Maybe not better, but sometimes necessary. And sometimes helpful.
I've been working on my query letter, 2 sentence pitch, and short synopsis for a couple of months now. Every time I start, I end up with the same thought right before I give up. "This is ridiculous! How can ANYone tell what their book is about in two sentences!? How is it possible to sum up all the nuance and intrigue of your 100,000 page novel in a one page query!? It's impossible. No one can do it."
But they can. And they do.
It seems that getting a novel published is a lot more than just hammering out 80-100,000 words. After that easy part is done, then you have to condense those words into something much smaller. Bite-size even.
I know what you're thinking. "Yeah, yeah, Amanda. We all already know this. Why are you telling us again??"
Because, I wanted to tell you there are people out there who write 2 sentence stories. Beautiful stories that take only one breath of air to read aloud, but that can haunt you for hours after. A whole world in 25 words. What if your whole novel were just the 2 sentence pitch?
Take this one, for example:
L. R. Bonehill
There had been rumors from the North for months. None of us believed it, until one night we started to kill our children too.
While, yes, this could just be the first sentence of a (kick-ass!) novel, it also gives you everything your brain needs to go on about it for hours. You can picture the people huddled around their TV, seeing news stories about crazed people killing their own children. You can see the disbelief in their faces. Until one night, the husband wakes up and maybe grabs an ax. Or even just a baseball bat. And starts walking down the hall to his daughters' room. ...I won't go on, but you see my point.
This is the idea behind "Hint Fiction," an anthology of extremely short stories compiled by Robert Swartwood. You can find the NPR story here. (Thanks mom!)
Click on over and check it out. Some of the stories are amazing. I never knew how much information you could convey in 2 sentences or less. I have renewed hope for my 2 sentence pitch. My goal for the end of this week is to have a confident and concise answer to the question, "What's your novel about." ...I'll get back to you on that one.
For now, though, I'll just share with you my own 2 sentence story. I guess I'm in a dark mood.
"Justine pressed the razor to her scar-covered arm. This will be the last time. As it reached her artery, she wondered if she should have sent out funeral invitations to the girls at school beforehand."
Okay, so it's more than 25 words, and it's 3 sentences, but you get the gist. :) I told you I was bad at this brevity thing!
Now it's your turn!