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I don’t know about you, but while I love to talk about writing, I often find it hard to talk about my own work.  Unless I’m prepared for it, the words “What’s it about?” send my brain into automatic shutdown. 
I find myself in helpless burble mode: “Well it’s er… it’s a book, and er… it’s about this guy and this thing happens to him… well, it doesn’t so much happen to him, it’s more that it happens when he’s there. It’s good. At least, I like it anyway. Ooh, and there’s a giraffe…’ 
The poor unfortunate soul in front of me, who more than likely just asked out of politeness, stands there with a fixed grin on his/her face, staring over my shoulder in search of an excuse to get away.
Then I learned about elevator pitches, those one-sentence book summaries which we all need for query letters and chance encounters with potential agents. 
GSHW friend, Gary Frank, has an excellent one for his novel, Forever Will You Suffer.   Ask him what it’s about and he’ll say, “It’s a three hundred year love story gone horribly wrong.”
Over time, I came up with my own one-line summaries. Now when someone asks me ‘What’s it about?’ I’m completely relaxed:
“It’s about a boy who meets a talking cat that only he can hear.” (Fur-Face)
“It’s about a shy scientist who gets the brain patterns of a bad-tempered CIA agent stuck in his head.” (Waking up Jack Thunder)
“It’s about a medieval James Bond-type, set in a world where humans are just one of many species to evolve into ‘humanoid’ form.” (A Union of Snakes)
Of course, those only work for my own books. Ask me about someone else’s novel and all bets are off - though if you wait long enough as I attempt to describe it, I’m pretty sure I’ll throw in a giraffe somewhere. 
How about you?
What’s your elevator pitch?

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Jan. 6th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
This is a classic problem, whether you're a writer or not. If you're a researcher, software developer, or even an entrepreneur, you have to be able to sell people on what you're doing. What sucks for those of us not gifted with a Type A personality is that we have to think hard about what to say so we don't have that deer in the headlights look.

You figure it out, you rehearse, and you prepare for what questions people might ask. In a way, it's almost as much work as the actual work of writing.

I don't have any pitches to work with, but I can tell you what I tell others who ask what I do for a living: "I protect my customers' computer systems from themselves."
Jan. 6th, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)
"I protect my customers' computer systems from themselves."

Lol, sounds perfect :)
Jan. 6th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC)
You have no idea how true that is; I get to say "no" a lot.

"No, you can't use FTP."

"No, you can't put that on servers outside the firewall."

"No, I'm not going to give you root access."
Jan. 6th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
Back in my 'worked for a living' days, it was amazing how many people would call up for help (I used to run the computer training) because there monitor had gone blank or the desktop wouldn't switch on. My most common response was 'Are you sure you plugged it in?' about nine times out of ten, that solved the problem :)
Jan. 6th, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
"I protect my customers' computer systems from themselves."

That's awesome!
Jan. 6th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you!

Honestly, a good day is if I get back to where I began the day.
Jan. 7th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
My problem is I try to fix my problem before I call the computers guys. A little knowledge is a terrible thing

Your job description probably applies to me too :)
Jan. 7th, 2010 05:07 am (UTC)
A little knowledge may be dangerous, but a little knowledge + Google is much safer.

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

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