Your Story In One Sentence - Page 2


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Thread: Your Story In One Sentence

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Staff Deployment View Post
    (sorry for using you as a bad example pops )
    Ah, yeah, I kind of posted that and read them and was like "well those tell me nothing". That one you quoted is kind of funny, because technically I don't have a plot for it...

    As far as what I know about the story at the moment... well that one sentence contains all of it. A girl and a new power source of immoral origin. Stuff will definitely happen. I swear.
    I have an extensive knowledge of Mean Girls quotes.

  2. #12
    WF Veteran InkwellMachine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staff Deployment View Post
    So, you all realize that this is akin to a pitch for a story, right? That means genre, main character, and central conflict.
    While I agree that this particular summary was a bit too vague to generate much intrigue, I have to disagree with you on establishing the genre and the main character in your one-sentence 'pitch' (or logline, as KyleColorado put it). The story might be about Charles Dexter Ward, for instance, but to the prospective audience that name means almost nothing. A mentally unstable young man on the other hand would at least give us some idea of who this character is (which is leagues more effective than the name alone).

    As for the genre, that should just be apparent between the setting and conflict. No need to overextend yourself in order to make it clear that the book you're summarizing is a fantasy novel--the fact that it's about a young wizard trying to tame a wild manticore should make that obvious.
    "Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised." --John Steinbeck

  3. #13
    RE: POPS: What about ... a teenaged girl, accosted by dark forces, must choose to either unravel the mystery and break the curse, or use her new powers for vengeance.

    That's probably nothing like your story, but I couldn't resist. Now it's a young-adult supernatural story about a "Carrie"-type girl, where the conflict is internal, i.e. how she chooses to harness her new powers.

    -- EDIT --

    Quote Originally Posted by InkwellMachine View Post
    As for the genre, that should just be apparent between the setting and conflict. No need to overextend yourself in order to make it clear that the book you're summarizing is a fantasy novel--the fact that it's about a young wizard should make that obvious.
    Yes, I agree with this! You'll notice in my own examples that words such as "schizophrenic", "wizard", "sex-bot", "haunted", etc all clearly point to a specific genre. A few times I think I spelled it out too obviously (fantasy, post-apocalyptic) but that's arguably more about the setting than the genre; the "fantasy" one, for example, is much more of a psychological story than a straight-up sword-and-sorcery thing.

    This isn't to say that my examples are very good. They're not. If I thought they were good, I wouldn't have put them up.
    Last edited by Staff Deployment; February 11th, 2014 at 06:58 AM.

  4. #14
    It's more like...

    A young woman fights for freedom with the help of a sickening power as humans retake a ravaged Earth.

    And you might as well ignore the fourth logline I gave. It and the one above it are essentially the same story in different settings (maybe with a protagonist shift too), the latter of which I jotted down last night after some inspiration smacked me in the face. It was a better sentence in its 20+ words form. It's really very hard to write a 20 word sentence that contains useful information.
    I have an extensive knowledge of Mean Girls quotes.

  5. #15
    Take two:

    As a mysterious enemy attacks, an unwilling draftee must reconcile his reluctance to fight with the knowledge that only he can save humanity.

    Drat, 23 words.
    "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

    "I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story." - Tom Clancy

  6. #16
    WF Veteran InkwellMachine's Avatar
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    As a mysterious enemy attacks, an unwilling draftee must reconcile his reluctance to fight with the knowledge that only he can save humanity.

    Drat, 23 words.
    Better. This tells us a whole lot more about the story. The most important detail here, which we missed in the last one, is the fact that this draftee is "the only one that can save humanity," which in turn tells us that humanity is in danger. Very relevant.

    I might even cut out the fact that he's reluctant, because that's just something we'll find out during the story--it's not what the story is about. Granted, it may mean a lot for the story, this seems as though it could read "When a mysterious enemy attacks, an unwilling draftee is the only hope for humanity" without losing too much of its potency.

    Again, those are just my two cents.
    Last edited by InkwellMachine; February 11th, 2014 at 09:08 PM.
    "Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised." --John Steinbeck

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Blade View Post
    You could remove 'own' and/or 'ancient'.
    Done. Thanks!
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

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  8. #18
    Creative Area Specialist (Fiction) Blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer_2k4 View Post
    Take two:

    As a mysterious enemy attacks, an unwilling draftee must reconcile his reluctance to fight with the knowledge that only he can save humanity.

    Drat, 23 words.
    ​You could drop 'As', 'unwilling', 'his', 'the'.
    I was fighting with temptation but I didn't want to win.
    A man like me don't like to see temptation caving in.
    Leonard Cohen

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Blade View Post
    ​You could drop 'As', 'unwilling', 'his', 'the'.
    No, that would break the syntax.

    In my own opinion, I think the fight between the "unwilling draftee" and the "mysterious enemy" is more interesting than the internal struggle. After all, "unwilling draftee" pretty much sums up that internal struggle perfectly. It means he's there out of duty, not out of free will. Bam, you've instantly freed up space to describe what this mysterious enemy is and why it's a threat.

  10. #20
    The story of a boy, a dog, and the serial killer threatening them both.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


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