“What’s your book about?”

You would think I’d not only welcome this question, but love it. What writer doesn’t want the opportunity to go on and on about the story she’s writing? I’ll tell you what writer — me.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy discussing my stories, but I have this childish fear of jinxing them if I talk about them too much. It’s almost like if I let my ideas into the atmosphere before I’ve put them on paper, they are at risk for being tainted, or lost entirely.

And then there’s this other problem: I suck at synopses.

I cannot, for the life of me, create a strong synopsis — you know, that seven-second elevator pitch that encapsulates the entirety of your characters and plot, magically. When asked what my stories are about, my responses usually sound something like this: “Well, it’s about this guy…and…well, it’s also kind of about this girl…and this other girl…and it’s kind of funny, but kind of not…and some stuff happens…

The root of the problem is that, often, I don’t know what my stories are “about” until after I’ve written them and let them sit for a long time. I just write what seems interesting to me , usually with no overarching theme or objective in mind. I’m sure my subconscious has a plan in mind, but I’m blind to that. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have to plan my day-to-day life enough; writing is something I want to remain mysterious.

But, I know that if I want to publish my work, I have to get better at describing what my work actually is.

So here’s my best shot at a synopsis for Cherry Blossoms, my current novel-in-progress:

Jonathan has a plan: He’s quit his advertising job and decided that when his money runs out, he is going to die. His final mission is to visit Japan, the home of his chosen suicide technique. Along the way, he meets Riko, who forces him to confront the muse of his mission — Sarah, the quintessential one who got away.

Tell me honestly: Is this too vague? Would you read this book?

0 thoughts on ““What’s your book about?”

  1. Yes, the synopsis is a little vague.
    It needs to reveal more about the dynamic between Jonathan and Sara. And a bit more about why Jonathan has decided to embark on his “mission.”
    But the book does sound interesting. The “one that got away” theme will connect with a lot of people.

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