I loved the way Hawker broke down the process into five easy questions. I recall a similar discussion on promoting books last year by someone else. It’s so simple anyone can do it.
At the moment, I’m writing, revising, tweaking, second-guessing and editing the book description for my next novel, Scattered Stones. It’s an epic fantasy story, so I have to have an epic description.
After listening to Hawker’s podcast, I completed the exercise she suggested to see what I might add to the blurb-in-progress. I won’t go into the full exercise here; you’ll have to watch her podcast for that, but the first step is to answer these five questions.
- Who is the main character?
- What does your main character want?
- What or who stands in the main character’s way of getting what he want?
- What is your main character willing to do or sacrifice to get what he wants?
- What is at stake if the character fails?
Here is the book description I created from answering these five questions.
Bronwyn Darrow is desperate to rescue his daughter Isla from Blackvale Castle. For five long years, he’s travelled Ath-o’Lea searching for her, but the mysterious castle is impossible to find. He’s already surrendered his sergeant’s position at Aruam Castle, but he’s willing to sacrifice everything to bring Isla home, even his honour. If he fails, his little girl will face a lifetime of slavery.
Hawker provides tips on how to add meat to the description to make it more exciting and more interesting. She also shares what you should avoid in a book description, such as too many proper nouns.
Combining Exercise and Description Draft
Scattered Stones is an enchanting epic fantasy novel, a mesmerizing, breathtaking treat for the imagination.
Bronwyn Darrow is desperate to rescue his daughter Isla from Blackvale Castle. For five long years, he’s travelled Ath-o’Lea searching for her, but the formidable castle remains elusive. He’s surrendered his coveted sergeant’s position at Aruam Castle, but he’s willing to sacrifice everything to bring Isla home, even his honour. If he fails, his innocent little girl will face a lifetime of slavery.
When Bronwyn breaks into Tigh Na Mare Castle, he encounters two siblings who vow to help him on his quest to save his daughter. They prove to be more loyal to Bronwyn and Aruam Castle than he first realised. Together, they embark on a journey that takes them far from home and down winding mountain trails where their actions set in motion the unravelling of an ancient legend that threatens the lives of all dwarfs.
Watch, Listen and Learn
To watch the podcast and learn how to write the description for your next book, check out Libbie Hawker’s Writing Book Descriptions.