Writing on Wednesday: One Page Summary

ice-crystal-1065155_1920

The fourth step of the snowflake method is to turn your one paragraph summary into a one page summary and it’s ridiculously easy.

See, if you’re anything like me, you felt like your one paragraph summary didn’t capture enough of the story and you’ve been itching to fix it. Well now’s your chance.

To do this step, take each sentence in your one paragraph summary and expand it into a paragraph.

Here was my one paragraph summary for Persephone:

Persephone thought she was just a typical, modern day teenager until she realized she was being stalked by a season.When Boreas, the god of Winter, attempts to whisk her away to a not so winter wonderland, she’s rescued by Hades and offered refuge in the Underworld.
Unable to physically reach Persephone in the Underworld, Boreas begins going after her through her dreams. When Persephone learns to defend her mind from the deranged ice god, he kidnaps Persephone’s best friend and threatens to kill her unless Persephone agrees to take her place. In a desperate bid to save her friend, Persephone embraces her power as a goddess and succeeds in killing the god of winter, only to learn an even larger danger is lurking closer to home than she had ever imagined.

Now break it down by sentence.

Sentence 1: Persephone thought she was just a typical, modern day teenager until she realized she was being stalked by a season.

Paragraph 1: Persephone thought she was just a typical, modern day teenager until strange things started happening around her. Girls are snarky with jealousy, water turns to ice whenever she’s around, her best friend is acting like she’s hiding something from her, and her car was nearly blown off the road by a freak ice storm in the middle of Atlanta. But it isn’t until a guy tries to drag her out of her mother’s flower shop, screaming that she’s a daughter of Zeus that her mother finally fesses up.

Persephone’s a goddess.

Sentence 2: When Boreas, the god of Winter, attempts to whisk her away to a not so winter wonderland, she’s rescued by Hades and offered refuge in the Underworld.

Paragraph 2: Persephone thinks her mom has lost her mind. She runs away to her friends house only to discover that her best friend is also in on the secret. Before Persephone can process that they might actually be telling the truth, she’s attacked by a season. Boreas, the god of winter, has his eye on Persephone and now he wants to whisk her away to a not so winter wonderland. She’s rescued from the serial rapist by Hades, Lord of the Underworld, and offered refuge in the Underworld until the end of winter. The catch? He has to marry her to take her there.

Sentence 3: Unable to physically reach Persephone in the Underworld, Boreas begins going after her through her dreams.

Paragraph 3: But marriage doesn’t mean much among the gods, and Hades doesn’t seem interested in the profoundly younger goddess. Persephone gets to know the residents of the Underworld and discovers the place isn’t the epicenter of doom and gloom that she’d been imagining. And Hades isn’t so bad himself. She’s just starting to get the hang of the whole Underworld Queen thing when Boreas attacks her in her dreams.

Sentence 4: When Persephone learns to defend her mind from the deranged ice god, he kidnaps Persephone’s best friend and threatens to kill her unless Persephone agrees to take her place.

Paragraph 4: Hades realizes the younger goddess has no clue how to protect herself or use her powers, so he takes it upon himself to teach her. The more she learns, the closer they grow. Meanwhile, Boreas is rapidly running out of winter, so in a last ditch effort to get his hands on Persephone, he kidnaps Persephone’s best friend, threatening to kill her unless Persephone turns herself over to the deranged ice god.

Sentence 5: In a desperate bid to save her friend, Persephone embraces her power as a goddess and succeeds in killing the god of winter, only to learn an even larger danger is lurking closer to home than she had ever imagined.

Paragraph 5: Despite Hades’s protests, Persephone leaves the safety of the Underworld and faces down the god of winter, determined to save her friend and find out why he’s so obsessed with getting his hands on her. She discovers Boreas is working for Zeus, her father. Persephone succeeds in destroying the ice god, but at great cost. Her best friend is killed in the cross fire. Persephone makes a deal with a Reaper to restore her friends soul and inadvertently locks herself into a promise to keep his shady dealings from Hades. Since gods can’t lie, her promise is binding, and it isn’t until after she makes the deal that she discovers the reaper is working for Zeus and the Underworld is in more danger than she ever could have imagined.

Put it all together and that’s a pretty decent one page summary of Persephone. Is it the greatest summary ever written? No.But it’s considerably more comprehensive then what I sent out in my query letters. If Persephone weren’t already out in the world, I’d spend many more hours polishing this summary into a better reflection of the book. (I’m really proud of my book 6 one page summary, but alas, spoilers). But as an example of how a single paragraph might expand into a page, this works.

Even if you don’t use the snowflake method to outline, this has changed the way I look at my one paragraph and one page summaries for query letters. It’s worth it for that alone. And I haven’t even gotten to the good parts yet.

More on Characters next week.

Advertisements

One thought on “Writing on Wednesday: One Page Summary

  1. Pingback: The Snowflake Method Master Post | Kaitlin Bevis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s