Single-Sentence Summary – Reader Submission

icy-wastelandWelcome to the fifth and final class in this month’s story clinic on writing single-sentence summaries.

If you missed the previous lessons or would like to review them, here are the links.

This week’s lesson comes from a reader. Lettice submitted her single-sentence summaries in the comments on other lessons and has graciously agreed to let me use her sentences as the subject for the final class. Thanks, Lettice!

About Lettice’s Novel

Lettice’s story is still in the planning stages. She’s working on the single-sentence in search of the best focus and direction before she begins writing (a great way to use single-sentence summaries). Here’s her paragraph summary.

Young Harry was bereaved of his father some months ago and is stuck in the grieving process, angry and withdrawn, moving into non-functioning depression. He’s in the hot sunny garden, lying on the lawn, wishing the world would go away–and it does, literally: an unseen hand grabs the land and rips it off like a band-aid, leaving him lying in a freezing wasteland, all desolation. Harry has to summon up enough interest to move from here and not just freeze to death. He does, eventually, and finds a scary forest. He is faced with various challenges (characters, events) on the way through the forest, which lightens or darkens, becomes more or less like his garden as he conquers or fails each challenge. When he conquers the last challenge his garden fully reappears and you see that it is exactly back at the moment we started with, but he is now ready to join in.

Lettice isn’t sure about the genre, though she thinks it might fit into the children’s fantasy/adventure category. Possibly the 8 to 12 year old range.

Lettice’s Single-Sentence Summaries

Lettice submitted two single-sentence summaries. Here they are:

1: A young lad is stuck in his grieving for his father, becoming withdrawn. He finds himself transported to an icy wasteland, and must find his way back home.

2: A young lad is recently bereaved. He must re-engage with his life but is stuck in his grieving. Can he find a way through?

She has two good attempts. Of the two, the first one has less backstory and is only one sentence, so that’s the one I’ll work with for this class.

How to Make it Better

Lettice’s sentence is 28 words long. That’s more than the maximum but not by much. With a little rewriting, it could be shortened very nicely.

Let’s look at the parts of the sentence.

The Character

The character part of the sentence reads “a young lad is stuck in his grieving for his father”. Eleven words, many of which are dead weight in a single-sentence summary. Words like “is”, “in”, “his”, and “for” could all be eliminated.

But when you’re writing the first drafts of a single-sentence summary, write what comes to mind and fix it later. Just like you do when writing the first draft of the novel.

Another way to describe the character would be “a young grief-stricken lad”. This phrase says essentially the same thing as the original phrase, but it’s half the length.

What’s more, the word “grief” creates an immediate mental picture with most people. Potential readers will “paint” character’s situation with their own experiences. An immediate connection forms and that’s what you, as the writer, want.

Couple “grief” with “stricken” and you’ve painted an even more intense mental picture.

Always look for words that evoke imagery. Words like jungle, desert, and blizzard are common enough that even people who haven’t experienced them “see a picture” when they hear the word.

Goal

The character’s goal in this story is to isolate himself from life, to withdraw. A character’s goal does not have to be noble or even good. Most of us wouldn’t think withdrawing from life was a worthwhile goal, but it doesn’t matter what we think. The story is not about us; it’s about the character and when the story begins, his goal is to withdraw.

That doesn’t mean that has to be his goal for all of the story. Goals can—and often do—change through the story. That’s okay, too.

What Lettice will want to do is see if there’s a goal that’s pertinent to the rest of the story and that might work better in the single-sentence summary. Her paragraph summary does suggest a few things.

  • Survive the sudden change in story world
  • Get back home
  • Defeat his enemy
  • Escape the icy wasteland

It’s not necessary to change the goal for the single-sentence summary, but when you’re writing a single-sentence summary, you want to present the story in the way that best describes the entire story, not just the beginning.

While the character’s goal is to withdraw from life at the beginning of the story, that goal vanishes pretty quickly. In it’s place, the character is trying desperately to get back home, to the garden. Any time a character wants something desperately, that something should probably be mentioned in the single-sentence summary.

That goal is already included in the single-sentence summary so we’ll make it the goal for the sentence.

Obstacle

In this story, anything that keeps the character from getting home is an obstacle. As the single-sentence summary is written, the primary obstacle is the icy wasteland. This is a great obstacle that helps readers visualize the story overall.

It also balances the goal very well and gives Lettice plenty of room to explore all the ways in which an icy wasteland can present obstacles, challenges, and setbacks without locking her into any particular situation. Since she’s still in the planning stages, the obstacle works extremely well.

A Very Important Point

character-goal-obstacle-1Lettice has done something with her sentence that may look backward at first. She’s told us about the character, then about the obstacle, and then—at the end of the sentence—about the goal. Although I almost always think in terms of character then goal then obstacle, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with what Lettice has done.

In fact, the order of this sentence is the best arrangement because it puts the most important thing at the end of the sentence, the character’s desire to get back home.

Putting the Pieces Together

A young grief-stricken lad is transported to an icy wasteland and must find his way back home.

That’s a pretty good sentence and it’s down to seventeen words. And you’ll notice, the only thing I really did was shorten the character part of the sentence. The rest of Lettice’s original sentence is pretty solid. It’s more than equal to the task of helping Lettice stay on track as she writes the novel.

Parting Thought

Keep in mind that no single-sentence summary is ever perfect, especially if you’re using it the way Lettice will be using hers. We writers can plan all we want, but stories have a way of taking on life of their own during the writing process.

Be aware of that and be flexible. The single-sentence summary is designed only to help you make plotting decisions as you work on the novel. You will probably need to revise the sentence by the time the novel is finished.

Thanks again to Lettice for letting me use her sentence for this lesson.

And thank you to everyone who followed the series.

Next month, I’ll take a look at developing characters. I hope you’ll join me.

Writing a Single-Sentence Summary – An Example

Welcome back to our free, online clinic on writing single-sentence summaries. If you’ve missed any of the previous clinics or would like a review, here are the links.

So far in this clinic, we’ve talked about the parts and functions of a single-sentence summary. The parts are a character, a goal, and an obstacle.

The functions are to interest potential readers in your novel. Last week, I talked about the intangible function of painting a word picture of your novel in your reader’s mind.

All of that is well and good, but it’s only the how-to stuff you need to write a good single-sentence summary.

This week, let’s work on writing one.

I’m going to present one of my own fledgling story ideas to show you what the process looks like in real-time. This example will also demonstrate how you can use single-sentence summary to strengthen a new story idea before you begin writing the story.

An Example from the Archives

This is an idea that has lingered for many years, but has never progressed very far. It’s been percolating in the back of my mind long enough that some facts have taken shape.

A Unique Character
Almost from the beginning I knew the character was a university professor. It didn’t take long to discover he was a history professor who also wrote books about history. I don’t know his name, yet, but that’s okay. Remember, we don’t need names in the single-sentence summary; just an interesting or quirky character.

A Goal or Challenge
My professor writes books on the side and he does a lot of research for every book. Since his books were nonfiction about actual events, his research includes trips to historic locations. Usually during the summers, when he isn’t teaching. So his goal for the story was to complete on-site research for his next project.

An Obstacle
The only thing I know about the obstacle was that someone or something is  going to make it difficult for the professor to finish his research and possibly change his goal. Of the three elements that go into a single-sentence summary, this one was most vague.

But even then we’re not totally in the dark because I’m pretty sure this story wants to be a mystery. Given the nature of a typical mystery novel, it’s reasonable to expect a murder.

character-goal-obstacle-1The First Draft

So we have the three parts of the single-sentence summary.

Can we write a single-sentence summary with the information I’ve provided? Absolutely. Here’s mine.

“A history professor conducting research uncovers a recent murder.”

It clearly states the facts of the idea as we currently know them and is sufficient to serve as a guardrail for writing the novel.

Making Improvements

But it isn’t very exciting. It is, in fact, just the bare bones of an idea and probably wouldn’t excite any but a mystery fan willing to read any mystery. We definitely need to add some sparkle to this single-sentence summary.

The best way to find the unique details that will turn this quite blah summary into a work of art is to brainstorm each of the three options. I write lists. Whatever method of brainstorming that works best for you is what you should do. Give it time and effort. Don’t expect perfection—that’s a fool’s errand—but don’t let yourself be too easily satisfied, either. Your best efforts are likely to appear after you’ve put in sufficient work to get your brain actively engaged in the process and after you’ve slept on the idea a few nights. Never under-estimate the power of the subconscious in this process.

Now, back to our intrepid professor and his quest.

Finding the Lead Character’s More Unique Qualities

obstacles-arise-from-personality-goal Let’s begin with the professor, since getting to know him better will help us understand his goals and, therefore, the obstacles most likely to face him.

How can the professor be made more interesting?

A few thoughts spring immediately to mind. The history professor:

• is a time traveler
• is an alien in a foreign land
• is afraid of heights
• is a protégé trying to prove himself
• is elderly and trying to hang onto his position
• has a severe physical disability
• is obsessive-compulsive
• is recently divorced and working off his anger with his next book
• is a senile old man living in a nursing home and reliving the past

Notice that this brief sample of traits, quirks, and qualifications includes physical, mental and emotional traits, and age. You should consider anything that applies or may apply to your character when you’re looking for unique traits or quirks.

Once you’ve chosen the most unique characteristic, don’t discard the rest. There are likely to be interesting sub-plots contained on this brainstorming list. A recent divorce and the associated anger could be exactly the sort of internal conflict to add to the professor’s difficulties.

Or they could cloud his judgment to the point that he inadvertently puts himself in danger.

Describe a Goal or Challenge

Our history professor is doing research. That’s not very unique. All kinds of people do research and for all kinds of reasons.

But what if the professor is researching family history, trying to figure out what happened to Aunt Opal and why Uncle Merle hasn’t said a word since her death or disappearance?

Other possible goals on my list are, the professor

• wants to be wealthy
• wants to become a bestselling author
• wants to please his father, who was hyper critical
• wants to prove his ex-wife was wrong about him
• wants to be respected
• wants to change the world
• wants to escape the world
• wants to protect a personal secret
• wants expose the secret of someone else

Some of these goals are broad-based and some are more personal. Wanting to be wealthy is pretty general, but wanting to be a bestselling author is more personal.

Some of the goals are similar. Wanting respect and wanting to prove his ex-wife was wrong about him could be basically the same thing, but at different levels.

Take a look at the last two. I’ve put the character on both sides of the secret with these two. Don’t forget to consider those kinds of options. It would be interesting to write about someone who is attempting to expose someone else’s secret while protecting his own. For a little added conflict, his secret could be closely connected with the other person’s secret. Talk about internal conflict!

Describe an Obstacle

Remember that the best, most believable obstacles flow naturally from either the nature and personality of the character, or the nature of the goal. Sometimes both!

It may be difficult to get past generic obstacles until you know more about the character and/or the goal. It’s okay if your obstacle list reads like the list below. You are still at the beginning of the process, after all.

Here’s a sampling of my obstacle list.

• He’s too old
• He’s too ill
• He’s too well-known
• He’s not well enough known
• He doesn’t have the right knowledge
• His family objects
• He could be fired
• He could be killed

See what I mean? Pretty basic. Don’t worry. Specifics will come.

Finding the Right Combination

So what are the best options for making the professor more interesting?

Obviously, any option that pits the professor against a killer (or any crime, for that matter) will work best for the genre (mystery) and story.

But I wonder if the most interesting story might have its roots somewhere else. I know, for example, that he’s afraid of heights. Deathly afraid of heights. Pass-out-and-fall-over afraid.

So let’s try this:

“A history professor who is afraid of heights uncovers a long-buried secret and a recent murder.”

That’s more interesting than your basic history professor. A fear of heights could add interest to the plot.

Now let’s look at the goal and obstacle combination.

My professor is doing very specific research. He’s a writer of nonfiction books on history with a focus on American history. His current project is railroads so how can we make that more interesting and pivot off the fact that he’s afraid of heights? Easy. The railroad is a mountain railroad! Towering peaks. Deep valleys. Trestles. Long, narrow trestles….

The automatic conflict of this sort of situation is immediately appealing.

“A history professor who is afraid of heights researches a defunct Appalachian Mountain railroad.”

Better, but still not quite there.

Notice an element of the original sentence has disappeared. The most interesting element, no less. Murder and the threat of murder. That needs to be put back in.

Because it’s also the most significant element of the summary, it should go at the end. This is called back-loading. End the sentence with the thing that creates the best hook. In this case, murder most foul.

The New & Improved Version

“A professor who is afraid of heights researching a defunct mountain railroad  uncovers a long-buried secret and a recent murder.”

It’s longer and more complex than the sentence we started with, but all the elements are there. There’s enough information to intrigue most mystery fans and a lot of others, without presenting too much information.

What’s more, it’s 21 words long. Perfect!

Conclusion

When you’re looking at possible combinations for your new story’s single-sentence summary, it’s a okay to begin with the most obvious ones. Depending on the number of ideas, you may have anywhere from one or two ideas to a half dozen or more that seem obvious. That’s great!

But don’t stop there. Some of the better ideas may come from the less obvious options. Try every option on for size. You never know where the right combination will come from. Just as you worked with the brainstorming portion more than one day, work this step more than one day, too.

I know it sounds like a lot of work—and it is. I know it also seems like wasted time when you could be working on The Obvious Idea. But no time you spend here is wasted. Especially if you spend months writing The Obvious Idea only to discover it’s also passé.

Be patient.

Be diligent. If you get tired of the process after a day or two, take a break. You don’t need to push through every step to the end without a break. Remember my idea? It’s been percolating for years. Years!

What do you think? How would you improve my single sentence summary? Leave your comments and suggestions in the comment box below and let the discussion begin!

Your Assignment

Write a single-sentence summary for your current work-in-progress if you haven’t already done so. If you need a place to start, start with the obvious, then look for ways to make the sentence sparkle. Don’t worry if it seems to take your story in a direction other than what you’ve planned.

If you have new idea in mind, start writing single-sentence summaries for it, too. Use the single-sentence summary to develop the strengths of the character, goal, and obstacle.

If you share your homework here, take a moment to comment on other’s sentences, too.

 

Single-Sentence Summary – Painting a Word Picture

Welcome back to our month-long writing clinic on single-sentence summaries. This is our third class. In case you missed them or would like to review them, here are the links to previous classes.

Recap

In the previous class, we talked about the three parts of a single-sentence summary.

  • An interesting character
  • A goal that’s important enough to the character that they’ll do anything to get it
  • An obstacle that keeps the character from easily getting their goal

interesting-character-irresistible-goal-immovable-obsctacleGoals can be related to the character’s personal life, family life, work, or a long-term dream. As we saw in the example of Joe and the hamburger, the goal could also arise out a particular habit or quirk.

Obstacles are best when they arise naturally out of the character’s personality or goals. They are the least likely to seem contrived or phony that way.

While length is important—single-sentence summaries should be no longer than 25 words and are more often as short as 12 to 20 words—it’s the last thing I work on because it’s easier to edit after writing than while writing. At least for me.

Now on to an intangible quality of a great single-sentence summary.

Painting Pictures with Words

painting-word-picturesYour single-sentence summary’s most important role is drawing a potential reader into your story.

The best way to generate reader interest is to paint a word picture. Creating a vivid word picture is just as important as character, goal, and obstacle but is a lot more difficult to measure.

And a lot more difficult because it’s intangible. You can measure the interest level of a character. The goal and obstacle are usually also pretty clear.

But how in the world do you paint a picture with words, when you have so few words to work with?

The best way to paint a word picture is to chose words that automatically evoke certain images. Words like “desert island”, “jungle”, “open sea”, “dark woods”, and “disaster”  call to mind powerful images. Yes, the images may differ in detail from one person to the next, but the general concept is there.

For example,

What do you see when I say the word “jungle”?

My guess is that most of you will see a place with towering trees, thick vines hanging to the ground, close growing undergrowth, and swarming insects. You may hear the chatter of birds and monkeys, the roar of wild animals, and the buzz of all those bugs. There’s the smell of a slow moving, piranha-filled river and of rotting vegetation. Maybe even a dead animal.

See? A total sensory experience because of one word.

Jungle.

You really don’t need to say anything more to create the basic story world.

trail-through-dark-woodsHow about desert? What sensory details are conveyed on that word?

Or open sea or mountaintop?

Or that dark woods I mentioned earlier.

There are many words capable of evoking vivid imagery in the minds of most people. It’s up to you to find the ones that work best with your story and the idea you want to convey. But find the right one and you’ve found gold.

When to Use Those Sensory-Rich Words

Do you remember my saying you should never name a character in the single-sentence summary? Do you remember why? Because names don’t convey any particular thing to potential readers. Unless you use a famous name like Benedict Arnold, readers won’t be able to deduce a thing from your character’s name.

But if you describe your character—a burger-a-holic, for example—then readers can begin to see the character.

That applies to the names of settings, too. Pengate Wood doesn’t mean a thing to anybody—not even me because I just made it up. But dark woods  or city park  do. Yes, the picture won’t be complete and it will vary from reader to reader, but the picture created by either of those two words will be a lot better than the non-picture evoked by a character name.

Yes, there are times to use names. If your story revolves around the Statue of Liberty, then by all means, name her.

Let’s look at the first draft single-sentence summary I wrote for Joe and his Burger Quest. Here it is.

A burger-a-holic sets out to get his fix for the week when a tornado strikes.

Notice that I didn’t name Joe. He’s a burger-a-holic. What sort of picture comes to mind? An overweight man (from eating all those burgers)? A farm boy?

The other sensory-rich word in the sentence is “tornado.” Who doesn’t know what a tornado is or what it can do? That one word provides a wealth of sensory information to potential readers. Not only does it communicate Joe’s immediate and most threatening obstacle; it paints a word picture of a threat to the entire community.

An Example

Here’s a brief description of the novel, Stranded, by Don & Steph Prichard.

A Marine Corps reservist sets sail on an anniversary cruise with his wife, but ends up shipwrecked and bereaved on a wild, remote island in the Philippines, where he must protect the lives of three other survivors, unaware that one of them is responsible for his wife’s murder.

How would you edit this to single-sentence summary status AND paint a picture of the novel with word choice?

Here’s the first attempt. Notice immediately that the word count went from 48 words above to 28 words here. That’s close, but still too long.

A shipwrecked/bereaved Marine Corps reservist protects three other survivors on a wild, remote island in the Philippines, unaware that one of them is responsible for his wife’s murder.

Here’s a revised version.

A bereaved Marine Corps reservist helps three shipwrecked survivors on a jungle island, unaware that one of them is responsible for his wife’s murder.

Can you spot the words that automatically paint word pictures? By my count, there are four. Bereaved, shipwrecked, jungle, and murder.

Jungle is the big one. It replaces five words in the first two sentences. With that one word, you no doubt “saw” a particular type of setting. That’s a heavy-duty picture-painting word.

Bereaved creates a universal emotional context. Shipwrecked and murder also create situational contexts and are familiar, if not as universal as bereaved or jungle.

That’s what painting a word picture looks like.

Find those kinds of power words for your single-sentence summary and you’ll paint a word picture that turns potential readers into readers.

Your Assignment

Take a look at your work-in-progress. What kind of picture do you want to create in the mind of a potential reader? What sensory-rich word can you use to help paint that picture?

Share your sentences in the comments below, then take a few minutes to comment on the assignments of your fellow students.

Single-Sentence Summary – Character + Goal + Obstacle

Welcome back, class! Feel free to invite your writer friends to join us. There’s room enough for all!

If you missed the first lesson or would like to review it, you can read it here.

Recap

character-goal-obstacle-1Sometimes also called a one-sentence summary, a tagline, or a log line (when you’re discussing movies), the single-sentence summary is your novel boiled down to its most basic form.

One character with one challenge facing one obstacle.

You might also think of it like an equation. Character + Goal + Obstacle = Single-Sentence Summary.

interesting-character-irresistible-goal-immovable-obsctacleThe 3 Parts of the Single-Sentence Summary Equation

Character…
The character is usually the lead character. You’ll be hard-pressed to find one that isn’t. I’ll go so far as to suggest that if the character in your single-sentence summary isn’t your lead character, your novel is about the wrong character.

Don’t use a name in a single-sentence summary. Names don’t tell people anything about the character.

Instead, look for your character’s most unique attribute; something that sets them apart. It could be a physical trait (height, weight, hair color, disability, three eyes, etc.), an emotional trait (fear, shyness, narcissism, etc.), or a mental trait. It could be the type of work they do or a hobby or special skill.

Or it could be an unusual combination of two or more of those categories. Here are a few examples off the top of my head:

  • A time traveling history professor
  • An autistic geneticist
  • A feline private detective

Whatever it is, it should be interesting enough that if all the potential reader knows is the character, they want to learn more.

Goal…
This is something your character really wants. He or she wants this thing badly enough to leave their normal life and step into the story. Here are some samples to get you started.

  • Frodo wanted to get the One Ring out of the Shire (Lord of the Rings)
  • Captain Rogers wanted to contribute to the war effort (Captain America)
  • Philip Marlow wanted to find out who was blackmailing General Sternwood (The Big Sleep)
  • Dorothy wanted to get back home. (Wizard of Oz)

The goal can arise from your character’s basic personality, their work, their family situation, or a long-term dream. We tend to think of goals as something big and adventurous, but it doesn’t have to be. All it really needs to be is very important to the character. Important enough to go to any lengths to attain, achieve, or protect.

Obstacle…
mountain-climbersThe goal is something your character wants. The obstacle is the reason he can’t get it.

This is the thing that keeps the character from attaining, achieving or protecting their Most Important Thing. Your lead character should face multiple obstacles ranging from minor to major. The obstacle you chose for the single-sentence summary should be the biggest possible obstacle.

The obstacles your character faces should arise naturally out of the character himself or out of the goal.

Obstacles that arise from the character are the sorts of obstacles that are personal to that character. For example, if your character is unusually short, there will be things that are difficult for your character that would be no problem for a taller person.

Obstacles that arise from the goal will also be particular to whatever goal you’ve given your character. The obstacles facing a character who wants a promotion might include the other people who want that promotion, the qualifications of the promotion, and possible relocation.

An obstacle doesn’t need to be life-threatening to be an obstacle. Not being able to reach something in a moment of need is an obstacle.

Not all obstacles need to be a combination of both, but knowing how characters and goals sometimes create their own obstacles will help you find the best fit for your single-sentence summary.

Just A Simple Hamburger

hamburgerLet’s take a juicy hamburger. I have a lead character who loves hamburgers. Let’s call him Joe. Joe MUST have at least one hamburger every week or the week isn’t complete.

That doesn’t sound like much of a goal, does it? Maybe it isn’t—for most of us. But give Joe the attitude that he MUST have his weekly hamburger and add a never-say-die willingness to do anything to get that burger and you may be onto something.

Remember, an obstacle doesn’t need to be life-threatening to be an obstacle. Not being able to reach something in a moment of need is an obstacle.

In Joe’s life, no week is complete without a hamburger. He simply must have one. For our purposes, that is his goal.

Now let’s say it’s Saturday night. Unforeseen circumstances have kept Joe from getting a burger all week. The delays have been unavoidable, but that’s okay. There’s always Saturday. In fact, every time something comes up, Joe tells himself, “There’s always Saturday.”

Saturday comes. It’s pouring down rain. That might keep a lot of people indoors, but Joe is, well, Joe is Joe and he must have his weekly hamburger, so out he goes.

Then things get worse. The skies grow so dark, the street lights come on. Rain drives down. Lightning flashes. Thunder rolls. Wind gusts. Trees twist in the wind like hula dancers. A limb breaks off and falls right behind Joe as he presses on toward Bart’s Burger Barn. That was a close call.

But time’s a wastin’ and Joe must have that burger.

Within three blocks of Bart’s, sirens begin to wail. They’re barely audible over the storm. They continue in an unbroken blast. No police or fire sirens, these. These are tornado warning sirens. This is serious.

Joe stops and squints through the rain. Down the road, maybe a mile away, he sees that worst of all sights. A tornado. Big and black and vicious.

And coming his way.

He looks a little to the left and sees, three blocks away, the warm, yellow lighted “Bart’s Burger Barn” sign.

What to do, what to do….

Maybe no one in their right mind would have any difficulty making the decision that faces Joe (Bart’s Burger Barn or the nearest tornado shelter?).

But that’s not the point.

The point is that your primary obstacle is what stands between the lead character and the goal.

For Joe, the tornado is the primary obstacle to getting the weekly burger.

Writing a Single-Sentence Summary

You have all the basic tools for writing a single-sentence, now. You know the three parts (character, goal, and obstacle). I’ve also provided a short story set up. What might a single-sentence summary be for Joe and his craving?

Here’s the way I begin developing a single-sentence summary.

Remember our equation? Character + goal + obstacle = single-sentence summary. Just replace each of those three parts with the things you know about Joe and his quest.

Character: Joe

Goal: Hamburger

Obstacle: Take your pick!

A burger-a-holic sets out to get his fix for the week when a tornado strikes.

Granted, that’s not a very exciting sentence, but it can always be improved.

Your Assignment

This week’s assignment is in two parts. You can do one or the other or both. You’re welcome to post your answers.

1: Write a single-sentence summary for Joe and his hamburger quest. Use the information in the short story to fill in each of the parts. Make it as interesting as you can. And make sure to post your ideas in the comment section below!

2: What’s your favorite movie or novel? Who was the main character? What was his or her goal? What was the primary obstacle?

Write a single-sentence summary based on your answers to the previous questions.

Leave your answers in the comment section below. If you do, please take a moment to comment on a few of the other assignments, as well.

Then make sure to join us next week, when we’ll talk about painting a word picture with your single-sentence summary.