I recently attended a webinar by @JordanRosenfeld about writing a plot summary for a manuscript through Writer’s Digest. What I liked about her presentation was the notion that a plot is formulaic. She suggested using a three act setup. Being more math-minded, it was something I understood. I liken it to being a baker versus a cook. I am much better at following an exact recipe for lemon poppy muffins rather than a pan with some fancy sauce and adding a pinch of salt and a handful of basil.
Case in point – My husband emailed me the article with a picture of J.K. Rowling’s hand-drawn spreadsheets to map out her plots with the subject line “this is something you would do.” He knows me well. I had already started a google spreadsheet mapping out my book.
I have a good sense of pacing, but I like the way she mapped it out. I used a similar setup, stolen from Elizabeth Sims, to note the flow of the classic hero’s adventure. It worked well.
Writing a marketing blurb was a piece of cake after that. (Pun intended!) I simply used the section designated as “Act 1.” Feel free to let me know what you think.
Think it’s difficult to be accepted into Harvard? Imagine attending Vita Post Mortem Academy, where the spirit of John F. Kennedy teaches social studies and the spirit of Albert Einstein gives physics lectures. There’s no hope getting in if you can’t see spirits.
Jules believes in spirits. She doesn’t analyze their existence on a regular basis. She just accepts it as fact. Living in New York City, where anything is possible, how could she not believe in spirits? However, the summer before ninth grade, when her best friend, Johnny, dies, she finds herself yearning to see his spirit.
Johnny was prone to brushes with death due to mysterious accidents, but the ominous light and the girl who gave him a final shove on to the subway tracks puts doubt in Jules mind that his end was a freak incident.
The strange events are jarring, but the foundation of everything Jules knows is shaken when she finds out she’s adopted, and she’s forced to attend a special school in California run by the spirit of the biological grandmother she never met. Needless to say, high school is going to be overwhelming.
To see more pics for this book, go to: https://www.pinterest.com/alanasiegel/afterlife-lessons/