How to Rescue an Endangered Book and Find your Author Mojo

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From Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris

You’ve kinda/sorta finished your book/first draft/whachamacallit.

In drastic cases, it could even be an outline that’s gone off the rails and landed in a ditch.


  • Your original brilliant idea is drowning in a sea of ugly clutter.
  • There are dust bunnies in the corners.
  • An overflowing laundry hamper in the hall.
  • First chapter is suffering from ring-around-the-collar.
  • Inciting incident is ho-hum and forgettable (even by you).
  • Plot has more holes than plot.
  • Characters have mutated into unrecognizable forms (and you’re not writing sci-fi or alien invasion fiction).
  • Verbs are passive, the nouns flabby and adjectives rust in the front yard.
  • Ending limps to a conclusion.

. . . .

It’s obvious that double applications of the Quicker-Picker-Upper, Fantastic and Tidy-Bowl aren’t going to get the job done. Your book (or whachamacallit) is in deep doo doo, and, because you’re not in deep denial, you recognize that there is work to be done.

You feel out of control and overwhelmed. Perhaps you’ve been here before and abandoned the poor thing to gather cyber cobwebs in some dank, dark back alley of your computer.

Maybe Marie Kondo could help, but she’s not available. She’s folding t-shirts.

It’s our mess. We made it and, according to the gospel of Moms everywhere, it’s up to us to clean it up.

. . . .

1. Write — or Rewrite — your Blurb or Elevator Pitch.

Maybe it’s OK, but maybe it could be better.

What’s the headline? What’s the hook? What about a grabby ending?

Need some help?

Turn to other writers for inspiration.

Read blurbs for top selling books in your genre.

List the phrases and words other writers use to position their book to appeal to the same readers you hope to seduce.

Have you used some of the same words and phrases? Or can you do some creative — uh — “borrowing?”

. . . .

Four editors dish the details about how to write a selling blurb including standout examples from Lee Child, Diana Gabaldon and Nicholas Sparks.

What about your elevator pitch? Is it pulling its weight? Can it help inspire your blurb?

Remember whether it’s a blurb or an elevator pitch:  Sell the sizzle!

To your readers.

And, right now, most of all to yourself!

Link to the rest at Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris