Gearing Up For Competitive Blurb Reading Season

I’m not writing my query letter yet. I’m still looking at examples from our forerunners, and looking for something (anything) that includes a vital piece of backstory. Yes. Exactly. My novel is the exception to the “no backstory” rule. At least, I think it is. There’s one glittering hunk of backstory you can’t understand the inciting incident without.

Yes, I know there are whole writers’ groups full of writers’ rule exceptions. But me… I’m the real deal.

Shut up.

So, I’m in the process of reading blurbs on the backs of books, or movies, or you know… tattooed on performance artists. Whatever. Trying to get a grasp on what other people are doing, and what works (backstory!) And what doesn’t, and why.

I’m not there, yet, but I’m working on it.

So, while  shopping for movies doing intense, and detailed research, today, I ran into one that was largely cliche, and which made me smirk just a little.  Let’s make sure I get this right. Snazzy relationship ends after she disappears without a trace. Very next sentence? He follows her “trail.” I’m pretty sure a “trail” is a pretty large “trace”.

Fortunately, it’s a movie, not a book, so with the right number of explosions, I could forget all about that, and be happy.

But I probably have less wiggle room as a writer.

Back to the great backstory hunt.


    • Reply

      I think this is more of a warning against rambling query letters than an absolute. I mean… mine wouldn’t even make sense without this ONE fact. So, I’m thinking it’s probably more of a “Don’t start with pre-school, if nothing explodes until college” type thing. I’ve sorta figured I was screwed ever since somebody decided I needed to cram 100,000 words into half a page, though.

      • Reply

        Whew! My problem is that the inciting incident technically happens before the start of the book (which was a deliberate choice for what I hope were good reasons), so, as you say, the book makes no sense without at least one piece of backstory. All the best with the cramming!

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