Hell Day 1 of novel creation! Before we begin, let’s breakdown the timetable of our journey together. Say you were going to write a 60,000 word novel, we’d break it down like this:
- Week 1 = Act 1 = 25% = 15,000 Words
- Weeks 2 & 3 = Act 2 = 50% = 30,000 Words
- Week 4 = Act 3 = 25% = 15,000 Words
That being the case, our first order of business is starting strong and finishing Act 1 within the first week.
In traditional story structure, Act 1 is all about the set-up. The hook, the inciting incident, the catalyst that drags your readers along for the ride. And there’s no better place to start hooking your readers than with a punchy summary of your novel.
The objective for the day is to write a one sentence summary of your novel. This summary will be used as reference for your outline. Kinda like how construction workers use blueprints before they start building houses, an outline can keep you on track and stop you from wasting time. If you’re considering adding a scene, hold it up against your one-sentence summary to see if it’s worth keeping.
- “A rich girl and poor boy meet and fall in love on the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic.”
- “A Hobbit named Frodo, entrusted with an ancient ring, must now embark on an epic quest to destroy it.”
- “A young girl with dreams of becoming a mage must undergo strenuous trials against fellow applicants to be accepted into a prestigious magic academy.”
My summary seems like a mouthful, but it carries the idea across. So don’t worry if your summary seems long at first. We’ll keep revising it as the days unfold.
Make sure you share your one-sentence summary with the class in the comments below!