What’s It About?


As a writer, being able to talk about your book is probably one of the single most important things, you should be able to know how to do. So why is it that every time I’m asked the fateful question: so what’s it about, my mind draws a blank?

One of the biggest problems for me when it comes to the question of what’s it about is that when you’re in the thick of writing or editing it can be difficult to pull back from where you are at this exact moment to explain the main story. It’s crucial however that you be able to do this. One idea in this department would be to write down a one sentence summary of your story. You don’t want to bombard someone with bullet points, but you should know it well enough to be able to say, ‘it’s about xyz’. 

Obviously a novel is about a lot of things, but what’s the MAIN storyline? If I were talking about Wicked I would say it was about the Wicked Witch of the West’s life, growing up green, and her friendship with Glenda.

Good Omens: Is about the end of days and the angel and demon who save the world by screwing up the divine plan.

For the most part this is easier said than done. I’m not sure I could tell you in one sentence what the Corrections was about except to say: A family comes together as the ailing patriarch looses his grip on reality. It’s not really interesting (though neither was the book), but it gets to the point.

How do you answer the question what’s it about? Do you find it difficult or easy? 

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