I was at a bar not too long ago and happened to run into my aunt and some of her friends. She brought one of the ladies over and introduced me as her 'writer nephew', and went on to say some very enthusiastic things about the absolute inevitability of my book getting published.
So of course the lady wanted to know. "What's your book about?"
I don't know about the rest of you writer folk, but that is a question I absolutely dread. How can one possibly describe their 500 page novel in under ten seconds? Especially while yelling to be heard over the God-awful karaoke singers. I sat there thinking of how much and what I should tell her, but nothing was clicking. I was drawing a blank (did I mention the place had Guinness on tap?).
So my response was, "Uh......... I don't know."
"You don't know what your own book is about?"
What I meant was that I didn't know how to describe it. I wasn't prepared to talk about it. And the place had Guinness on tap. "No, well -- yeah, I know what it's about... It's basically about these kids that get mental powers because they're like, descended from fallen angels and mortal women. Only they don't know that, see?"
The way I described it, of course, made it sound like the crappiest book ever -- even to me.
The problem, I think, is that I've never developed an 'elevator pitch': a two or tree line synopsis of the entire book. I've never been to a conference, I have no immediate plans to go, and even if I did, I wouldn't need to pitch my book to an agent because, yeah, I've already got me one o' them thar critters.
But clearly an elevator pitch would help me to look less like an idiot, and more like someone who has a decent grasp of the crap he actually hopes to sell one day.
Anyhow. I bring this up because I finished what hopefully will be my final revision of Fiersom's Brood, and I'm all set to start writing the second book, 'Solhades', see the cool picture I made up at the top there? I'm toying with the plot in my little creative muscle right now, and soon I'll embark on my behemoth outlining journey as described below. Only this time, I'm gonna try this technique I came across several months ago called 'The Snowflake Method' It has similarities to my method, only it's somehow even MORE organized, and it starts with an 'elevator pitch' synopsis.
So I'm gonna go work on that now. Maybe I'll post it when I've got it down. In the meantime, I'll leave you with a synopsis of Fiersom's Brood that I toyed with for my query, oh so long ago. I eventually scrapped it because it was too short, but now -- I think I need to go ahead and memorize the freaking thing.
Cuz it's humiliating not being able to describe your own dang book.
They are Nephilim: descendants of fallen angels and mortal women. God sent His great flood, in part, to wipe out every trace of their abominable civilization, yet a remnant survives, hidden beneath ocean and earth, striving to redeem themselves under an impending curse. One-thousand generations later: a group of teens slowly unravel the secret of their ancestry.
. . . and the source of their power.
So now you tell me, what's the elevator pitch for your latest novel? And I realize this sounds like a routine question to get you to leave a comment, but seriously, I love hearing what other people's books are about. I honestly want to hear all of your synopses, with all my widdle heart. Please don't disappoint me.
I could learn something.