Can you do it?
When you're living your daily life you're probably thinking about your novel all the time, but if you're like me, you don't always have a quick way to describe it.
Somebody at a party says, "I heard you're writing a novel. What's it about?"
You stuff a handful of chips in your mouth and start inching away, thinking, Who told you that? I want them eaten by zombies.
But we need to have something ready. They call this our "elevator pitch." It's the pitch that's short enough to present to somebody in an elevator. You could also call it the, "quick-before-her-eyes-glaze-over pitch."
Give the essence without character names or place names. Tell me the gist as if you were a squeeing fan of this novel.
I'll quickly do the three novels that happen to be on my table right now and I promise I won't cheat.
An orphan learns he can do magic and must save the world from an evil wizard by keeping him from getting a magic rock.
~Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
It's about the thirteenth sister in the Twelve Dancing Princesses and she has to solve the mystery and break the enchantment on her sisters.
~The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
A guy learns his best friend's an alien and the world is getting blown up and he has to leave. He travels the galaxy and learns that mice are hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings.
~The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Okay, all of those need improvement, but you get the gist.
So, your assignment, if you're a NaNo'ing American, is to write an elevator pitch for your NaNoWriMo novel, memorize it, and utter it at some point on Thanksgiving, preferably before everyone is in an overfed stupor.