xxx, xvideos, xnxx, hindi bf

State your brilliant book idea in just 3 sentences

A premise is the main idea behind your story or writing project. In nonfiction, it takes the form of a two- to three-sentence statement of the book’s basic idea, usually identifying the central problem or question and proposing a solution (or in memoir, the lesson learned). The premise must be apparent to the reader in the opening pages.

A well-constructed premise is useful to you as an author because it makes sure you know what your main point is and how you are going to argue it. It’s also useful for your marketing efforts as it forms the foundation of your back-cover blurb or Amazon product description. And it’s essential as part of your submission to an agent if you are publishing mainstream.

Agents and publishers want to see your premise because it tells them at a glance what your book is about and whether it has sales potential. Sales potential is all about the audience and the information they are looking for. We speak of the audience’s needs — the specific skills they want to learn, the problems they need solutions to or the curiosities they want to satisfy. If your book answers the needs of a particular audience, it has sales potential.

In this article, I’ll look at general nonfiction premises first and then show how they can be adapted for memoir.  

Writing the general nonfiction premise

The premise for general nonfiction briefly states the need or problem you are addressing and your solution. The problem doesn’t have to be an issue that potential readers face personally but could be some kind of controversy or question that affects a community or the world at large, for example: “Is artificial intelligence a danger to humanity?” And the solution doesn’t have to be a neat how-to process or collection of facts but can be a new way of thinking or feeling about an issue.

Example:

  • Problem: People who find themselves single in middle age really struggle to find new partners.
  • Solution: A six-step makeover to gain confidence, rekindle the fires of romance and start dating with enthusiasm.

To write the premise, we put the problem and solution together in a statement of two to three sentences. One formulation you can use is:

  • Sentence 1: State the need or problem
  • Sentence 2: Elaborate (optional)
  • Sentence 3: “This book will …” (state how the book will tackle the issue and provide a solution)

Here’s an example using a made-up scenario:

Formal jobs are being annihilated in the new economy and young job-seekers are scrambling to create their own businesses or side-hustles– but most will have left school with zero entrepreneurial and money management skills. The result is years of hardship and frustration ahead of them. The purpose of this book is to enable parents to teach their children the attitudes, principles and skills they need in order to thrive in an entrepreneur-focused world.

The following example is a premise for my book Write Masterful Fiction.

The vast majority of novice fiction authors never make it past the scrutiny of publishers or sell enough copies through self-publishing to make a decent income. They are all let down by one thing – a simple lack of knowledge of the core skills of fiction writing. This book teaches the 10 fundamental skills and understandings necessary for writing publishable and profitable fiction.

A variation on the formula is to state the problem as a question and the solution as the point you are going to argue. This works well for ‘big idea’ or high-concept books where you are arguing a point and trying to change people’s minds. The following example is a premise for Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel.

Why has human history unfolded so differently across the globe? And what can it teach us about our current crisis? This book puts the case that geography and biogeography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians.

Here’s another example using a similar approach:

How did we lose Afghanistan? After two decades fighting the Taliban and a supporting the emergence of democracy, the American mission in Afghanistan came to a sudden and tragic end. This book gives an insider view of the last days of the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan and argues that the certainty of final defeat was born in the very first months of the conflict.

Premises for memoirs

A memoir is a story about a particular aspect of your life (not to be confused with an autobiography, which is about your whole life). For instance, you could write a memoir about overcoming an illness or about a year spent hitchhiking around the world.

So what does the premise for a memoir look like? As it turns out, we can borrow the nonfiction premise formula and just tweak it to make it about a character (you) rather than an idea. And instead of trying to put forward a solution, we focus on the lesson or insight that you learned.

  • Character and problem: Introduce the character (who is yourself) and the problem they face 
  • Elaborate (optional)
  • Lesson: State how the character tackles the issue and finds an answer or lesson

Liz Gilbert has everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having – a husband, a house, a successful career. But when her marriage falls apart and her career no longer provides meaning, she throws caution to the wind and sets out on a journey of self-discovery. In her travels, she discovers the true pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India; and the inner peace and balance of true love in Bali.

Here’s an even shorter formulation of a memoir premise. It’s perhaps a bit sparse, but it serves to define the character, their problem and what they discover, so it’s enough to get the interest of readers and publishers:

When Alice Bell is sent as a young reporter to cover the Allied invasion of Iraq, she discovers that victory is not the end of war but merely the first step on a journey into darkness.

The examples I’ve given show how the basic premise formulation can be applied to several different types of books, but you might have written something that doesn’t fit too easily into this form. Don’t worry – just make up your own formulation that indicates the question you are dealing with and gives some idea of how you are going to approach it. If your statement helps you write a more focused book and provides publishers and readers with an intriguing glimpse into what your book is about, you’ve got a winner.

Need help defining your book’s premise, structure and argument? Get professional insight with my book coaching service.

Read more

How the premise fits into the overall nonfiction book planning process.

How to craft a premise for fiction.

 

Get Personal Writing Support

Book Assessments and Author Coaching

See if your manuscript is ready for editing or publishing – order an editorial assessment with detailed feedback report and problem-solving insights.

Or choose live author coaching support with feedback on your text and regular online inspiration sessions.

A book saying amazing work

Learn Fiction Writing

Book and Video Course

Write Masterful Fiction: The Complete Course on Planning and Writing Stories That Publishers Love by Russel Brownlee is your all-in-one essentials course for planning and writing fiction that grabs the attention of agents, publishers and readers. Get the book or take the Udemy course and learn the core techniques of fiction while building your own story step by step. Plus – find out how to avoid the 6 common errors that will cause your manuscript to be rejected within the first few pages.

Get the Kindle or paperback on Amazon or take the video course on Udemy.

Write Fiction book and course covers

Is Your Manuscript Ready for Editing?

Find out by grabbing this 25-page report on the 7 key checks to perform before hiring an editor.

Is Your Manuscript Ready for Editing?

You have Successfully Subscribed!