Keeping That Promise

I’ve been reading about the importance of a novel’s premise.

Often the premise is used as a marketing tool for a book, but it needs to be much more than that.

A premise needs to be thought provoking and emotionally charged with the theme of your story coursing through it. Your statement should only be one or two sentences and if it’s longer than that you probably don’t have a definitive idea for your premise yet.

Your premise should act like a promise to your readers and your story must fulfill that expectation otherwise you’re letting your audience down big time. Remember your main characters generate engagement in your story and make your readers want to stay. So, does your protagonist really have the depth of character needed to bring that gripping premise to life?

What exciting action scenes are you alluding to in those couple of sentences? Will there be murder, conflict, and betrayal? Make sure it’s there on the pages otherwise you’ll have a whole lot of unhappy fans, if their still fans at all…

For example, if a premise depicts something like ‘Our protagonist breaks free of her shackled existence only to find she doesn’t like the woman she’s becoming.’

The story can’t just be about a woman who gets away from her dominating husband. It needs to incorporate the theme that reveals the struggles of dealing with trauma after abuse, of a woman rediscovering herself and excepting those parts that might cause her shame. Learning to be comfortable with herself completely, the bad with the good. Our protagonist needs to grow and develop so we can enjoy the journey with her. This gives the reader what they were hoping for when they bought the novel based on the promise of it’s premise.

Does your novel’s premise ring true?

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