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Thread: One Paragraph Character Story Line

  1. #1
    Exploring the Last Frontier franniescan's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Aspen, CO

    One Paragraph Character Story Line


    I have been away from Absolute Write for a bit but am trying to revisit the site when I can as well as write when I can. I am currently working on a piece of work that I have picked up off and on over the years. I am trying to incorporate the snowflake method into my writing to see if that will help. At the moment, I am stumped with writing a one paragraph character story line. This may be a silly question, but where do I even start with this...I don't know where to begin or what to include...

    Thanks so much!


  2. #2
    They've been very bad, Mr Flibble Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    We couldn't possibly do that. Who'd clear up the mess?
    It IS a tricky beast, because that one paragraph is where you distil your whole story down to its most basic. All you put in is the essential essence of what is this story about.

    For practise, maybe try to do it for films/books you like.

    Star Wars: Restless young boy comes of age and learns he has super powers of doom

    Titanic: Sheltered girl learns about life and love aboard a doomed ship. Then it sinks. (pretty sure that isn't a spoiler!)

    The Matrix: Neo discovers that Alice was right about the rabbit hole, and what he thought was life is a fake.

    It doesn't have to include much of the plot, but should have your basic premise in there somewhere, as well as something about your hero/heroine and their arc.

    "Fade to Black is a dynamic and original introduction to a world and character that promise further exciting stories". British Fantasy Society

    The series has grown in complexity since the beginning, reaches a profoundly moving conclusion that is both unexpected and entirely satisfying - Publisher's Weekly


  3. #3
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    yawping barbarically over the roofs of the world
    Don't overthink it at this stage. As you move along in the Snowflake method, there's a good chance you'll go back to that paragraph and tweak it a little so it's okay if it's a little sloppy.

    The paragraph is, like Mr. Flibs said, a high level version of the character's arc in the story.

    It's really more to get you thinking about the character and how they will change, grow and react throughout the journey through the plot. If you answered the other questions that go along with Step 3, you should have a good sense of who they are and what they will get, achieve, realize at the end. That's the paragraph, if you think about it. Stuff all those answers into one paragraph and see if looking at it that way helps you see the larger picture.

    But like I said, don't fret about it too much. Write a little bit and move on. Go back and tweak at it as things come to you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    The first draft is a huge pile of clay that you've laboriously heaped on your table, patting it into a rough shape as you go along. From the second draft onward, you'll cut away chunks, add bits, pat and punch and pinch, until you finally have a gorgeous figure of, oh, Marcus Aurelius. Or a duck. But a damn fine duck.
    Quote Originally Posted by KTC View Post
    1) Write like your face is on fire.
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  4. #4
    Retired Illuminatus dangerousbill's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    The sovereign state of Baja Arizona
    Quote Originally Posted by franniescan View Post
    ...This may be a silly question, but where do I even start with this...I don't know where to begin or what to include...
    Look at the back covers of published novels, or the blurbs on sales sites. Write like that. Then add the ending, since a proper synopsis or query should include the ending.

    Better yet, diagram it, so that adding the crystals to the snowflake is easier and direct.
    Dangerous Bill

    'Lessons for a Dominant Woman' - A woman's journey, breaking out of the abused wife trap to enslaving her college professor. Romantic realistic femdom. A prequel to 'Lessons at the Edge' CAUTION: Explicit, 18+

  5. #5
    Exploring the Last Frontier franniescan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Aspen, CO
    Thanks all, I'll work away at it .


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