Friday, February 17, 2017

Your Novel in One Sentence

by Rebecca Talley  @rebeccatalley
Indie Author Hub Member

Before you begin your novel, you’ll want to focus on the core of your novel.

One of the best ways to find the very center of your novel is to use only one sentence to describe it. This will not only serve to keep you focused on the story as you write it, it will also help you to pitch your novel to potential agents or publishers. Think of this one sentence as your twenty-second selling tool.

Try to boil the story down to one sentence. Though it may seem difficult, if not impossible, it is an excellent exercise for you to pinpoint the main plot of your novel.

For example, the one sentence for Gone With The Wind might be, “A spoiled southern belle must learn to readjust to life after the Civil War.” Of course, this doesn’t begin to touch on all of the subplots, but it gives you an overview of the story.

For the Harry Potter series it might be, “An orphaned boy discovers he’s a wizard and must use his newfound powers to battle evil.”

One sentence to describe Twilight could be, “An ordinary teenage girl falls in love with a vampire and must sacrifice her normal life to be with him.”

Learning to condense your story in one sentence is an art form. Research one sentence book blurbs in newspaper book reviews or on the internet to see how effective one sentence can be. Write your own one-sentence descriptions for books you’ve read. Once you have the hang of it, try it on your own novel.

Take your story-in-a-sentence and post it next to your computer or near your desk so you can see it while you write. You’ll find that it keeps you centered on your story.

If your focus is on traditional publishing, you’ll also find that you can use your sentence in your query letter when the time comes to send out your novel to potential publishers or agents. You can whet the appetite of industry professionals with a well-written sentence.

Go ahead and try it. It may take you an hour or it may take you all day, but see if you can describe your novel in one sentence.

Rebecca grew up next to the ocean in Santa Barbara, California. She spent her youth at the beach collecting sea shells and building sandcastles. She graduated from high school and left for college, where she met and married her sweetheart, Del.

Del and Rebecca are the sometimes frazzled, but always grateful, parents of ten wildly-creative and multi-talented children and the grandparents of the most adorable little girls in the universe.

After spending nineteen years in rural Colorado with horses, cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, and donkeys, Rebecca and her family moved to a suburb of Houston, Texas, where she spends most of her time in the pool trying to avoid the heat and humidity. When she isn't in the pool, she loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, redecorate her house, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house.

Rebecca has always loved to write and has authored novels, stories for print and online magazines, and children's books. She now focuses on writing romance because she believes everyone deserves their happily-ever-after.

You can find Rebecca on her website, her author page on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @rebeccatalley.

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