Finding Your Story: The Value of an ‘Elevator Speech’

With the initial two Writers Workshops and soft-launch of the online “South Bay Creative Writers Group” behind us, it is time to kick the blog into action.

Today’s short topic: the first step of my “first things FIRST” writing process. And to the extent that the Writing Workshops assign homework, here comes the first ‘assignment.’

Finding your story

As obvious as it may seem, writers sometimes launch into Telling their story before they’ve given consideration to what the story actually is. A simple technique to refine and clarify your story is to explicitly develop an abstract or logline. Essentially, you are distilling your story into maybe two sentences that capture its essence. You could also consider this to be your 15-second “elevator speech” (how you might describe your story to Brad Pitt or Oprah if you found yourself in an elevator with them as a captive audience).

You’ll eventually need this brief description for Amazon or the Library of Congress anyway, but developing a draft of it early in the process can guide you to Find your actual story, and allow your ensuing pages to flow more freely.

Your assignment (should you choose to accept it): For the July 25th Writers Workshop, write a concise abstract or elevator speech for your story. You’ll likely find the exercise beneficial to your overall writing process AND it will allow our introductions to go quicker!

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