“Writers should spend days and days and days thinking of a plot that they can sum up in a single sentence that makes thousands of people, upon hearing that sentence, WANT to read the book.
It’s not easy, but it’s possible. If I could do it every time, I would. Hook readers with a sentence, draw them in with characters they sympathize with immediately, make the stakes costly, run the reader and your protags through the wringer, and end with a twist or a reveal or a save that no one saw coming and that leaves people thinking about your story for weeks or years.
Just do that. And yeah, it’s damn hard.”
-Hugh Howey (found in the comments here)