The short description is a brief summary of your story for a query letter. It should have an exciting title or premise, briefly describe the conflict or story question, and central characters, and hint at the outcome. The movie industry does something similar in its program log lines. It is an excellent idea to study those descriptions. Here are a few examples to get you started. The goal is to make the reader curious about the characters and the solution to the story conflict. You must first “hook” the reader’s interest to keep them turning the pages.

Here are a few famous examples:

Gone With the Wind

The manipulative daughter of a Georgia plantation owner conducts a turbulent romance with a roguish profiteer during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

The Witcher: Blood Origins

More than a thousand years before the events of “The Witcher,” seven outcasts in an Elven world join forces in a quest against an all-powerful empire.


A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.

The description of a book may be a bit longer than log lines but the elements are the same.

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Amazon has a useful article on formatting your description

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