Monday, May 7, 2012 | By: Taffy

One-Sentance Summary

Do you have a one-sentence summary of your story? 

Here is what Randy Ingermanson says about them:

DO IT!

From Randy Ingermanson:

Here is my one-sentence summary of THE HUNGER GAMES:

"A 16-year-old girl volunteers to take her sister’s
place in an arena where twenty-four teens will battle
each other to the death."


That's 25 words, which I consider the upper limit for a
one-sentence summary. I prefer to see a one-sentence
summary in the range of 10 to 15 words.

The goal is to tell the main idea of the novel in as
few words as possible. Shorter is always better, if it
captures the story.

The shortest one-sentence summary I've ever seen is the
summary for my friend Tosca Lee's forthcoming novel
ISCARIOT. Here it is: "Judas".

That's one word and it tells you everything you need to
know about Tosca's book.


The purpose of a one-sentence summary is to tell people
whether they're interested or not. That's all.

Notice that I didn't say that the purpose of the
one-sentence summary is to sell your book. That would
be crazy. Most people are not in the target audience
for your book. If they're not in your target audience,
they probably won't like it, and there's no reason you
should want them to buy it.

You want a one-sentence summary that immediately gives
the hearer enough information to know whether they're
in your target audience or not.


Here is mine:
No one wants to be friends with 17 year-old Angelica because they might die, like the nine before.

What about yours? Tell me in the comments!

3 comments:

Tapper said...

You got my attention. Great hook.

Andrea said...

That is really good. I'm still trying to figure one out.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Oh, my, do I need a one sentence pitch. That would've been helpful about 247 times at Storymakers. ;) Sadly, I haven't come up with one yet. LOVE yours, though! Nice job!