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) (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)

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?