|Image via Adi Respati on Flickr|
The idea behind the story, the concept, is critically important. It becomes:
- the blueprint you use to write the book.
- the pitch you use when you're trying to find an agent.
- the way your agent sells your book to your publisher.
- the description your publisher ultimately uses to get booksellers to carry your book.
- the way readers share the book with their friends.
Story Idea WorksheetTagline:
Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.
[This was the first note I wrote to myself about the story idea. I've tweaked it a little bit, but ultimately, it made its way to the front of the book jacket.]
- BEAUTIFUL CREATURES meets THE BODY FINDER [from my publisher]
- BEAUTIFUL CREATURES meets GONE WITH THE WIND [from USA Today]
- A little bit GONE WITH THE WIND and a little bit ROMEO AND JULIET [from School Library Journal]
- BEAUTIFUL CREATURES meets Lauren Oliver's ROOMS [a reader]
- MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL meets ROMEO AND JULIET meets THE SIXTH SENSE [agent]
Two sentence idea:
One sentence idea:
A seventeen-year-old girl discovers that her gift for finding lost things is equally a curse when she loses everything she's ever known and is plunged into first love and the dangerous secrets and dark history of the magical island settled three-hundred years ago by her ancestors.
What if a teen with an inherited gift for finding lost things is compelled to discover dangerous secrets her family has been hiding?
Story action launch:
Compulsion starts when Barrie Watson arrives at her family's 300-year-old plantation and discovers that she is magically linked to the island so that she can't leave until she uncovers the secrets her family has been trying to hide.
Central external idea:
Will Barrie's gift for finding lost things help her unravel the tangled secrets buried at Watson Island before the ancient curse comes into play and puts her life in danger?
Central internal idea:
Will Barrie find love and a new family when she has lost everything, including her sense of self?
Goal and Conflict:
Note: Ideally, the protagonist's internal and external goals should conflict, and the protagonist's goals should conflict with the antagonist's goals.
External: Barrie is compelled to find the things that have been lost or hidden at Watson's Landing and can't leave the plantation.
Internal: She has lost everything and everyone she knows and needs to find a place she belongs and people who will love her.
Her compulsion to find the things she has lost lead her to uncover secrets that put her life in danger, and also [spoilers omitted about how her internal goal/need conflicts with her external goal.]
One winner will receive everything pictured here, including the brand new PERSUASION trinket bookmark -- the first one I'm giving away. : )
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