No, not that kind, even though I’m writing a romance novel. I’m talking the kind of proposal that an agent or editor asks for in order to determine if they want to see more of your novel. It’s a sales tool, and needs to present the author and the manuscript to their best advantage.
Quite a few agents accept a query letter only. Others want a synopsis and sample chapters along with the query. After all, it’s email, and they don’t have to open the attachments if the query didn’t catch their attention.
Others ask for a full proposal right up front. I’m guessing these agents get fewer submissions than those accepting queries only, simply because it is a lot more work writing the proposal! You can’t just dash off twenty emails in five minutes if you’re tailoring your words to each agent’s needs.
Hartline Literary Agency gives a list of items to include, such as comparative analysis, which has been my problem spot for the past couple of weeks, and market analysis, which is more general and is helpful to determine if the subject is current and marketable. Some, like The Steve Laube Agency, ask for a less exhaustive proposal.
This is the land in which I am currently living: researching similar books, laying out the proposal parts, fine-tooth-combing the synopsis, honing the first three chapters. I’ll be coming up for a quick gasp of air in a few days, and then diving back deep for the remainder of the novel’s revision. I think I’ve found the missing pieces; now I just need to locate the right spots to plug them into.
I’m really looking forward to playing with something NEW for NaNoWriMo in November, but first I need to make sure I’ve made Domino’s Game into the best possible story.
You know, if you want to take a break from the proposals, I’ve got a manuscript that needs more editing. . . .
Good luck with getting the proposals done and polishing up Domino’s Game!