The premise of a novel based on the blurb

The blurb is what we usually may find on the back cover of a book, the short text informing the reader what is the book about and at the same time - trying to attract her or him, to grab their attention so that they will want to buy it.

There are other types of blurb - all are more or less just marketing texts trying to sell goods. Personally, I prefer a blurb depicting enough about the settings and the plot of a book to know what a book is about, what I may expect, but without disclosing too many details.

Too long a blurb with too many details puts me rather off the book, unless it is really a wonderful piece of writing. Another thing, alarming my suspicious, is the usage of too many super adjectives or adverbs, such as 'graspingly chilling' or 'splendidly crafted'.

The most tragic (sic!) outcome is when a literary critic writes a blurb: please try to read 'The list of the best sellers of 2014' in the New York Time and in the Independent. English is not my first language, but I am quite sure that the over convoluted style of writing books reviews in the Independent will not contribute to the frenzy of Christmas shopping in the bookstores.

Now, about the premise of a novel: it is a sentence (at best) defining it. Do not confuse a theme or themes of a novel with its premise. Theme is usually a boarder term whereas the premise narrows to the actions, events happening in a novel. A good blurb gives us the premise or foretaste of it.

For a reader, it is a wonderful exercise, employing your language skills: try to write the premise of a book you have recently read. And try to limit yourself to twenty words. Here my own work: the premise of Susan Hill's 'The woman in black'.

Arthur, as an old man, writes a diary; he paints the remote and haunted place, at which he attended the funeral of late Mrs. Drablow to faced the most traumatic events of his life.


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