Monday, July 16, 2012

What's Your Novel About?

Hello Reader!  Every time I tell someone that I'm writing a novel, their very first question is "What's your novel about?"  And while this is a completely logical question to ask someone like me, a 21 year-old know-it-all with a hard science degree, it is also unsettlingly annoying.

They look just like this guy!!

I say unsettlingly because every person that asks me that question looks to me with this half-condescending, half-curious stare of pseudo-interest.  It's honestly very uncomfortable.  I usually stutter and spurt out a few trite words about the novel being science fiction, about a boy who learns that his father dies, etc.  And I never get the reaction every author hopes for, the indelible, "Oh my God, that's so interesting!"

Of course, the real reason why I'm so uncomfortable with the question may be that I can't explain the damn thing in one sentence.  This is a definite detriment to any and all of my attempts to market the novel.  I really need to get that down.

Proud parents can sometimes translate into embarrassed teenagers

But my own inequities do not negate the uncomfortable nature of explaining my novel to someone.  Especially when my novel includes magic powers, yellow, furry cat like aliens fighting a holy war against aliens who look like bi-pedal wolves, and tons of teenage angst.  All surrounded by really angry, ultra-violent gangsters (who just so happen to be some of those bi-pedal wolves) who are embroiled in class warfare against other, fellow bi-pedal wolves.

It's sort of like trying to sell your kid.  You know what I mean.  What exactly would your parents say about you?  I know my parents would stumble over my litany of extra-curriculars.  Heck, in the beginning of my collegiate career my major shifted from biology to chemistry and back on a weekly basis with them.  My point is that it's not easy to dilute into one sentence something that you put a lot of care and time into - more than nine years worth in my case.

Oof, my worst fear realized.

I'm not sure if my discomfort is shared by everyone.  It probably isn't shared by some of the true greats, or people who have "made it" as authors.  But since I refuse to be a whiny bitch, here's a crack at diluting The Proxy Wars: Dramatis Personae into one sentence:
A kid is given enormous powers and responsibilities but gets in over his head trying to use them to discover the origins of the laser gun, and why the group of gangsters who have been attacking him possess the new technology.
It's way more complicated than that one, somewhat run-on sentence lets on, but who am I to refuse agents and publishers what they want?  Let me know what you think.  Until Next Time Then.


  1. LOL, LOL and more LOL. Man, I'd actually love to read your book!


  2. When people ask you about your novel, you should tell them exactly what your wrote, that it's about "powers, yellow, furry cat like aliens fighting a holy war against aliens who look like bi-pedal wolves, and tons of teenage angst."


  3. Sierra2:45 PM

    I think your book sounds exciting! I too struggle to find a one sentence summary of the book I'm working on that finds the right balance between guarding the mystery of the thing and letting the reader know enough about it that they're pulled in.

    What exactly do you mean when you say your book includes "yellow"??? I want to know!!!

  4. Oh dear, haha, yellow actually refers to the cat-like aliens! ><" poor comma usage on my part lol

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