My Nana recently asked me what my novel was about, and I suddenly got extremely tongue-tied. This of course isn’t the first time this has happened. Trying to write a synopsis was its own challenge…however somewhat easier than trying to verbalize it.
It’s a little sad, because my other job is talking. The difference with that is, you usually have a script handy and time to rehearse. Being put on the spot and asked to talk about your work can be a little overwhelming.
I find that all the wheels in my head start turning: I should mention what genre it is? Do I explain the plot? The subplots? Characters?
These are only a few of the questions that come to mind. Luckily for me, my Nana was able to get the gist of what I was saying over the phone through my jumbled explanation. I was actually really happy she asked about my novel, and honestly wished I carried around a tiny script in my wallet of key things to mention…sort of like an elevator pitch. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has a hard time describing my work…honestly I loath the question, “What do you do?” in job interviews or when meeting new people, because for some reason my brain goes, “What do I do? What do I like? Who am I?”
It makes me laugh a little…because honestly, what else can you do in a situation like that other than laugh, take a deep breath an try to collect your thoughts? Now, personally when I wrote the synopsis for my book to submit to my publisher, I took my favourite novels, laid them out and skimmed what was written on the backs (or the inside front flap). I actually found this really helpful, because it allowed me to narrow down what key points stood out to me as a reader, when selecting those books in the first place.
How do you react when someone asks you about your work? Do you get a little bit flustered or are you excited and readily prepared to deliver your answer?