12 lessons Jim learned about copywriting (9-12):
- Your hero drives the action. In blurbs, you almost never need to mention side characters. Most BPF blurbs mention only the hero (or dual heroes in a romance) and maybe the villain. Sometimes a character’s mentor will be mentioned, etc. But add too many and readers will get confused when they have to remember all the name soup (people skim!). Since your protag drives, every sentence in the blurb should be from that POV.
- When driving the action, verbs and plot points matter. In your blurbs, are your characters doing things like “realizing” and “deciding”? (unless enlightenment plot). Show us your character affecting the plot. If at some point your character has a serious dilemma (“point of no return” or “best bad choice”), show us that. That’s what keeps readers invested as they progress.
- A blurb should show an arc. Remember, you’re a storyteller. Your blurb should show us a microcosm of your character’s emotional journey through a series of escalating plot points (and don’t worry so much about spoilers!). Maybe in the first sentence, we see a shy-but-plucky teenager who has unexplained powers. Halfway through the blurb, she begins to accept her chosen one-ness during her first battle (or with death of mentor), then by the final cliffhanger, she’s going to war against the evil mega-demon. Look how far she’s come! Readers won’t consciously evaluate this, but showing change in a blurb is a great way to hook readers. It shows them you’re a storyteller.
- Always do your best… revisit your old work after you’ve learned more. Copywriting isn’t like riding a bike… it’s a skill you have to practice to stay sharp.