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I wish authors will learn to write a good story description

Ernest Bywater

A story description, or blurb as I like to call it, is supposed to give a potential reader enough about the story to get them interested in reading it. Way too often we see weird things like the tale of woe the author had in writing the story or information about anything except the story. I just saw one that says only: Story for all ages it's such an entertaining description I doubt I'll ever read the story or anything by that author.

Replies:   madnige
madnige

@Ernest Bywater

I just saw one that says only: Story for all ages


I saw that too, I thought 'It's short, it won't take long'. Wasn't too bad, I thought - not really my cup of tea though. That description isn't as bad as his next which tells you absolutely nothing you can't see from the rest of the story entry, unlike the one under discussion which at least conveys a tad of information.

I agree the blurb is an important aid in the reading decision, and I too wish more authors would take care with them. A reasonable blurb can influence for or against (useful to avoid downvotes by people who unexpectedly hit one of their squicks) whereas a poor one would either push them away, or court downvotes by disappointed readers.

Wheezer
Updated:

I love the ones where the description is incredibly involved. Reading it, you think it must surely be a huge epic tome several hundred pages in length. It would have to be to encompass all the action and plot described... then you glance down and realize the entire story is only 20-25 kb in size! :D

ustourist

I also find that blatant spelling or grammatical errors in a story description will put me off reading it. Some I can gloss over, the same as I would when reading the story, but others are so disjointed as to create a negative response before I even get that far.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@ustourist

Spelling & grammar errors in the description put me off too. Also, including nearly every tag available just about guarantees I won't go near it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
waynegibbous

I think a number of authors type in the description live instead of composing and editing it offline then copying it into the Description field. The key to a good description is to compose it just like you do your story then paste it in after it's polished.

Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

Spelling & grammar errors in the description put me off too. Also, including nearly every tag available just about guarantees I won't go near it.

I've discovered that it's difficult to get editors/proofers to take story descriptions seriously. They'll skim it, then dive right into the story, meaning they end up being entirely the work of the author with few (if any) corrections.

However, the Blurb is still the best sales for a story. If an author can't write clean copy in the description, his story won't be any better! At least "Story for all ages" informs readers it won't be difficult to read. 'D

Never in the annals of human history was so much confusion and argument created by a single person for such a misguided and arrogant reason as was done by Noah Webster. I hate him most days.

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If you publish much, you'll learn that each site has different size restrictions in the story description, so often, they are composed on the fly, as the author removes individual words/phrases at a time.

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