So I’m Writing a Book

 

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

And the first thing everyone asks me is, “What’s it about?” I usually respond with, “It’s fiction…” then I devolve into the existential meaning of my story in partially mumbled sentences and eyes glaze over. I decided I need an elevator pitch.

 

An elevator pitch is a handful of words you could deliver to someone in an elevator while they’re your captive audience for the short duration of the ride. It can be just five words but definitely no more than 20. Within that brief description, you’re supposed to communicate why your story is unique, striking, fresh and compelling. It’s supposed to make the listener intrigued in a “tell me more” kind of way. So here’s what I worked up:

A woman chops off her thumb one day and runs off to live in the woods, struggling to survive.

The thumb chopping part is both unique and striking. The struggle to survive is compelling. I’m fairly sure it’s fresh. I know I’ve never read a story like this before. Does it make you want to know more?

That’s the question I can’t answer. I am about 30,000 words into this story, and I waffle back and forth between thinking it is an awesome, adventurous statement on the modern world and thinking it’s utter shit. I can’t see the forest for the trees. So friends, help me out. Do you want to know more? I need honest opinions, not reassurance. Thanks in advance.

 

8 thoughts on “So I’m Writing a Book

    1. Exactly. I think I need to rephrase it, though. I’ve gotten some feedback on Facebook — some good constructive criticism, still focused on the thumb and the woods, though.

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  1. As long as she doesn’t plant her thumb to regrow herself, I want to know more. Was it an accident and then she hoped to cope? Did it cause an epiphany of, “I need more coping skills”? How much of her thumb? Was she having an arterial bleed? Why would she run to the woods? Did she spend the time alone? What did she take with her? Who did she leave behind? Did anyone know where she was? Why did she need this?

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    1. I laughed out loud at the idea of her planting her thumb to regrow herself. That would make for a whole ‘nother kind of story. Question: IS there an artery in the thumb? If so, I may need to rethink her lack of medical care.

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  2. Definitely want to know more-
    A woman chops off her thumb – an accident or intentional?
    Intentional – what!!! why???
    accident – did she treat it or let it go?

    Runs away to live in the woods – running away from world/ family/friends? running away from self, hiding, not being able to deal with situations or enjoys being by herself or feels this is the way she can discover her true self or has found her inner worth to be able to be by herself????

    struggling to survive – coping skills, or one less finger to deal with day to day situations :-)) or learning and dealing life her way.

    Adventurous statement – want to know more April!

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  3. Definitely want to know more. Also would suggest adding a word or two about the woman instead of “woman”. Like “a suburban mom” or “an actress” or “a New York socialite”. As far as arteries, she could put pressure until the bleeding stops. Biggest risk is infection.

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    1. Good idea. I like the idea of qualifying who she is a little bit. As long as she won’t bleed to death, I’ve got infection covered. She does come across a few basic medical supplies.

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