This is the first question you get when you tell someone you’ve written a book. I still hesitate before I answer.
There are so many ways to describe your book, I’ll start with the pitch. This is what you tell an agent, publisher, editor or small press.
*Start by answering these questions:
Who is the protagonist? Who is the antagonist?
What are they?
Where are they?
What do they want?
What stands in their way of getting it?
That’s your pitch!
So, in the case of my novel, Utopia, Oregon, the answers to these questions would look like this in summary:
Angeline is a tattoo artist on her way to a rural barter faire. She wants peace and freedom. She stands in her own way by being in denial.
Scorpio is an escaped convict on his way to the barter faire in Utopia, Oregon. He wants peace and freedom but his personality (and a US Marshal) is standing in his way of getting it.
This is your pitch. Add or subtract, this is the basic premise.
*Thanks to Bob Dugoni who taught an awesome workshop at the Write on the River conference 2013.
Part 2, “The elevator pitch”