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More on Concept

Last time I asked you to blurb your book. To state what your book is about in a sentence.

Hard, isn’t it?

I said that on the basis of that sentence you may prick the interest of a publisher; it will tell him something of how to position your book. It will inform your cover art. Even more, it will keep you on track for the months you’ll be writing.

I didn’t get any takers on trying to figure out the concept for Prince of Storms–Book Four of The Entire and The Rose–from the cover art. But here it is: A soldier is offered a kingship he despises but cannot refuse.

Now look again at the cover; it’s all there, I think. Note the throne on the left. It is abandoned and the sword is laid down. The stairs the king must mount are confining, leading to a leaden throne. It is undoubtedly a seat of power. But it is also a prison. The soldier gazes out on the wide land, yearning for something. The fighting is not done; he still wears his armor. But he doesn’t want the spoils.

This concept is not enough, I have to admit, to sell a novel. But it was perfect for the end of a four-book series about a man who enters a powerful kingdom as a slave and exile and takes on the whole power structure to save his world, his family, his soul.

The concept for Prince of Storms suggests emotional tension, high stakes, and moral dilemma. It raises the dramatic question Can the protagonist escape the trap of power?

These are the selling points for this story. What are yours? Can you state them simply, perhaps in one sentence? It’s worth trying.

Lots of people wait until they’re writing a query letter to figure out their one sentence. If you do it while your writing–or better yet–before you write, you’ll be able to use that clear, precision statement to guide your writing choices on every page.

What a concept.

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