Hooks Big and Small–How the Masters Do It

We looked at hooks last week, both concept hooks that pique our initial interest in a story and in-story hooks that keep us engaged from start to finish. Today we’re looking at how a few New York Times bestsellers hook us.  I pulled these loglines from the February 2, 2020 NYTBS list, and then looked … Continue reading Hooks Big and Small–How the Masters Do It

Story Hooks: What are they?

In the last post, we discussed how the most important element in a logline is often the element that reveals the story's hook(s).  But what is a hook?  Let's find out. What is a hook? Generally speaking . . . “A hook is a device for catching, holding, sustaining, or pulling anything--in this case, a … Continue reading Story Hooks: What are they?

Designing Principle: Show us what you’ve got!

Designing Principles can come instantly, along with the initial idea. But often they are hard-won. If they come at all. I considered trying to come up with a designing principle for one of the two premises we developed last week, but... I’ve got nothing.  The only made-up designing principle I can offer you is this... … Continue reading Designing Principle: Show us what you’ve got!

Writing–and Improving–The One-Line Synopsis

Today we’re expanding a couple of last week’s concepts into synopses and then trying to improve them. First I wrote out my first-thought, all-seven-components synopses, with each component identified with {W}orld, {C}haracter, {I}nciting Incident, {G}oal, {A}ction, {P}roblem, and {S}takes, with {i}mplicit components and questionable {?} components indicated. And then I did a stream-of-conscious application of this week’s criteria for a … Continue reading Writing–and Improving–The One-Line Synopsis

The One-Line Synopsis: How the Best Sellers Do It (Or At Least the People Who Write the List) (Updated 10/16/18)

I’ve lifted these synopses from the January 18, 2015 New York Times Best Seller Lists.  In each one, I’ve identified any synopsis components with:  {W}orld, {C}haracter, {I}nciting Incident, {G}oal, {A}ction, {P}roblem, and {S}takes.  I've also indicated if the component is {i}mplicit...to my ears anyway.  And, if I wasn't sure if a word or phrase indicated … Continue reading The One-Line Synopsis: How the Best Sellers Do It (Or At Least the People Who Write the List) (Updated 10/16/18)