I found Rachelle Gardner’s recent One-Sentence Summary Contest rather fascinating. Developing a provocative snippet (emphasis on provocative AND snippet) of your story is par for the course nowadays. So why do so many aspiring novelists have such a hard time with this exercise?
Could it be they don’t really know their story that well? Or maybe there is no compelling storyline.
Anyway, Rachelle gave some great pointers about how to boil down your storyline into “a simple statement that can be quickly conveyed and understood, [that] generates interest in the book.”
In 25 words.
Out of the 500-plus entries, the one-sentence summary for my current WIP managed an Honorable Mention. Woot, woot! Here it is:
A disfigured modern-day prophet must overcome his own despair in time to seal one of the seven mythical gates of hell.
Whaddya think? Of course there’s more to my story than a prophet and the gates of hell. There’s a roadside attraction, a llama ranch, a faith healer, and a whiskey drinking shaman who quotes Oscar Wilde. Hey, all I needed to do was provoke interest. So did I?