Stakes: Show us what you’ve got!

When doing concept a couple weeks ago, I popped off a few examples to show each master's way of writing concept.  When illustrating Mr. Iglesias’ approach, I wrote this: A high school dance troupe rallies around its wrongly suspended captain to form a karate team and take state before they graduate. This concept sentence didn’t come out … Continue reading Stakes: Show us what you’ve got!

Stakes: How James Patterson does it

A couple weeks ago we looked at how master novelists write one-line synopses.  One of them really emphasized stakes, so I picked that one to read with an eye for developing, heightening, and deepening stakes. Ladies and Gents, I give you: some of the stakes in James Patterson's Hope to Die. SO HOW DOES PATTERSON DEVELOP HIS STORY’S … Continue reading Stakes: How James Patterson does it

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)

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)

The One-Line Synopsis: What is it and how do you write one?

Time to expand the concept into a one-line synopsis. Some people call this tool the logline or the one-liner, and lots of people also call it the premise.  I was one of the premise people until I started digging into the tool and saw that a lot of people also use premise synonymously with theme … Continue reading The One-Line Synopsis: What is it and how do you write one?