My formula when asked that is: It's about X doing Y for Z reason or with Z twist.
It's about a psychopath that escapes a mental asylum and becomes a hero, but doesn't know if he's killing monsters, humans, or it's all in his head the whole time.
It's about a woman that gets sick of living during the Apocalypse and sets out to kill the devil.
It's about a girl who falls into a diabetic coma and falls into the Dream Realm. Now, she has to find a way out before her body dies on Earth and she's trapped forever.
This is also taking the A story and just talking about that. When somebody asks for more, then I go into the B and C stories.
Sorry, you were probably not asking for help, but I happen to have a formula for this type of thing.
Meaghan, your doodles are beautiful. This is a great way to think about that terrifying question. I've also frozen every time I've been asked, and I think you're right I need to get over it and talk about my story the way it deserves to be talked about.
My strategy when asked about what I'm writing while I'm still in the process of writing it, is to plead complete ignornance. To state, flat out, "I don't know yet", because, well, most of the time it's true. Most of the time I don't have a clue. Writing is something I do, not because I know what I think, but because it's how I think, its the way I discover what it is I'm thinking...
I have the same problem when people ask me about my book. I try to get over the fear and explain it. Usually, I do that very badly, and you guessed it, people don't buy. But what do they expect? They put me in the spotlight. YOU try to explain something you created to a complete stranger in a way that will make the want the thing. It's not easy.
This was on my mind recently, too! The short version, for me, is . . . the Publisher's Marketplace pitch. That's usually pretty succinct. If one of those doesn't exist yet, the person either doesn't get to hear about my book (if they are outside the industry and my close friend circle), or I have something short like that prepared -- it's part of my pre-writing process, generally, which helps me focus on what the story is about.
Halloween watch list is extense but I know I can suggest two homeruns here:
-The fourth kind (take a deep breath and AAAHHHHH)
-Bizarrebub on youtube ( oh that is totally a plastic bag … HEAVENS SAVE ME!!)
Space Unicorns? I wrote about one of those once....
Lol did you really!? I have not, but a part of me really wants to because who doesnt love a space unicorn?