Monday, May 4, 2009

What is it about?

I recently realized that I can't adequately describe what my book is about. Is it because I don't know what it's about? No, not really. I know what it's about. But I'm not good at nutshelling. Anyone who has read this blog for awhile would probably notice how terrifyingly hideous some of my book/movie/CD reviews are. I can't think of how to portray my interest in it in words. What did I like about? I might give away the plot. What is it about? I'll give away the plot. So I just say how I feel about it, assuming that everybody else has read it, or not caring if they hadn't. I need to work on my reviewing skills, obviously.

So, what is my book about? I've heard more than once that you need to be able to say what your book is about in one sentence. This is a good idea. Whether just to tell a friend who asks or a publisher looking for a good story, you need your story in a nutshell to tell that person about. I realized how ridiculous it sounded to go off in a string of unconnected sentences, randomly grabbing this plot thread and that one and then trying to make it make sense to whoever you're explaining it to. I've been asked this a couple times recently, and that's kind of what got me started thinking about it.

My problem is that the story isn't about just one character. It's about all of them, but three specifically. I also kind of got this concept from Randy Ingermanson, an excellent writer. I've actually only read one of his books, which he co-wrote with John B. Olsen, but the plotting in it was AMAZING. It's called Oxygen...I think I need to get that and read it again and then get the sequel. Yeah. Put that on my book buying list, Anna.

Okay, not that that little self not is done, and there is a link to Randy Ingermanson (two, now, actually)

here's a direct link to his Snowflake Method, his blockbuildling tool for plot building. It's pretty cool. You should check it out. It'll all make sense to what I'm talking about if you'll browse through his website and the Snowflake article.

Can you say, in one sentence, what your story is about? Who do you consider the main character? Why? You don't have to put the whole plot in one sentence. I think I've seen something like this for a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone blurb:

A young boy learns he's a wizard and goes to a school of magic to make his fortune.

Not those exact words, but that's basically what it was. How simple is that?

This is the one line blurb for Stephanie Meyer's adult sci-fi book, The Host:

Aliens have taken control of the minds and bodies of most humans, but one woman won’t surrender.

No, I have not read that book. From what I've seen, though, it's hard, hard to make it sound good. But it'll be awesome the next time someone asks me about my book. So. My writing goals this week?

  • Finish the outline
  • Get started on writing the story again
  • Write an incredible one-liner that sums up my story in a nutshell.
Lol, the bullet things are fun. I've never tried them before!

Now I should go get dressed and ready for the day so I can do school, read, write, and make hot chocolate. :D


Mythopoeia said...

Er . . . are run-on sentences allowed? *guilty look*

I might have to just resort to a cunning 'You must read it and find out!'

Anna said...

Ha ha. It is hard...I've tried it before, but the last time I was asked, I said:

"It is a coming-of-age, good vs. evil, kid meets creature epic saga that will become...."

and then someone burst into laughter.