Doesn't that just sound deliciously creepy and like something you're dying to read? NOT! Napping tortoises are more interesting than that. (And definitely cuter.)
Literary agent Janet Reid wrote an excellent post - What's Your Book About? - about her experience at a conference speaking with authors and what happened when she asked them about their work. I absolutely recommend heading over and reading the whole post, but here's the biggest takeaway for me:
"You simply MUST be prepared to tell people, in a compelling way, what your book is about. . . . First thing to remember is start NOW. No matter where you are in the publishing cycle: querying, sold, pubbed, you need to be able to say what your book is about."
I'm working on it!
And speaking of Ms. Reid, I entered her Writing Without Rules Flash Fiction Contest last month, and although my story didn't win, her comments on it (below, in blue) made my entire month.
Gregory, old and gnarled, slumps on his porch. His lawn, overgrown with weeds and wild things, chokes the once neat path. At the gate, nettles cling, watch deserted streets. He calls out, can only hope for more survivors.
A man and woman appear, dirty, laden with packs.
"Please help! I fell."
They hesitate, the rules different now.
Gregory is desperate. "I have food, water. It's yours."
They nod, start toward him.
He watches the lawn shiver, the monsters within slither out to feed. He listens to the screams.
Gregory is spared. Again. He stands, stretches.
The rules are different now.
Honestly this creeped me out so much I could barely read it the second time.
Thank all deities foreign and domestic that I live in Brooklyn, a place with few lawns.
Of course, the more creeped out you are, the better the writing.
Are you prepared to talk about your novel? Or are you like me, still working on it? Do overgrown lawns creep you out? If you have a lawn, do you know what's lurking in it?