Thursday, August 2, 2012

But HOW Do You Write a Book? Step 5

So far, just like following a recipe to bake a cake, the steps that I follow and have shared to write a book are as follows:
  1. Deciding what type (genre) and kind (length) of book.
  2. Focusing on what the story is you will be sharing.
  3. Deciding whose story it is.
  4. Choosing a title for your story/book.
There are two parts for Step 5, which is writing a 25-word-or-less description or a logline for your book.

25-Words-or-Less Description or One-Sentence Logline

I've been told time and time again by numerous writers and writing instructors, that if you can't describe your book in 25-words or less, you can't expect readers to get a quick, realistic grasp of what the book is about, which is what is needed for them to have interest in buying the book in the first place.

To get the information needed to writing your description, consider:
  • Who is your story about?
  • What does he/she want?
  • What stands in the way of him/her getting what he/she wants? 
First off, how would you describe who your story is about?

What's his job or position or condition? (Do not use his or her name.) What one-word would describe them as well? Examples might include: reclusive teacher, shy volunteer fireman, naive politician, and precocious child.

For the book/movie Jaws, one of the main character's was a sheriff of a resort town. Resort town sheriff, perhaps? He feared and hated the water, so perhaps: Water-hating sheriff?

What does he/she want?

Jaw's water-hating, resort town sheriff wants to keep his family, the inhabitants, and tourists safe. 

What stands in his/her way of getting what he/she wants?

The mayor and chamber of commerce do not want to close the beach, also the shark definitely stands in the way of the sheriff keeping things safe. 

Potential Descriptions

(Note: The description is written in present tense, with the use of strong action verbs, such as fights, battles, struggles, etc.)

A water-hating sheriff faces off against a reluctant mayor and battles a monster shark to keep inhabitants and tourists of a small resort town safe.

Or since the sheriff wasn't the only one on the boat, perhaps:

A water-hating sheriff, a young marine biologist, and grizzly fisherman battle a monster shark to keep a small resort town safe.

Now, using the above as examples, write your own description/logline for your book.

That's Step 5 of But HOW Do You Write a Book.

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