Yesterday, we talked about cover letters, outlines, and synopses. Today we’re getting to one of the most important parts of a proposal. THE SAMPLE CHAPTERS. Here’s where you’re going to prove your worth. And for series writing, it’s not necessarily about flaunting your style of writing, it’s about showing that you know how to write in the style of the series.
Yesterday, we discussed what to look for when researching a children’s or teen book series. Now we’re going to talk about developing your idea for the next book into a pitchable concept. Let’s break down what you’ll be putting together.
Assuming, you’ve already inquired about the guidelines from the publisher or packager, you have now reached the stage where you have been invited to submit a proposal.
Are you curious about how authors get in on multi-author series books like S.A.S.S. Students Across the Seas?
Do you want to understand what skill set and experience is required to write for any established series?
Would you like to know how to approach a publisher to get your idea sold?
Then this is the article series for you. In the coming days, I’ll talk about how to get started writing for a series based upon my own experience with S.A.S.
Q: What elements make for a good hook, particularly at a story’s outset?
A: Hook is really hard to define. But here’s how I look at it (in terms of opening pages)
It’s something that draws you in.
It could be a first line.
It could be a character’s unique voice.
It could be an interesting situation on the first pages.
It could be the style in which the piece is written.
I decided to classify this post so it applies to both PBs and longer works. If you’ve been following my Revision 9-1-1 articles, you’ve read a lot about “big” issues which crop up in manuscripts I’ve reviewed. But what’s contained in here is MORE IMPORTANT. Why? If an agent or editor senses you haven’t mastered the basics, your wonderful plot, brilliant characters, and awesome setting won’t matter.
I decided I would not only talk about setting but also description. Or maybe they are one in the same. Some people say setting can be as important as a character in your book. It really depends on the story, but whatever role setting plays in your novel, make sure you’re not making one of these common mistakes.
Here are the typical things I encounter when I review novels, plot-wise.
story starts on page 10. Or 15. or 20.
- this is when I read the first chapter and go – well, that was a great study on character.
Are you ready for some Revision 9-1-1? The only way to fix a problem is to…
What I’ve done here is laid out the most common character issues I’ve seen to date.
Here is where you get to benefit even more from the fruits of my labor. You know all those free-tiques I do? After a while, I notice tendencies among you writers. I’ve seen some of the “issues” enough I’ve given them special names.
Let me clear up a myth about talking animals. You might have heard it before. “You shouldn’t write about talking animals. That’s a big no-no.” Yet you see hundred of books come out, starring them. What gives?
According to some, talking animals are hard to do.
Knowing the typical word counts of different types of children’s books will help you understand what goal you need to hit. These are only guidelines. If your word count comes in too high or low, you could raise eyebrows with publishers. Some might not even consider your work.
- Picture books – you’ll hear many people say the shorter the better. A good goal is 500 words or less. Definitely strive for under a 1000.