“What’s your novel about?”
Four simple words that never fail to strike terror in my heart.
Part of this is because such a simple query is seeking an equally concise reply – the dreaded “elevator pitch”, which is an art form of brevity on par with the haiku and the perfectly witty Tweet. Plus, I’m almost never as glib a speaker as I wish when put on the spot like that.
As well, I dislike stating definitively that my WIP is the story of XYZ, when the end result may well come to be significantly different.
Stories are like life: more possibilities and purpose emerge the further along you go. And just like life, it’s rather invalid to summarize the meaning of it all before it has approached its ultimate end.
Finally, I fear opening myself up to premature criticism of my plot through my inability to properly explain it while still in progress. Or conversely, premature interest, and subsequent probing questions.
As a result of all this, when Australian historical fiction author Debbie Robson asked me to participate in the blog meme known as The Next Big Thing, I said, “Sure.”
Because why be consistent with one’s own personality traits?
Admittedly, I did offer the caveat that my answers would be vague, superstitious, and paranoiac since I am indeed all of the above. Furthermore, having since put my blog on its 600-word diet gives me even more of an excuse to be equivocal. Thus, without further ado:
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