Often people will ask you what you’re working on and the range of thoughts are something like this:
Should I tell them?
Will they steal my idea?
Do I have my pitch ready?
How do I tell them quickly?
How do I tell them generally without revealing my genius high concept idea that’s never been done before?
Keep in mind, your dentist probably isn’t going to steal your idea and sell it to his next patient but you never know, great ideas to have a way of getting shared, even if unintentionally. So, when asked this pervasive question it’s best to have a stock answer that tells people generally the kind of writing you do. For example, I tend to write action thrillers about men/women/robots who have been used by the system and left for dead and then go on a revenge rampage and at the moment I’m banging my head against the wall on the details of my next project.
If you going to go into specifics start with a simple longline and see if that kills or deepens the conversation. For example, I’m working on a new thriller about a reluctant X who really just wants to YY but finds that a ZZZ has been tracking him/her/them and it all comes to a head at the new years eve gala event/graduation ceremony/dance recital/wedding/honeymoon.