15 Lousy (Grueling) Words

Step One of Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method requires I spend an hour writing a one sentence summary. Of less than 15 words.

I’ve said before, writing a 100,000 word novel is much easier than a single-page synopsis or query letter.I’d rather eat a raw onion.

After a half an hour (I didn’t have the patience last night for an entire hour), and thirteen iterations later I ended up with a fifteen word summary:

Both murderer and spy, one man decides the fate of two cultures and one planet.

Does it say enough?

Perhaps I should spend another thirty minutes on it.

Still, it’s better than my first try (they subsequently worsened, believe it or not):

A grounded pilot stuck between two cultures must prevent a war. 

I didn’t like it, because the main character may or may not prevent that war. He may decide to walk away. Plus the sentence doesn’t say enough to titillate the interest of potential readers.

Whether or not my final (as yet) effort does, I’ll let you decide.

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