Tag Archives: novel writing

Plan Your Novel Tip #1: Start Your Novel Planning with the Elevator Pitch, by Beth Barany

There are brainstorming exercises you can take to plan your novel that are fun, take a short amount of time, and keep your enthusiasm up.

In our Plan Your Novel: 30-Day Writing Challenge course, we teach an accordion method that encourages you to start small and expand your story ideas outward.

In this post, I share one of the essential tools on story planning that I recommend writers start with: how to your elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch can be used to shape the back cover blurb, what you see on the back of books and on the online book record, usually under “Book Description” or “Overview.”

I recommend you start with your elevator pitch because it’s an activity you can do in 5-20 minutes and it’s a good way to get your brain in gear for writing your novel. Don’t worry about your elevator pitch being perfect. You can revise it once you’re done with all your novel planning or when you’re done writing your novel.

Start here: Take note of your genre. This will give you a general idea of your story ending. If you’re not sure of your genre, make your best guess. You can always change your mind later.

Elevator Pitch Formula

Here’s a 5-piece plug and play formula that you can follow to write your Elevator Pitch. This will help you create one paragraph of 1-3 sentences. Your goal is to keep this short.

Situation: Also called the Initial Action or Premise, this is the beginning of the story.

Main Character(s): Name (optional: add one adjective, identifying the person. Pick something not cliché.)

Primary Objective: At first, what does your main character want?

Antagonist Or Opponent: (or Central Conflict. ) Who or what is keeping your main characters from getting what they want?

Disaster That Could Happen: What’s the worst that could happen, and/or what does your character want next? Often phrased as a question.

Here’s an example: (You’ll probably recognize this!)

  1. Abandoned on his relatives’ doorstep as an infant,
  2. an orphaned boy
  3. longs to understand where he came from and why he feels different.
  4. He discovers that he is a wizard and that his parents were killed by a powerful and evil wizard,
  5. who has been hunting for the orphan, to kill him.

You guessed it! This is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Book 1 in the Harry Potter series.

Here’s another example, in paragraph format: A reclusive computer programmer, Nathan Yirmorshy, pounds out ones and zeros in the quiet of his home while his landlord secretly watches from behind a two-way mirror. When an intercepted note connects the landlord to a secret society, and a detective ends up dead, Nathan must abandon his home and everything familiar to him, open his heart to a tarot reader he has never met, and trust her with his life – just as the ancient scriptures have foretold. (The Torah Codes by Ezra Barany.)

WANT MORE SUPPORT IN PLANNING YOUR NOVEL?

First, get the tip sheet, “10 Questions to Ask Your Characters” here: http://bethb.net/30daywc.

Then, get your list of other essential novel planning tools go here: http://www.writersfunzone.com/blog/2016/08/25/8-tips-planning-novel/.)

READY TO GET PERSONALIZED, IN-DEPTH HELP WITH YOUR NOVEL?

We’re gearing up to start our 4th Annual Plan Your Novel course. If you’d like hands-on support with your peers and with two experienced instructors — Beth and Ezra Barany have over 20 published novels and novellas between then, then join us for our next course starting October 1st: 30-Day Writing Challenge to Plan Your Novel: http://bethb.net/pynoct2017.

ABOUT BETH BARANY

Award-winning novelist in YA fantasy, Master NLP Practitioner and certified creativity coach for writers, Beth Barany’s courses are packed with useful hands-on information that you can implement right away. Beth runs the Writer’s Fun Zone blog, for and by creative writers, where you can download her free reports on book marketing and novel writing. She is also the author of The Writer’s Adventure GuideOvercome Writer’s Block, and Twitter for Authors.

ABOUT EZRA BARANY

Ezra Barany started his career of freaking out readers with his suspense and thriller stories in college. In March 2011, Ezra unleashed his first novel The Torah Codes, which became an award-winning international bestseller. In his free time, he has eye-opening discussions on the art of writing novels with his wife and book coach, Beth Barany. A physics teacher, Ezra lives in Oakland with his beloved wife, working on the third book in The Torah Codes series.

 

FTC Disclaimer: All the links on this web page go directly to Beth and Ezra’s website or to Amazon; they are not affiliate links. 

How to Create Powerful Internal Conflicts for Your Characters

I’m blogging at Savvy Authors today about how to construct internal conflicts so that they generate plot ideas and help you make the theme of your story stronger.

If you can complete the Internal Conflict Sentence, you’ll find out if your character’s internal conflict works (and it’ll be obvious how to fix it if it doesn’t work).  If you struggle to writing stories where the character’s inner struggles drive the external plot, this is where you start.

Read all about it at:

http://savvyauthors.com/blog/index.php/the-internal-conflict-formula-that-generates-plot-points-and-strengthens-theme-by-lynn-johnston/

Hope to see you there!

The 30 Day Novel: NaNoWriMo Series, Day 30

Welcome to Day 30, the final day of NaNoWriMo!

Today we’re talking about your story’s resolution and how to tie up all those loose story ends, as well as the emotion that you’ll end your story on.

Thanks for stopping by! Come by tomorrow–we’ll talk about what to do next and how to get started on editing your novel.

The 30 Day Novel: NaNoWriMo Series, Day 30

Welcome to Day 30 of NaNoWriMo!

Today we’re talking about what makes for a great resolution, how to end your story on the right emotional note, and–you knew it was coming, didn’t you?–EDITS.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/ECh3-VFmRQI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Congratulations on making it to the end of NaNoWriMo!

Next week, we’ll be talking about some things to consider when editing a first draft–I hope to see you then.

The 30 Day Novel: NaNoWriMo Series, Day 29

Welcome to Day 29 of NaNoWriMo!

Today we’re talking about the defeat or victory of the protagonist during the climax of your novel and how to make it pay off in the biggest way possible, as well as handling endings in a book that’s part of a series.

Thanks for stopping by–come back tomorrow for Day 30 tips!

The 30 Day Novel: NaNoWriMo Series, Day 28

Welcome to the 28th day of NaNoWriMo!

Today we’re talking about the beginning of the final, epic showdown between your protagonist and antagonist, and what makes a good climax.

Thanks for stopping by–come back tomorrow for Day 29 plotting tips!

The 30 Day Novel: NaNoWriMo Series, Day 27

Welcome to NaNoWriMo Day 27!

Today we’re talking about how to isolate your protagonist from his/her allies and set up the final showdown with the antagonist.

Thanks for dropping by–come back tomorrow for more plotting tips!

The 30 Day Novel: NaNoWriMo Series, Day 26

Welcome to Day 26 of NaNoWriMo!

Today we’re talking about the initial skirmish between the protagonist’s and antagonist’s forces, and the role your secondary characters play as we build to the climax.

Thanks for coming by–stop in tomorrow for Day 27 plotting tips!

The 30 Day Novel: NaNoWriMo Series, Day 25

Welcome to Day 25 of NaNoWriMo!

Today we’re talking about how your protagonist and his/her allies are preparing for the climax and what kind of climax you’re promising the reader with what you show or don’t show.

Thanks for stopping by–come back tomorrow for Day 26 plotting tips!

The 30 Day Novel: NaNoWriMo Series, Day 24

Welcome to NaNoWriMo, Day 24!

Today we’re talking about how your protagonist rallies after the dark moments and is launched into a final do-or-do confrontation with the antagonist.

Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!