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Fiction Book Proposals : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Fiction Book Proposals

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MReeder
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Fiction Book Proposals

Postby MReeder » Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:03 pm


MReeder
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Fiction Book Proposals

Postby MReeder » Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:03 pm

Does anyone know how to write the perfect Fiction Book Proposal? I am currently working on one of my own, but the information on how to do it is scarce. I've found plenty of info on writing non-fiction book proposals, but "fiction" is limited. What do you think? Do you know any tips? Where can I find more info?

Thanks, and I hope posting this question will help others in my position.

Jamesaritchie
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RE: Fiction Book Proposals

Postby Jamesaritchie » Fri Feb 17, 2006 5:11 pm


gracie
 

RE: Fiction Book Proposals

Postby gracie » Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:10 am


Aspiring
 

RE: Fiction Book Proposals

Postby Aspiring » Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:18 am

I found www.agentquery.com vey helpful for fiction. http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubsubs.htm is another very useful site.

By "proposal" I assume you don't mean a proposal for a book yet to be written, as is often the case for nonfiction; it's my understanding that for fiction, the manuscript should be complete.

Good luck!

Jamesaritchie
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RE: Fiction Book Proposals

Postby Jamesaritchie » Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:44 am

Aspiting is right. If you want to write a novel, first you have to write the novel. Nothing else matters for a new writer. Synopses, outlines, etc., mean nothing until after you've finished and polished the novel.

There is no way on earth for an editor or agent to know whether or not you can write a good novel until after you've written one and they've read it. Though if you've sold some short stories to good magazines, an agent or editor will know you can write well enough to make someone pay you good money for your words, and they will take this into account. But writing a good short story is not the same thing as writing a good novel, and just because you can do one does not automatically mean you can do the other.

The reason proposals are so important with nonfiction, and the reason nonfiction is often sold before it's written, is because with nonfiction is the idea and the factual information that's important. The writing itself does not have to be creative, there's no made up story and made up characters, and if you have all the information people will want, a nonfiction book can usually be hammered into shape.

It doesn't work this way with fiction. Fiction isn't about information, it's about the ability to tell a good story, filled with realistic characters who all speak realistic dialogue. It's about pace and plot and description and mood and tone and a host of other things. It's about talent and skill and determination.

The only possible way for an agent or editor to know whether or not you have the talent and skill to do all these things is for you to show him you have them by actually writing a novel.

So writing and polishing the novel always comes first with a new writer. Until you actually have a finished, polished novel in hand, you have nothing. There's no point in even thinking about proposals, synopses, outlines, query letters or anything else until you actually have a finished, polished novel ready and waiting.

abqwriter
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RE: Fiction Book Proposals

Postby abqwriter » Sat Feb 18, 2006 2:50 pm

Someone actually asked this question to the agents at the conference I attended today.  Both were unanimous.  For a first-time fiction author, they want the book written before they're queried.  Non-fiction, they want the complete outline and proposal.

MReeder
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RE: Fiction Book Proposals

Postby MReeder » Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:14 am

Okay, okay, I'll finish the booK! Thanks for all of your comments, very helpful indeed.

abqwriter
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RE: Fiction Book Proposals

Postby abqwriter » Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:15 am

Ok - get to work!  :)

By the way, this is what happens if you actually DO get asked to write the proposal first.  You write it, the agent says, "Wow.  Love the idea."

Guess what the NEXT words are ... you got it!  "Now go write the book."

Either way, you gotta write the book.


Jamesaritchie
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RE: Fiction Book Proposals

Postby Jamesaritchie » Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:06 am



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