Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Three Words

Imagine your novel just debuted, and it's making the rounds on the blogosphere book review circuit. And people are loving it! You're getting rave reviews! (Stop drooling.)

Can you picture it?

Good. What are people saying?

I can't recall the specific site (it's probably several) but I remember reading a book review in which the reviewer chose three words to describe the book overall. My reaction: That's a great thing for writers to figure out to better understand their ms!

You don't want generic words like "entertaining" or "well-written" because obviously your book should be those things anyway. Be as specific as you can. Try to capture the essence of the book. Try to capture what mood you want to leave your readers in.

After thinking about it for a while, I came up with this:

The Temper - cool, comical, and quirky

Okay, okay, cool isn't super specific, but it's just the best word for some of the things that go down in this book. I mean, using a block of ice to surf on a gigantic wave in an exploding lake? That's just cool. I want The Temper to come off as funny, but comical is a better word choice because I want it to feel sort of comic book-y and humorous. Then I chose quirky because the characters are on the strange side, and a lot of the superpowers are absurd.

After I finish The Temper (Soooooon, I hope!) and jump into revising, I'm going to keep these three words in mind. It will help me cut, create or tweak sentences and paragraphs to better convey what I want my story to be.

You guys know the drill...

What three words would YOU choose to describe your current wip?


Happy St. Patrick's Day!


  1. Right now I would need four: pain in the butt! LOL.

    It really is sometimes, but I still love it. This is a really good question. I must think about my answer. It's way too early to think... still. : )

    Be back later!

  2. Hey that's a great idea. No idea though. Heartbreaking. Swoon worthy (I hope). Winning. Okay, the last one's more like a pun based on the story.

  3. This is a fun idea. I'm going to reiterate what my crit partners have said about my WIP: dark, steamy, kick-ass.

  4. Summing up the novel in three words is hard to do, but I'll give it a go:

    End of Faith: hope, redemption, survival.

    Bit generic, huh?

  5. I love the word "quirky." I'd read any book a person (I trust) told me was quirky!

    Let's WIP is...
    harrowing, riveting, and vivid.

    You're RIGHT! Describing my work that way feels like a goal, or even a challenge. What a great idea -- thanks!!

    When you have a chance, swing by my blog, I have an award for you there!

    Happy St. Patty's Day!

  6. Excellent discussion and thought-provoking post.

    For now, I'll go with...

    FALLEN KNIGHT, Tense...Exhilerating...Absorbing

  7. This reminds me of those "get to know you" activities where you have to describe yourself in three words.

    For my WiP, JANE'S AIR, I guess I'll go with secretive, bold, and relentless.

    I think.

  8. Now you've got me sitting here trying to come up with three words to describe my ms. Ack! But I guess, off the top of my head...antihero, utopia, and oppression. I think those three words do pretty well. I'll have to think on it some more.