Can you write a forty-word synopsis of your story, otherwise known as a nugget? It’s harder than you think. Nuggets are not nugatory undertakings, but like nougats, they are filled with a complicated combination of something tantalizing (like sugar or honey), yet substantial (like roasted nuts).
Here’s my nugget for my recently published middle grade adventure – The Tide Changers – at thirty-seven words:
In a seaside town, a thirteen-year-old boy overcomes his fears of drowning and loss in order to save his missing father. In addition to preventing a cataclysmic disaster, he enables his sister to fulfill her own destiny.
Write your nugget at the beginning of your novel, and keep it where you’ll see it as you work. Refer to it when you’re stumped or concerned that you’ve veered off course. When you’ve finished your novel and revised it, use it as part of your query letter.
Writing a small, meaningful paragraph at the beginning of your journey isn’t trite. It could save you from a sticky situation later and could give your readers a significant story to chew on!