A woman regrets asking a deranged neighborhood cult to kill her philandering husband.
Working with Randy Ingermanson’s “Snowflake Method for Designing a Novel” last month, I came up with about a hundred mini-summaries for my story.
Some other versions:
- She lost her cool… now she could lose everything.
- A young mother decides she doesn’t want her unfaithful husband killed after all.
- She wants to call off the hit on her husband, but it’s too late.
- A jilted wife gets more than she bargained for at the neighborhood garage sale.
- They moved up, then he moved out. She thought she’d moved on.
There are more. And they are all just as bad. I might as well start designing my own cover art and get my 12 year old to publish the thing.
Want to give it a shot? Here’s what Ingermanson says to do:
Step 1) Take an hour and write a one-sentence summary of your novel.Shorter is better. Try for fewer than 15 words.No character names, please! Better to say “a handicapped trapeze artist” than “Jane Doe”.Tie together the big picture and the personal picture. Which character has the most to lose in this story? Now tell me what he or she wants to win.Read the one-line blurbs on the New York Times Bestseller list to learn how to do this. Writing a one-sentence description is an art form.
This first step is akin to creating the “log-line” in Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat. There are 9 other steps in the Snowflake Method. I might just do the whole shebang for my next story.