therefore when he strikes a deal–his silence in return, for her to join a support community, she immediately agrees. But she has made up her mind to die, and won’t budge from it. So now she has to outsmart her teacher, and weave a new suicide plan.

2 Likes