Blurb Coaching – Heartburn

I’ve been sharing the blurb coaching series from A Writer’s Path Writers Club, and this is the next in the series.

To learn more about how your blurb can be coached, click here.

Enjoy!

 

stormglobe by Jamierodriguez37

Name: Felicia Denise

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Title: Heartburn

Original Blurb: Ten years ago, Quinn Landon never saw divorce in her future. She vowed to love Oscar Landon for better or for worse—but only saw a happily ever after.

She didn’t get it.

Quinn filed for divorce after Oscar’s first affair, but between his sorrowful apologies and her family’s bullying to work on her marriage, she stayed.

Just like she stayed after the second, third and fourth affairs. And after Oscar gave her an STD.

Quinn’s had enough and tricks Oscar into moving out. He thinks it’s a cool-down period, but Quinn has different ideas.

She knows Oscar has no intention of honoring his vows or endless promises. He also has no intention of signing divorce papers.

With her family’s favorite part of the marriage vows being “till death do us part” Quinn Landon has no support network but moves ahead with a divorce filing.

Oscar Landon and his attorney use numerous legal maneuvers to stall and drag out the proceedings giving him time to play misunderstood victim and Quinn’s family time to ramp up their bullying and badgering to make her change her mind.

While gathering tax files, Quinn stumbles upon her ticket to freedom and there’s nothing Oscar or her family can do to stop her.

The end of the Landon marriage also means Quinn’s chance at having children is fading. Deciding the last thing she needs in her life is another man, Quinn buys a new home and focuses on her career. She spends her free time tracking down the older brother shunned by the family six years ago because of behavioral problems caused by trauma suffered during his middle east deployments.

But a life-altering event drags Quinn back into Oscar’s life and her family pulls out all the stops to get Quinn to void the divorce filing before the decree.

Her family’s determination to support Oscar and make her the villain leads Quinn to find out secrets and long-held beliefs by them which cause Quinn to back away from her family… and right into the arms of a man she never saw coming.

Blurb with Coaching Notes in Bold and Brackets

Ten years ago, Quinn Landon never saw divorce in her future. She vowed to love Oscar Landon for better or for worse—but only saw a happily ever after.

She didn’t get it. [I like this. It sets up the fact that she’s married. However, I do wonder if you should use her maiden name, as she wouldn’t have been Quinn Landon when she vowed to love Oscar…would she?]

Quinn filed for divorce after Oscar’s first affair, but between his sorrowful apologies and her family’s bullying to work on her marriage, she stayed.

Just like she stayed after the second, third and fourth affairs. And after Oscar gave her an STD.

Quinn’s had enough and tricks Oscar into moving out. [What pushes Quinn to where she’s “had enough”? The sentence before says she’s put up with a lot, but surely something has caused the change, either a new infraction from Oscar or a new understanding about Quinn herself.] He thinks it’s a cool-down period, but Quinn has different ideas.

She knows Oscar has no intention of honoring his vows or endless promises. He also has no intention of signing divorce papers. [I really like the parallelism in these sentences: “no intention of this, no intention of that.” Nice!]

With her family’s favorite part of the marriage vows being “till death do us part” Quinn Landon has no support network but moves ahead with a divorce filing. [This is very succinct, too, and should definitely remain in the blurb as it establishes what Quinn is up against: not only her husband, but her unsupportive family.]

Oscar Landon and his attorney use numerous legal maneuvers to stall and drag out the proceedings giving him time to play misunderstood victim and Quinn’s family time to ramp up their bullying and badgering to make her change her mind. [I don’t think you need this, as it’s obvious he’s a sneak who’ll use whatever maneuvers possible and knows his rights—hence his not signing the divorce papers—and that her family will push her to stay together.]

While gathering tax files, Quinn stumbles upon her ticket to freedom and there’s nothing Oscar or her family can do to stop her. [This is very interesting, and sets up the thought that this story is about Quinn’s legal battles with Oscar to finally be free.]

The end of the Landon marriage also means Quinn’s chance at having children is fading. Deciding the last thing she needs in her life is another man, Quinn buys a new home and focuses on her career. She spends her free time tracking down the older brother shunned by the family six years ago because of behavioral problems caused by trauma suffered during his middle east deployments. [This sounds like interesting information that certainly would be part of the story, but doesn’t need to be part of the blurb, as the blurb just needs to set up who the story is about, what they’re facing and why it matters, and hint at how the story will proceed, at what the scope of the story is likely to include so readers can decide if they’d enjoy it or not.]

But a life-altering event drags Quinn back into Oscar’s life and her family pulls out all the stops to get Quinn to void the divorce filing before the decree. [This is another nice sentence, though it’d help if we could be told what the “life-altering event” is, as concrete details always tell us more than vague statements. “A life-threatening accident” or “The crash and bankruptcy of his business” will take almost the same words and give us more understanding of the characters’ situation and troubles.

Her family’s determination to support Oscar and make her the villain leads Quinn to find out secrets and long-held beliefs by them which cause Quinn to back away from her family… and right into the arms of a man she never saw coming. [This last sentence suggests that the story contains a romance, which is surprising. I find myself wondering how much romance a story like this can include, as she seems to be already processing a lot: the divorce, the legal complications, setting up her own life, unearthing secrets. Introducing the romantic rival and indicating how she knows him—her tax preparer? attorney? new neighbor—would help establish the significance of the romance and keep it from feeling like an add-on.]

For a blurb, this is long, and yet I’m left with confusion about what sort of story is inside. Will it be about Quinn’s struggle to divorce Oscar and her finding herself? Or is it about her giving love another chance despite being in the middle of a messy divorce? I know it may include both, but chances are, the story is mostly one or the other. It’s either mostly about Quinn moving on, or mostly about her finding out the secrets about her family, or mostly about her trying to divorce Oscar and find the evidence needed to make the divorce happen despite his unwillingness to sign the papers. Or, perhaps, it’s mostly about her romance and the struggles she faces to be free, legally and emotionally, for such a relationship. Whatever the focus, the blurb should follow, to where all the other threads are barely mentioned, helping readers know which is the primary concern.

Comments Copyright 2017 Andrea Lundgren

Image by Jamierodriguez37, Creative Commons

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