I get asked this a lot now with the announcement that my first novel is set to be published in the coming months. It makes sense. It’s the first question I would ask to someone. It’s the first question I ask someone when they say they’ve read a book that they love. It’s a question I fail miserably at.

The conversation usually goes something like this:
Person “Oh my gosh! I didn’t know you were a writer! How cool! So what’s your story about?”
Me: “Oh yeah, thanks. Well, um. There’s a Queen? And a boy. And um, another world? Well our world too, but then another world. And a dragon. And magic. And. Well, it’s really good! You will love it!”

This is usually met with blank stares as I laugh apologetically and vow to come up with a better explanation. Because it is really good! And I’m not just saying that because I have poured my heart and soul into it. It’s an awesome story, and while yes there is a Queen, and a boy, and another world, and a dragon and magic, there is so much more!

How do I quickly explain the complexity of the story? Of the fear of a 16-year-old girl who is suddenly the ruler of a land? Or an 18-year-old boy brought into the mix only to have his life at stake? Or an outlaw, a witch, and the boy’s cousin, all struggling with how they can help? There is drama and fear and love and being asked to do something for the greater good that’s bigger than oneself and it may be hard and terrifying. It’s all those things. It’s also funny and sad, and I have no idea how to explain that to someone without sounding like a desperate crazy person.

“Really you’ll love it! You should buy ten copies for yourself and everyone you know!”
 
I spent so long getting my story down that it’s hard to compress all that work and pages and effort into a two-minute summary that would make anyone anywhere want to read it. Who would have ever thought that 6 or 7 sentences would make me come unglued! I don’t want to let my story down, but I struggle with how to explain the nuances of relationships without setting up everything I know about the characters, because they are great characters. They are also flawed and they doubt themselves, but they try anyway. Well, here is what I do know, in hopefully the most simplest of terms that will make you want to read it and encourange others to as well: It is about love, and friendship, and heroes, and doing the right thing even when it’s the scariest thing.

Oh and did I mention that there is a dragon? She is pretty cool, too.
 


Comments

Greg
07/02/2014 8:17pm

You've really come to grips with this. When you explained your novel to me you did none of the above, were cool and concise, yet I was intrigued. I can't wait to read Four Corners.

07/05/2014 11:01am

Greg-
So sweet of you to say, I've been working really hard at trying to come up with something intelligible as an answer, good to know it's getting better!

01/25/2017 2:06am

As a writer, no matter how much good we write, we will fail at some point. In your case, it's the way you explain your story. But for me, as long as you are good in the field you really want, you can still consider yourself a good professional. Maybe, you can still work on it if you want! A little practice can do.


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