An Emerging Writer’s Spiel

When it comes up in conversation that I’m writing a novel, I’m usually asked what my book is about. I’ve always struggled with the answer to this, not because I don’t know what I’m writing but because I never know whether to tell the story or whether to reveal what it’s really about, it’s message.

If I was asked by a prospective publisher, I’d want to give my twenty second pitch. But even that befuddles me. There’s the advice that as an emerging (unpublished) author, a hook – something vibrant and catchy – is required. But that’s so subjective I can’t formulate one.

My genre is fairly clear, at least. It’s contemporary – probably women’s – fiction. But if a publisher put literary in that description, I’d be thrilled. Literary fiction is what I like to read. It’s what I admire.

So I’ve created an answer that merges story with message and I hope it sounds intriguing.

It’s about three friends who are dealing with the challenges common to women in middle life. It’s about their experience of love and loss, family and friendship, and the choices they make to rewrite future chapters of their lives. It’s set in Australia, India, and Ireland over the course of a year.

This draft will be finished by June – I’m going for positivity – and then I’ll have another look at that pitch and send off my manuscript to the highly selective world of agents and publishers. I’ll finally walk the talk and show all my commitment and perseverance.

If anyone has any advice for me, please post it here. Likewise, if you like my spiel, encourage me with a thumbs up.

Happy reading, dreaming, and writing, my word-loving friends.

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I am a writer in my fifties. I write about relationships, travel, women's issues, the natural environment, human nature and outdoor activities. Australia is my home and I feel blessed to be here. I am writing a novel that is set in Australia, India and Ireland.

4 thoughts on “An Emerging Writer’s Spiel”

  1. Your journey has certainly been challenging, frustrating and at times torturous!
    Your perseverance, commitment to your characters and their stories is admirable.
    Can’t wait to read your book, literary or otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Carla,
    I’m glad you raised the subject of people wanting to know what your book is about. I have decided, as a writer of fact-based fiction, that the question is nothing more than polite interest. My advice? Tell ‘em nothing. Or say “ I’ll let you know when I’ve decided “ why? They don’t really want to know. And even if they do, so what? You don’t need to discuss the subject of your writing that you’re probably wrestling with, with someone who is only marginally interested.
    Unless, of course, you are using this as an opportunity to practice your pitch. In which case get it down to two or three lines, stand back and wait for the murmur of interest which may or may not come. You do not have to discuss this unless you really want to. Love Pip

    Liked by 1 person

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