1. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Writing teasers - or 'What's your novel about?'

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lifeline, Nov 8, 2015.

    I can't really believe that no one has posted this before, but here goes:

    How do you write teasers? How do you make prospective readers root for publishing date? For a long time, when I told someone that I wrote a story and they just innocently asked "What's it about?" I got tongue tied and frustrated. Because it was all so complex and how do you fit the important parts into just three/four/five sentences? How would I convey that this story was worth writing or even reading? I ended up not being able to explain or would just say, "Hey, it's just a fantasy-story, nothing serious", downplaying it because it was so important that they would like to read it that I didn't want to diminish it by not explaining it right. :rolleyes:

    I noticed my same instinctive response here on board - and here I really, really have no reason to be defensive or to not take my time explaining.

    So I sat down and consciously tried to write a teaser. A concise small paragraph you might find at the back of a book to let you judge if you want to read it.

    How do you deal with that kind of questions from friends/acquaintances? There is a whole art in doing a good teaser and I am not sure I did it right (it has been a whole lot of time since school when I was required to hand in something like that) but it is an entirely different style than novel/short-story writing.

    You have to be very brief, letting the reader see a hint of your characters, and a conflict/mystery to come, so that he can say, "Ow, now this combination sounds like fun. I'll think I would want to find out." That means sensationalism, in a sense, and that is very far removed from my usual style and I had serious trouble forcing me into this kind of mold.

    I will be very interested in your responses! :)
     
  2. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know how to write teasers. Sometimes I have to write them in 140 characters, and I just come up with ... something.

    It might be interesting to think up some teasers for well known books.

    Elizabeth Bennett's mother wished her to marry the much older and reliable Mr William Collins, but she was too busy being disinterested in Mr Darcy.

    Winston Smith loved Julia and hated Big Brother. Big Brother knew exactly what to do in a circumstance such as that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
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  3. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Now that sounds like a fun way to find out. I know that sometimes the teasers I've come across in published books didn't capture the essence of the story and after I read it I got miffed with the publishers. I don't want readers having that kind of experience with my story, but on the other hand I really need them to look forward to reading.
     
  4. Kipski
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    Kipski New Member

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    My scripted response is, "Well, my main story is about a man who loses everything important to him, he becomes a monster, and then tries to find his way back to humanity." It's an extreme generalization but it lets someone know what my story is about. Some people ask more questions about the story, some simply smile and nod.
     
  5. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    It took me a long time to come up with my 'teaser' for my first novel. Once I did I had to re-write it because I suddenly realised what the plot actually was. :rolleyes: Before then I just had a bunch of events happening.

    So this time around I started with a 100 word outline which I then developed into 1000 and then 5000. By then I could divide it into chapters and start writing. But the very first thing I wrote was my teaser. I'm going to always do it this way in future.
     

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