I’ve decided to share my ideas for a blurb, intro letter or even an elevator pitch in this blog. (An elevator pitch is where you find yourself in the same lift (I am British not American!) as a publisher and have thirty seconds to pitch your idea before they get off at their floor.)
It’s quite common among writers for people to be afraid of sharing their work too early, if at all. There is a fear that someone will seize upon your ideas and write a book based on them. I discount this for several reasons. Firstly, I’ve put many months of hard work into my story, so anyone looking to steal would be starting from a long way back. By the time they’ve got to first draft, hopefully my manuscript will have passed across the desk (OK, email inbox) of agents. Also, it’s all electronic nowadays, and a beta copy has been sent out to many people, so there is proof that I got there first.
But the most important point is that I have confidence in my voice. I am the only one who can tell this story in this way. Even if I gave another writer my plot and character outlines, it wouldn’t be the same story. There is a Kurt Vonnegut quote (well probably, I haven’t been able to verify it!) – “Somebody gets into trouble, then gets out of it again. People love that story. They never get tired of it.” It’s a bit flippant but it does underline an important point. There are very few really original stories, and to an extent, readers don’t really want bold and original. They want to hear a writer’s unique take on the stories they are familiar with.
To hark back to an earlier post, it’s like music. Yes, you could make music that was atonal, a random collection of notes and screeches, and it would probably be ground breaking and revolutionary. But no-one would want to listen to it. Once you start following the rules of a particular genre, then you start to build an audience and have a place to do things with your own stamp on it.
Anyway, for all that I’ve now spent 350 words putting it off, so here goes:
Identity is the first book in the Reluctant Buddhist series. It is a mystery set in an English seaside town with spiritual and psychic undercurrents. Imagine a Phil Rickman book with Buddhism or a Jason Bourne adventure set on a small stage – an off-season, English tourist resort.
I haven’t got much further than that, but next will be a blurb. I do have various synopses around because I’ve entered a couple of competitions.
Please let me know what you think on the comments below!