Welcome Insecure Writers, and much thanks to our fearless leader, Alex J. Cavannaugh (insecure, sometimes; fearful, nevah!).

As my regular visitors know I've embarked on a quest for The Next Big Thing and am answering one question a week about my current work in progress, which happens to be in progress at a publisher. :)   I'm taking a question out of order this week because it fits perfectly with an insecurity of mine.

Question #5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Are you kidding me???  One sentence?  Do you have any idea how long I struggled to reduce the thing into a 2-5 page synopsis?  And a 2-3 paragraph summary for the query? And even after all my work, I'm pretty sure the only reason that drivel made it beyond the acquisition editor's wastebasket is because I already had a relationship with the publisher.

So there it is, my insecurity: I suck at hooks and blurbs.  With a new book coming out---one I'm truly excited about---I've had lots of people ask,"so what's it about?" I respond, "Well, uh, there's this woman and then there's an angel.  And it's in the suburbs and she's divorced and...yeah...it's totally different from my last book." *apologetic shrug before changing the subject as quickly as possible*  How's that for the opposite of compelling?

Tell you what, I'll past the shortest version I've been able to come up with and if you can pare it down to one sentence, have at it.

Maggie Brock has everything under control.  Even her divorce, though painful at the time, only registers as a minor blip in her carefully constructed universe. Her life in Prairie Oaks has once again returned to a smooth, predictable pace…until an angel shows up in her bedroom.
The angel is just as bewildered as Maggie about why he’s been sent to her, but their unsuccessful efforts to gain understanding of the mystery fade to the background as their relationship grows. Soon, Maggie’s biggest problem becomes the angel himself, as her feelings for him develop into something less than saintly.
While Maggie struggles to keep her desires pure, a nefarious being lurks in the shadows of Prairie Oaks, watching and waiting for the opportunity to fulfill his ambiguous purpose. Preying on her conflicted emotions, the demon manipulates her at every opportunity, but the one to deliver Maggie directly into his hands is the last person she’d expect.

P.S. I'm wretchedly sorry for being so bad about bopping around the blogs lately.  I'm in the middle of a big project at work that I hooope will lighten up next week. 


Suze said...

Thumbs up, babe. Loved your opener on what a bitch hooks and blurbs are to write. I've written a query letter twelve different ways for my last book and now feel I could pitch in my sleep. What a business.

Nice and cliffhangery at the end of yours, though. Hope your work project wraps up well, chiquita.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, that's great!
I can do one sentence, it's the whole synopsis that trips me up.

Christine Danek said...

Hey, that sounds great. One sentences are hard. I'm not the best at hooks, so I'm sorry, I can't help ya. Good luck with it and your new project.

Unknown said...

I totally agree with you. ONE SENTENCE? Not a chance. Love your blurb though.

Donna Shields said...

I know how that is. I struggle with the synopsis. But, one sentence synopsis? I'd be pulling my hair out.

I like your blurb. I would so read that.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Nicki
How does this sound?

Newly divorced Maggie encounters an angel; confused, together they attempt to learn the mystery of his purpose but a demon waits, ready to trip up Maggie's best intentions.

I don't really know your book, but this is rough and may help your creative juices flowing in that direction. Best of luck.

Johanna Garth said...

I love the synopsis you wrote. I'm good at hooks and one-liners, but get tripped up in trying to describe the whole book in ten sentences.

Yolanda Renée said...

Gosh, the one sentence. Google it, there are a few sites that speak to this, and the synopsis and the query, and it's all different. UGH
This is the part I hate the most. I can write a 100,000 word book, but a one sentence description that's supposed to hook -- the synopsis that supposed to be a full description in three paragraphs, and a query that's supposed to be similar to the synopsis just shorter and more to the point! Yeah, I'm there....NOT!
Sorry, this was your blog -- got carried away! :)

Arlee Bird said...

Coming up with the most effective short version could be a tough challenge. Just today I watched the trailer for a book that sounded very good, but the trailer was all the author's narration about the story and it came to nearly 6 minutes. I thought he was going to tell the whole story.

Tossing It Out

Janie Junebug said...

Maggie Brock thinks she has every detail of her life under control --including her divorce -- until a bewildered angel arrives in her bedroom and the two learn they must fight a nefarious presence with the help of the last person Maggie would expect.

Too long? I bet you could pare it down a bit more. Anyway, I can't wait to read it.


fallen monkey said...

I seriously think that's the main reason I've gone on hiatus querying...every agent/publisher requests a different synopsis length, and it's so painful trying to rephrase and condense/expand accordingly every frickin' time.

I can see why yours would be tough to condense to just the one sentence! Hey, I like a book with complexity that can't be reduced to a quickie elevator pitch. That's the stuff that draws me into the story world. Can't wait to enter this divine one!

Kittie Howard said...

Great job! I hate those blurbs, too. Do what you have to do with your project. I think we're all time-challenged.

Jennifer Lane said...

Here's my insecurity--failing to keep my blog on schedule! I forgot about IWSG and The Next Best Thing this week.

I'll take a crack at it.

Reeling from divorce, Maggie awakes to a sexy angel...is he a dream or a nightmare?

Debra McKellan said...

I like it. :)