How to blurb with multiple POV?

#1
How would you tackle this kind of issue? Say you have, oh I don't know, 5 POVs in your fic. All of their stories are important to the action and drive the plot in different ways at different times, so how can you describe that without just listing them out one by one in the blurb? I feel like listing them is done in print books often enough but it feels odd to do it here, but do you think that's the solution? 

Obviously, this hypothetical is me and my fic. Currently I've levelled the blurb attention at the one POV which technically kickstarts the events of the story - but to give him the focus feels misleading, because we don't care about him much at all yet by chapter nine, he's shown up for half a chapter along the way. It's a pickle. 

Each character has their own story that will eventually link together, but until then it's hard to consolidate them into one description. Do I just spoil in the blurb how they come together and just have the readers wait for it? Or do I just show their individual stories in the blurb and hope it doesn't throw people? Or have you any other suggestions? 

Re: How to blurb with multiple POV?

#2
I still believe this could be a very helpful discussion for people facing this issue, but I had experimented more on my own and think my new blurb is much improved. I'd appreciate any feedback however! 
 
"Nadira of the Orphans is unsatisfied with her life serving the long-dead Royals. Her friend Daress thinks that becoming a Diplomat and arbiting between the six magical Great Families will provide purpose for them both. Their plans are shaken when Arturri joins the Orphans after being convicted of a murder he did not commit. He wants to prove his innocence at all costs, even if it means putting the respect of the Orphans at risk to do so. Leliana, matron of the Orphanage, will not take that sitting down. Elsewhere, a young man from the Bheorse Family struggles to find a place for himself amidst his talented packmates. Things will change for him when a member of his pack goes missing. The balance that holds the underground city together is fragile, and the scales are almost ready to tip."

Re: How to blurb with multiple POV?

#3
Yeah blurbs are tricky in this instance. I have played around with a few in the past and have come to settle on a structure/format for them which I have applied for each volume. 
Mine's a superhero series and each volume has a different theme. Volume 1 = Resentment and Volume 2 = Regret etc and so I focus on this. I also have separated my volumes BECAUSE I have different themes and trying to have one blurb to encompass each volume would have been long and tricky. That's another thing for me, I wanted it short. I wanted as much as I could to be included in the space before you click to read more (I haven't done very well on this part, but I didn't want reams and reams of blurb, I think it defeats the object of what it's meant to do.) It'll also be why (and I mention it below) I've kept things vague. Space and attempt at intrigue!  

Below in each of the quote boxes are the blurb for my volume 2.



Quote:Enhanced Beings. Humans with the ability to do something astonishing. Some learn to use it for good. Others for bad. But most are content with the 9-5 and walks with the dog. 
But use it for bad, you’ll answer to… The Enhanced Beings Collective! USA’s taskforce in the fight against Enhanceds who threaten America’s national and global interests.
This sets the scene for the whole series. And this bit of the blurb is the same f or Volume 1 and will be for Volume 3. (It'll be changed slightly to reflect the changes in future volumes of the series etc) but it's how I start.


Quote:They say it’s better to regret things you’ve done than what you haven’t done. But for our heroes, the feeling is the same and cuts just as deep whatever the reason. Volume Two: Regret, explores the aftermath of Volume One’s finale and how the team moves on with their own sources of regret.
This bit reflects the theme of the volume and will naturally be different between each volume.


Quote:With some new additions to the team and a roster of new villains as well as some familiar, our heroes are busy travelling beyond the galaxies to more Earths, making bad judgements, uncovering secrets and fighting… for… survival! 
Then I tease what will occur in the stories. Could I tease more? Perhaps actually.... But I don't know. Like I said, I wanted it short. 


I also try to avoid listing a whole bunch of names because really, who cares? At the point where someone is reading the blurb, they don't know who the people are, so it would be difficult to encourage people to care at that point. I did include the name of the character who started it off, but like you they're not particularly of focus for the whole series. It's not their story. For my volume 1 blurb I do have this to let readers know we start with someone, a little spoiler but then it hints that there are more people to get to know. 


Quote:Volume One: Resentment throws us straight into the action via Kimona Jones in 1939. Taking off on a world record attempt flight she misses her destination. By ninety years...

As we meet the others in The Collective, it’s clear that their fights aren’t just against the bad guys, but also each other and their own personal demons.
Again vague, I know, but my goal is to try and sum it up as succinctly as I could. 



So maybe do you have a theme for yours? Something that links the characters together, something they all go through in one way or another? Loss? Rejection? Survival? Betrayal? Redemption? Do they have a similar journey that you can blurbarise? [Made up word but I'm sticking with it.]

Is there a villain/bad guy/enemy force that the group are united against- could your blurb perhaps outline the threat and tease how it brings the different characters together?

It's tricky, I feel ya there I do, which is why I've explained my thought process, because getting it how I have now WAS a process! 😪 But hopefully it's given you something to think about! 

Re: How to blurb with multiple POV?

#4

EnhancedBeing Wrote: So maybe do you have a theme for yours? Something that links the characters together, something they all go through in one way or another? Loss? Rejection? Survival? Betrayal? Redemption? Do they have a similar journey that you can blurbarise? [Made up word but I'm sticking with it.]

Is there a villain/bad guy/enemy force that the group are united against- could your blurb perhaps outline the threat and tease how it brings the different characters together?
I really like your approach! I think having a unifying theme to focus on is a good place to start. 

For me, I feel like all the characters feel in a sense out of place where they are, and their journey is in realizing where they need to be and what they need to be doing, but that's real abstract long-term stuff. There is a villain but they aren't going to show up for a while. There's minor villains currently, and in a way a lot of the cast are antagonistic towards one another in various ways. I redid my blurb in my last post here and I think although it's very name-drop heavy, it still flows in a way that's okay, but let me know if you think it could be improved! There is an element of the overarching story at the end, but I didn't want to give too much away!

Re: How to blurb with multiple POV?

#5

Kathy Wrote: I really like your approach! I think having a unifying theme to focus on is a good place to start. 

For me, I feel like all the characters feel in a sense out of place where they are, and their journey is in realizing where they need to be and what they need to be doing, but that's real abstract long-term stuff. There is a villain but they aren't going to show up for a while. There's minor villains currently, and in a way a lot of the cast are antagonistic towards one another in various ways. I redid my blurb in my last post here and I think although it's very name-drop heavy, it still flows in a way that's okay, but let me know if you think it could be improved! There is an element of the overarching story at the end, but I didn't want to give too much away!


Oh yeah, I caught that. So it is name drop heavy, sure, but I yeah, I think it does work. I do think seeing all the names throw me off a little bit still- you only leave the name out of one of the characters in your blurb. I don't know if that's a shared view beyond just what I'm saying, and I'm no expert on this so I had a look at the Game of Thrones first book blurb/synopsis for just as an example to see how GRRM did it.  
Kathy Wrote: "Nadira of the Orphans is unsatisfied with her life serving the long-dead Royals. Her friend Daress thinks that becoming a Diplomat and arbiting between the six magical Great Families will provide purpose for them both. Their plans are shaken when Arturri joins the Orphans after being convicted of a murder he did not commit. He wants to prove his innocence at all costs, even if it means putting the respect of the Orphans at risk to do so. Leliana, matron of the Orphanage, will not take that sitting down. Elsewhere, a young man from the Bheorse Family struggles to find a place for himself amidst his talented packmates. Things will change for him when a member of his pack goes missing. The balance that holds the underground city together is fragile, and the scales are almost ready to tip."



Blurb for Game of Thrones
Quote:Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

The words in pink are to show when a new character/group of characters is being referred to and I suppose they're not dissimilar in how many there are, but I wonder if you took out your names, and took a more descriptive approach, it might feel less overwhelming and might do more to allude to the wider world and the theme/topics..? If that makes sense? 

The only thing that GoT seems to hint at, is there is a conflict, so you too could be vague with hinting at how your characters may join together in the end? But I totally understand at not wanting to give it away. 

It's tough! I keep saying it, I know! I hope you get some advice and other ideas from others that will help you as I might be talking out of me backside. 

Re: How to blurb with multiple POV?

#6
Hmmm, if going for a multiple POV blurb, I think best if you start with a paragraph about the setting/world/conflict and then next paragraph is rough intro of the people. Just a very rough example: 

"In the land of A where the Marshmallow lord has awakened to collect all five fruits and rule over the world, follow these people and what they do with there lives

B, a marshmallow farmer who had his farm destroyed. C, a marshmallow seer who foresaw the awakening of the marshmallow lord. D, the guardian of the fruits who need help. E, the unlikely painter turned warrior who helps D."

My example is just a joke, but you get what I mean I suppose. 

What you have now would be a good second paragraph but can do more tweaking to find their connections with each other. Then add a first paragraph on what's up with your story's world. 
DrakanMelt        

Re: How to blurb with multiple POV?

#7

EnhancedBeing Wrote: The only thing that GoT seems to hint at, is there is a conflict
Temple Wrote: start with a paragraph about the setting/world/conflict

Ok I've taken on your suggestions a little bit, but now it's very long. I'm keeping the names in I think because a lot of them have the same title as Orphan, and I don't want to be like 'then another orphan', if that makes sense? I'm trying to think of how much of this information is necessary and how much can be taken out without confusing a reader. But it feels quite heavy now...

Quote:Long ago, humanity fled the surface and designed a grand underground city. Now, that city is ruled by the six Families. Family in the undercity is not a paltry genetic unit, but a doctrine of living, and a pact with the ancestors who grant each Family a unique magic. If doctrine is broken or a grave crime against the Family committed, the pact will also be severed. The fate of that person is a disowning, and only the Orphanage will take in the disowned. But even the Orphans have a special place in the undercity. They maintain the Church of the Royals, and a select few of them act as intermediaries in inter-Family disputes.

However, not all is as balanced as it would seem. The underground holds many sins and secrets within. If only they would look just a little closer, they would see the cracks growing deeper. They would see old dead things, growing restless, just waiting to be released.

It is in this undercity that Nadira of the Orphans desires change. She is unsatisfied with her life serving the long-dead Royals, and craves adventure. Her friend Daress thinks that becoming a Diplomat and arbiting between the six magical Families will provide purpose for them both. Their plans are shaken when Arturri joins the Orphans after being convicted of a murder he did not commit. He wants to prove his innocence at all costs, even if it means putting the respect of the Orphans at risk to do so. Leliana, matron of the Orphanage, will not take that sitting down. Elsewhere, Cebrice, a young man from the Bheorse Family, struggles to find a place for himself amidst his talented packmates. Things will change for him when a member of his pack goes missing. The balance that holds the underground city together is fragile, and the weights are shifting.


Is this better or does it make it more convoluted? 


Alternative more edited version of the new paragraph, but without info on the Orphans: 
Quote:Long ago, humanity fled the surface and designed a grand underground city. Now, that city is ruled by the six Families. Family in the undercity is not a paltry genetic unit, but a doctrine of living, and a pact with the ancestors who grant each Family a unique magic. If that doctrine is broken or any grave crime against the Family committed, the pact will also be severed. The fate of that person is a disowning, and only the Orphanage will take in the disowned. The underground holds many sins and secrets within. If only they would look just a little closer, they would see the cracks growing deeper. They would see old dead things, growing restless, just waiting to be released.

Thanks for your help!

Re: How to blurb with multiple POV?

#8
I see what you mean that it has become a bit longer. I do like your shortened version but feel like you might be unhappier at solely just using that... Am I right in thinking that?

SO... because I had the time and I'm procrastinating from working on my own writing, 👀I've had another look.
I STRESS, this is just me having a go. I'm trying to make it succinct and balance that with the assumption I've made that you might be happier if it still has the bit about the characters in.
I'm also coming at this from someone who only knows what you've shared in this thread about your fiction, so in my editing, I may have taken something out that you still feel is important and you want to keep. 
I'm also thinking "What do I need to know/the bare bones/essential bits as a non reader wondering if I will start reading this?" 
I'm just having a play around and you can do what you like with it 😃 I'm not trying to confuse or make things harder for you, so sorry if that happens. 


I've taken your own shorter version because I do like it and in it I've lined through what could come out and put in blue any additions. Then underneath that is what it looks like in full so it's easier to see complete. 
So it's shorter... do you think it still contains the essential information?
I have then added the character bit and shortened/readjusted that to come up with another new blurb possibility that hopefully gets across what you want it to, is not too long, tells the reader about the characters and evokes intrigue to want to read on. 


Kathy Wrote: Long ago, humanity fled the surface and designed a grand to a new underground city ruled by the six Families, each with a unique magic. Now, that city is ruled by the six Families. Family in the undercity is not a paltry genetic unit, but a doctrine of living, and a pact with the ancestors who grant each Family a unique magic. If Breaking the doctrine that binds them that doctrine is broken or any grave crime against the Family committed, the pact will also be severed. The fate of will result in that person being is a disowned, and only the Orphanage will take in the disowned. The underground city holds many sins and secrets within. If only they would look just a little closer, they would see the cracks growing deeper. They would see old dead things, growing restless, just waiting to be released.

= new idea for a blurb below =


Long ago, humanity fled the surface to a new underground city ruled by the six Families, each with a unique magic. Breaking the doctrine that binds them will result in that person being disowned, and only the Orphanage will take in the disowned. The underground city holds many sins and secrets within. If only they would look just a little closer, they would see the cracks growing deeper. They would see that the balance holding the underground city together is fragile, and the weights are shifting.

They would see an unsatisfied and adventure seeking Nadira of the Orphans desiring change. Her friend Daress thinks that becoming a Diplomat for the six magical Families will provide purpose for them both. But when Arturri joins the Orphans after being convicted of a murder he did not commit, their plans are at risk. His attempts to prove his innocence at all costs could end up harming the respect of the Orphans and Leliana, matron of the Orphanage, will not take that sitting down. Elsewhere, Cebrice, a young man from the Bheorse Family, struggles to find a place for himself amidst his talented packmates. What will happen when a member of his pack goes missing?


Good luck! Hopefully someone else will catch sight of this and offer you some ideas too so it's not just me you're listening to.

And I can't put it off any longer, I've got to get looking at shifting my chapters around a bit 😵🥴😂