Components for Writing a Proposal

Sherry–it’s going to be hotter today than yesterday! We are having a hottest week all summer.

In January of 2015 we did a whole series of Wicked Wednesdays devoted to writing a proposal for a novel. We all sold books by writing a proposal and there are several key components in each one. If you’re a first time writer or a reader who is curious about our writing process these blogs will be of interest to you.

One of the things that helped many of us is what I’ve come to call “the magic proposal.” Author Daryl Wood Gerber shared hers with Liz, who shared it with us, and we’ve shared it with many other authors.

Our first topic was writing a synopsis. It can strike fear in the heart of the many an author, but here is some helpful advice:

The second topic we tackled was writing the first three chapters. It can be scary writing chapters when you may or may not know a lot of the details of the entire story.

Another element of a proposal is writing character sketches. This is a good exercise whether or not you write a full proposal as it’s a way to get to know your characters.

Our final topic was talking about marketing plans and comparable titles. I remember how scared I was when I realized I had to do this. But, as with the other components of the proposal, it was really good to think about.

We finished the month with an interview with agent John Talbot.

Readers: I hope you found this look into the proposal writing process interesting and helpful.

8 Thoughts

  1. Thank you for the information. Although I have no plans to write a book, I know several cozy fans who want to try their hand at writing their own mystery. I am happily passing this information on to them.

  2. Hi, Sherry. I’m one of those ‘guppies’ Edith Maxwell shared this with. I’m a not-yet-published-but-trying historical mystery writer. I envision my manuscript to be the first in a series, so found this post particularly helpful, if not a little bit intimidating. There was A LOT here I did not know I should be thinking about and preparing. Wiser is always better ( ;
    Thanks so much,
    Pamela Ruth Meyer

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