Monday, August 23, 2010

One Sheets, An Introduction To Your Creation

Lots of talk has been going on about One-Sheets, so I wanted to give you a brief overview about them.


What is a one-sheet?

Well, it’s basically you + your story on one sheet of paper. A 3-4 paragraph summary of your novel, a small blurb about you, and the specs on your novel (wordcount, completed, series or not…etc)

It’s a quick reference.

Why create a one-sheet?

Personally, I like it because it helps me condense my story into a page and is a helpful tool during editor/agent meetings to keep me focused. It’s also a quick way to share your story with an editor without pulling out a first chapter or synopsis.

A few helpful hints.

- The one-sheet should reflect the novel and you.

- Lots of people try to make it color-coded with their website or blog.

- Some people write the ‘pitch’ at the top of the one-sheet to grab attention and then get into the heart of the story after that.

- If you can put wordcount on the one-sheet (or projected completion date), it’s a good idea. This gives the editors/agents a little better idea of how far along you are.

- Remember to put a picture of yourself on the sheet, along with your contact information.

- Get an idea of how to write a half page summary by checking out movie synopsis or read the blurb on the back of a book. It’s a good way to see how writers pick out what’s important to hook the reader’s/viewer’s attention.

- One-sheets are great to use when you need a little 'boost' with your pitch. I use mine as a 'cheat sheet' :-)

Here is an example of one that I'm working on:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/36274837/Twist-of-Faithonesheet-1

You can also check out some basic one-sheet info from these sites:

http://wannabepublished.blogspot.com/2008/04/crafting-fiction-one-sheets.html

http://www.tracyruckman.com/downloads/One%20Sheets.pdf

(I don’t use professional software for my one-sheets – as this website suggested, but I created a Word document and used various heights, widths, and locations for text boxes. You can color the boxes and reshape them, so I used text boxes to insert photos and novel specs)

http://kayedacus.com/2007/08/28/beyond-the-first-draft%e2%80%94the-pitch-sheet-and-one-sheet/

(Kaye Dacus’ website is FABULOUS for a wealth of information. After you follow this link, browse around her website. You won’t be disappointed.

FYI:
A one-pager is different. It’s an overview of all your projects on one sheet. It’s also called a projects-sheet. So, on my one-pager, I have a small balloon about my contemp romance, my historical, and my supernatural.

Here's the one I'm working on for ACFW:

http://www.scribd.com/full/36275457?access_key=key-m1gvt6mi0hzgt4l2oko

Are you working on a one-sheet? What is your greatest challenge? Success?

9 comments:

Mary Vee said...

I followed the link to your one sheet. It was concise, organized, easy to follow with just the right amount of color.
This was a great example for us. Thanks Pepper.:)

Beth K. Vogt said...

Yep, I'm working on a one-sheet. Thanks for all the great tips, links and examples.

Casey said...

GREAT information, Pepper. I wish I had an excuse to use all of it right now. Someday I hope.... :)

Pepper Basham said...

Mary,
Great picture :-)
Thanks for the words of encouragement on the one-sheet. I like making them because they are finished MUCH sooner than a novel ;-)

Pepper Basham said...

Beth,
Hoped it helped. You could do SOOOO much with your fabulous novel idea. I can visualize your one-sheet now - but I'm also a visual thinker :-)

Pepper Basham said...

don't worry, Case. Time for your one-sheet will come later.
In the mean time, you should play around with the idea a bit. It helped me have a better, more concise, plan about where my novel was heading :-)

Sarah Forgrave said...

That one-sheet looks familiar. :) Great list of tips!

Casey said...

That is a good idea, I have toyed with the idea, but I must admit all this stuff makes my head spin and my stomach tie up in knots.

Pepper Basham said...

Sarah,
You should post yours up here (or at least a link to it). It was such a nice one-sheet and it's good to see as much examples as possible.
Can't wait to meet you at ACFW and hear your name called :-)