I'm used to writing non-fiction. I think of a theme and then I recall a time in my life that examplifies that theme. I plot it out and color in the details.
Now I admit to being somewhat new to writing fiction. I'm still learning but I have gone and written three books already. The other day, a visiting friend asked me what my latest was about.
I paused. You know the feeling. We writers should be prepared to give that answer in three sentences or less--not recite the plot--but the main theme.
Until today, I thought I knew my theme but if I had, I probably could have given a satisfactory answer to my friend. I didn't. I fumbled all over myself trying not to sound like others who have talked on and on and never made a point.
You know how it goes:
It's a romance about two people; it's a story about a woman who wants toAll plot and not what the book is really about.
be a writer, it's about a young widow who is struggling to support her
But this morning, the moment came to me as I woke up. I could finally put into words what my book is saying. The information had always been there; I just couldn't spell it out.
So maybe I went about this whole thing backwards but I knew the story I needed to write and did. Now I can tell others what it's about in two sentences or less.
How about you? Can you tell the main idea of your book without reciting the whole plot?