Ever try and write a one sentence synopsis of a novel?  Your novel?  It’s painful, daunting.  Necessary.  I don’t have an obvious hook.  My character isn’t an Iranian woman, a former male prostitute, a galavanting criminal, a serious-minded Indian teenager making her way in American suburbia. Here are my drafts so far:

A double-threaded bildungsroman spanning from 1960s rural
America to the 1990s, Ties of Blood, Sin, and Ink follows two cousins through their search for meaning within themselves and the world around them, a world rich in the pain and grace of love, relationships, and existence.

Ties of Blood, Sin, and Ink guides the reader through the blurry line between childhood and adulthood, a line cousins Barb and Debbie struggle to understand and define for themselves.

ETA: Lame! Back to the drawing board.

One thought on “Synopsis…

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  1. Hey there! As someone who’s had a few novels published (53 to be exact), and someone who has taught a couple hundred students writing-related stuff, I agree that, yes, it IS tough to describe an entire story in just one sentence!

    The trick?

    Focus on your story’s major conflict? (What’s the primary obstacle facing your main character(s)?) With that clear in your mind, it’s waaaaaay easier to explain what your story is about.

    Practice doing it with stories you know and like: Bambi, Tale of Two Cities, Silence of the Lambs…. Doesn’t matter what genre, or if the story’s old or new. Doesn’t even matter if it’s a book or a movie! (Remember the Seinfeld show? Jerry, himself, once described it as “The show that’s about nothing, really.”)

    Then, once you think maybe you’ve ‘nailed’ the One Sentence Description, think about YOUR story. What major obstacle(s) do your characters face? At the end of the story, how will they have resolved things?

    Last, pretend you’re riding in an elevator with a major producer. You have the time it takes to travel, no stops, from the first floor to the fifth, to describe your story’s plot…and hopefully, coax a “Send me the script!” from him/her.

    One thing you DON’T wanna do is…quit That’s what your competitors are counting on!

    So keep those fingers on the keyboard; if you stick with it long enough, stuff falls into place.

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