As I've mentioned before, I recently downloaded the Writer's Digest webinar "How to Get an Agent" presented by PS Literary Agency agent Carly Watters. I learned so much in that webinar, I'm still digesting all the information. One of the things that really stood out for me was the call for a one-sentence hook. Slightly different than a 1-paragraph summary or an elevator pitch, this came with a formula developed by Nathan Bransford:
"When [conflict] happens to [character], they must [overcome conflict] to [complete stake or quest]."
While some might look at that and say, 'oh great, a formula!' I looked at that and immediately thought - that's going to be tough as hell. How do you take 92,000 words and put it into a one-sentence formula?
So, yesterday I spent a larger-than-expected chunk of time coming up with permuation after permutation. I tried specific characters, generalizations, different key plotpoints, emotional archs, and stakes. I had a thousand variables and had to decide which ones mattered the most.
Wherever you are in your writing process, this is a great excerise. Because, as Carly pointed out in the webinar, if you can't boil your book down into its essence, you aren't ready to pitch your book.
So, here is my result, which I have also now posted on my Books page.
"When Will, a Cube true believer, and Molly, a Cube skeptic, stumble upon odd symbols scattered around the game’s grounds, they must work together to discover what the symbols mean – and The Cube’s true intent – while a stalker attempts to stop them in their tracks, and their own growing feelings for each other begin to change their lives forever. "
I'd love any feedback if you have it. For now, to anyone else attempting the dreaded one-sentence hook, I say hang in there. It is worth the work!