Saturday, January 26, 2013

One-Paragraph Story Summary

I'm working on a new idea for Harlequin Romance. Every time I start a book I do it the same way. I come up with an interesting premise...Brand new CPA ends up working as an administrative assistant and isn't happy about it. Especially when she falls in love with her boss.

Kinda cute! A tad different.

But after that my brain says...okay now what?

I could tell the above story a hundred different ways. I could make it funny. I could make it sad. I could make it all sparkly and shiny with glittery corporate stuff...or glittery social life stuff...because let's face it. Her rich boss could take her to some fun places. Or he might want her to help him plan a big party. He could want to work at his beach house. He could fly her to Paris. She could be taking notes at a congressional hearing.

I won't know the real story until I run it through the one-paragraph story summary a few times, not just to narrow down the possibilities but to give me some structure. And also to help me figure out the story I WANT to tell.

So what's the one-paragraph story summary?

Your premise/hook: Boss/Assistant story where heroine doesn't want the position!

Coupled with the characters' goals, motivations and conflicts that result in a black moment...

Followed by a statement of growth that results in a happy ending.

I'll probably spend all day today and most of tomorrow pairing my premise with various goals, motivations and conflicts. Those goals, motivations and conflicts will tell me which character needs to grow, how that lack of growth results in a black moment and how that growth will result in a happy ending.

For me coming up with a story is all about doodling...or as one of my friends pointed out over the weekend...thinking.

But the truth is...thinking, pairing things up to see which grouping makes the most compelling story, for me is fun. Lots of fun.

And that's why I write for a living. I like coming up with stories. I like changing things out and looking for the story that hits just the right combination of humor, angst, lust, need, romance and longing, to create a compelling story.

Don't ever limit yourself to just "one" way to tell a story. Consider all the possibilities. And writing, especially coming up with new stories, will be a heck of a lot of fun!

Happy Monday!


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