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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 06:21 pm (UTC)
Pretty much, yes! Hahaha! (Actually, the story abounds with all sorts of forbidden love. It's nefarious!)
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I can't wait to read it.
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
I'm slashing the hell out of the synopsis right now. Whew! I'm ruthless!
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
How do you know if you cut too much?
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!!!
Jan. 6th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
That has got to be hard to do.

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

NJ writing conference - compressed

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