I think I’ve read so many books on how to write books that it’s actually a little sad now. On the one hand, I’ve picked up some invaluable advice from people far more experienced than me, and on the other hand …
I think I could have stopped at the 7th book. Most of them tell you the same things but in different ways.
Things like …
“Choose a designating writing time and make it a habit.” (I do try to do this. 6-7:30AM is my time now, but schedules change so it’s likely to go back to 8-10:30PM again soon.)
“Read. Read. Read some more.” (Psh! You can’t stop me from reading.)
“Outline.” And … “Don’t Outline.” And … “Do whatever, just get words on the page.” (That last one is my motto.)
Or … and I actually have done this …
“Take your favorite novel by your favorite author (not you) and hand-write the first three chapters.”
Actually, I think they said to go ahead and hand-write the whole book, but I never went past the first three chapters. The point of the exercise was to pay attention to style and voice and, as crazy as it sounds, it actually works.
But among my favorite tools when first starting a new project is writing the “working blurb.” It’s also been called the “nugget” for those familiar with the lingo. Normally it’s only 50-100 words but I let it push out to 150 sometimes.
Basically, this “working blurb” goes in place of my title page during the first draft. I have copies of it on 3×5 cards in my wallet and attached to the notebook where all the hand-written material is. It is what keeps me excited about the novel and helps remind me what I’m hoping to accomplish.
And in the spirit of the new project I’m going to share it today. To all fellow authors out there who may not have attempted writing a “nugget” or a “working blurb” before, I highly suggest you try it. It’s just 100-150 words that make you want to write the book.
Dead Weight – Working Blurb
Reeling after their narrow escape from Europa the crew of the hauler class ship Zephyr seek refuge in Sect Space, as far removed from the Consulate as they can get. With their covers blown and their former Captain comatose, Jorry and Seach find themselves answering a call for help from an old friend. The call takes them to Saturn, deep inside Consulate space, and to make matters worse, Jorry is still haunted by the man she killed on Europa.
As Jorry slowly loses her mind, Seach must find a way to keep them all out of Consulate hands. When the ship is damaged, they are forced to dock with an abandoned station hidden in Saturn’s upper atmosphere. But they aren’t the only one’s wandering the corridors of this dead station and whatever is lurking there isn’t pleased by their trespass.