My WIP is a mess. I’m not really panicked, though, I’ve been in worse shape.

It’s like this–when you’ve written over seventy novels, you simply have to try new things to keep from boring yourself silly. And so I have this grand plan in mind, something I’ve never tried, and the first draft is 100 pages of mish mash.

So yesterday I printed out those sorry 100 pages and created a new work calendar–at a pace of six pages per day, I’m going to work this thing out. That’s a VERY slow pace, but I need a slow pace because I have thousands of words to put to paper.

So–yesterday’s assignment was pages 1-6 and, thankfully, the first five pages are the title page, copyright page, epigraph, a page that says “September 5th, 7 a.m.”, and the first page of the story. But I did have to do a bit of research to come up with a good epigraph, and I had to work especially hard on the “book description,” which is a one paragraph blurb I’ve begun to put on the title page. It’s just for my edification, really, and maybe for the editor’s and marketing department. It’s the sort of thing I’d put on my web page (and probably will, when the book comes out.)

Here’s what that paragraph should get across: the category, title, protagonist, main problem, and something intriguing. Hint at the character’s inner conflict. Make her stand out. Indicate how the story is going to be really different from all the other books on the shelf. And use one of these six words: love, heart, dream, journey, fortune, or destiny. Finally, in the last line, suggest the possibilities and/or the ending (and I like to hint at the theme, as well).

So–at this point, here’s what I came up with:

With two other women, Michelle Brantley finds herself trapped in the elevator of a skyscraper as a threatening hurricane churns toward Tampa Bay. While prevented from sharing the secret she was on her way to reveal, she discovers that her companions have secrets of their own . . . secrets that will forever change her destiny. The harrowing experience forces all three women to confront the truth about their lives, loves, and lies before they can hope to escape.

That is subject to change, of course, but there it is. Something to keep me on track as I muddle through, six pages at a time.

Whaddya think? Intriguing or yawn-inducing?



  1. Anonymous

    Here are my thoughts:
    “Riveting” starts with “she discovered…” Before that I’m not excited for two reasons:
    1. An elevator ride normally takes a minute or two. A hurricane can take days to arrive. You know the time schedules of events revealed in the book, but at this point, I don’t feel danger in an elevator with a hurricane out in the ocean.
    2. The phrase “was on her way…” sounds a little blah.
    Who am I to critique a bestselling author of 70-books, though? I just like to help people. Please accept my thoughts with this motive in mind.
    Barbara Thompson

  2. Lynette Sowell

    I think the paragraph is a great place to start. It makes me think of that phrase, there’s no such thing as a coincidence.


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