1. Nawaf
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    Nawaf New Member

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    One-sentence summary

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Nawaf, Apr 21, 2011.

    Hi! I want to know if my one-sentence summary is good enough to grab attention. Its for a novel I am working on.
    (A young detective tracks down a killer that provides him with hints of an explosive conclusion.)
    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Hmm. No, it doesn't really catch my interest. What you gave here is too cliché to catch my interest. Of COURSE a detective is trying to track down a killer. What about the killer makes the killer interesting? What about the MC, are there any personal demons they have to work out that make everything harder?

    It seems like there might be a more interesting relationship between the detective and the killer, what is it?

    Also, "hints of an explosive conclusion" are you trying to hint that there are explosions in the conclusion?

    I know it's only a sentence, but so far it's too vague. Give us more of what makes your story unique.
     
  3. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Funkybass pretty much said what I'm thinking.
     
  4. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    Some tips about writing excelent opening lines (that can also be applied to a one-sentence summary):

    1. Show us something interesting about a major character (usually the lead protagonist)
    2. Set something unusual and interesting in motion
    4. Introduce an unusual relationship for the main character (with other characters, himself, his surroundings, and/or the readers).
    5. Introduce problems and/or conflicts.

    You can find more really good tips here.

    EDIT: Just found an article specific for novels synopsis here.
     
  5. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    It's tough to to identify what makes your story unique when you only have one sentence to talk about it. Rather than giving an outline of the plot as you have done, I would focus more on what makes my book different from any others.

    Edit: What Funkybass said.
     
  6. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    It just sounds like the summary of any general crime novel. Be more specific!
     
  7. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Hints at an explosive conclusion sounds interesting to me, but probably for the wrong reasons. I imagined it being meta-fiction, and a mystery, where the MC is working through a case and finding hints that you're the next on the killer's hit-list, and the end of the book will literally explode ala Inspector Gadet if this young detective doesn't solve the case in time (by the end of said book!). If he doesn't, not only will you die from reading the novel, but the detective's world will also be destroyed in the explosion. And who wouldn't read THAT book to find out what happens in the end?!

    I'm guess this, while an awesome idea, isn't what your book is about? :p
     
  8. author97
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    author97 Member

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    It sounds like a good start, the beginning of and idea, but it doesn't grab my interest to the point I'd want to find put as much about this as I can. Try to put surprise or originality into it
     
  9. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    You need to convey the major players and events in a way the makes them unique. If you can't, then it says something about the improvements to the plot/characters needed.

    Examples:

    - A genetically modified Taiwanese chef teams up with a newt in a fez to save his big-bossom'd girlfriend from mummies [/Yahtzee Chroshaw]

    - An interstellar and sentient toaster is kidnapped by the George Foreman corporation and must rally the local appliances to rebel before it is disassembled by the R&D department.

    - Three estranged brothers unknowingly work against each other as an FBI agent, an international fugitive and a career criminal during a bank heist that goes hilariously wrong.
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's better if you give the character's name and make the information less general, like,
    '(name) must track down a perverted killer before another school goes up in smoke--next time, his schoolteacher wife could be among the victims.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For whom, or for what purpose, are you writing a one-sentence summary? Whose constraint is it that it must be one sentence? And what does the audience of that sentence need to know?
     
  12. The Soul Man
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    The Soul Man Member

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    If for whatever reason you are trying to draw people in with a single sentence you should at least make an attempt to expand some more details. Right now it is very vague and horrifying generic, doing nothing to separate it from the hundreds if not thousands of crime novels available in your average bookstore or reading device.

    I am confident that your novel may better than the summary implies, but the sentence itself does next to nothing to draw interest into the story, for me at least
     
  13. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Very hard thing to do, with only a sentence every word must count.

    This makes me want to make a thread where everyone describes the story they're working on in one sentence. Is there something like that already?
     
  14. Dark Dyer
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    Dark Dyer Member

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    Definitely need to be more creative. You just gave the basis of every single thriller book ever made. If you tried something like... "One-eyed detective chases killer around world searching for mad booty" you'd make it more interesting. I don't think I've ever read a story about a pirate detective.
     

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