I saw several one-sentence summaries that I liked. But one of them jumped out at me because it looked extremely professional. It was submitted by Chris and here’s how it goes:
A retired Marine travels to Iraq to begin his own private war against the foreign terrorists that murdered his daughter.
It’s not quite perfect, but it’s awfully close. Here are the things to like about it:
1) “A retired Marine” — this immediately tells us a lot about our character.
2) “travels to Iraq” — tells us the setting right away, and it’s a timely one.
3) “to begin his own private war” — yow! This punches all the right buttons for those who read this kind of novel.
4) “against the foreign terrorists” — good, because everybody hates terrorists. You can lose the word “foreign” since that’s a given.
5) “that murdered his daughter.” — this punches all the right emotional buttons. Now we’ve got a motivation that won’t quit until justice is served. Put Bruce Willis in this part and the movie’ll be a winner. Grammatically, you need to change “that” to “who”.
My suggested version, with minor revisions to punch up the verbs a little and shorten the sentence:
A retired Marine launches his own private war in Iraq against the terrorists who murdered his daughter.
Chris, email me a page of your current work in progress for your free critique.