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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. 
 
My
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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Comments

bogwitch64
Jan. 6th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Finder is the story of a theif and a runaway slave, of forbidden spices and outlawed love, and the music that binds them together.
jongibbs
Jan. 6th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I like that one :)
out_totheblack
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
Sweet!

A theif is bound to a runaway slave, there is music, they love spices, and have forbidden love. :P
bogwitch64
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Pretty much, yes! Hahaha! (Actually, the story abounds with all sorts of forbidden love. It's nefarious!)
out_totheblack
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I can't wait to read it.
bogwitch64
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
I'm slashing the hell out of the synopsis right now. Whew! I'm ruthless!
out_totheblack
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
How do you know if you cut too much?
bogwitch64
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Cross my fingers, wait for the full moon to rise and do a naked moondance out in the snow. That's the only sure-fire way. ;)

What I'm doing now is cutting it from a fairly complete overview of the story to one more concise, always keeping in mind what one might find on the book jacket. No synopsis can ever do a story justice. It just needs to pique an agent/publisher's interest. I'm trying hard to pique!!!
out_totheblack
Jan. 6th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
That has got to be hard to do.
tracy_d74
Jan. 7th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
Nice! I like it A LOT! So I totally want the synopsis . . . the book actually. But I'll wait until it's pub and get an autographed copy. ;)
bogwitch64
Jan. 7th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
:) Thanks! And in the event the publishing world doesn't appreciate my genius, I'll send you a copy anyway.
tracy_d74
Jan. 7th, 2010 05:03 am (UTC)
Well we must sacrifice a chicken before you mail it off.
jongibbs
Jan. 7th, 2010 11:11 am (UTC)
Or at least eat a fried egg sandwich ;)
tracy_d74
Jan. 7th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC)
I wonder if we throw a piece of the sandwich on an open fire if the gods will like it just the same. I would hope so . . . it has to be more flavorful. ;)

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















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

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