Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Sleep

I had an epiphany! One of those miraculous "Aha!" moments. The kind that make you flip your eyelids open, sit bolt upright, and holler, "Eureka! Why didn't I think of that before?"

If you read yesterday's post, you saw that I swore off (that's off, not at) one-sentences. Given them up as a futile exercise. Thrown them under the truck. Declared them impossible. The pressure was relieved for me because I had decided to buck tradition and forgo them.

Then, just as I finished my evening Bible study and slipped the black satin ribbon between the pages, I knew exactly how the one-sentence for Up the Rutted Road should read. No more tinkering. No more tweaking. It's done.

NOTE:  Barbara Scott, senior acquisitions editor for fiction at Abingdon Press, wrote an excellent article about one-sentences, and that piece helped switch on the lightbulb. Hopefully, I'll get to try it out on her at the upcoming ACFW conference.


  1. I have a tagline for some of my books but not all. I think it's a good exercise, but while it may be required for a proposal, it's not absolutely essential for a pitch. Editors and agents are well aware that writers struggle with distilling their work to such a fine point. They understand we're not marketing people.

    That said, they like it when we do as much of the marketing for them as possible!

  2. Lisa,

    My RUTTED ROAD "one-sentence" actually is two that can be presented in fewer than ten seconds, so I count it as a one-er. For SECOND CELLAR, I'm accepting the elevator pitch that runs 20 - 25 seconds.

    Right now, I'm going through RUTTED ROAD with a fine-toothed comb--and actually finding things to tweak. I've grown (I think) as a writer since first I wrote those words. Since the last time I revised it, actually. :-) Are we ever totally "finished"?

    Can't wait to see you in September!

    Write on!

    Because of Christ,