Proposals. Synopsis. Queries.

Those three words have most writers running for a steady stream of coffee, chocolate covered almonds and Facebook. We’ll do anything and everything we can to NOT write a query, a synopsis or even a dreaded proposal. Anything. Like look up the status of friends we haven’t chatted with in years on Facebook, trolling Twitter for a conversation we can jump into, search recipe blogs for something we know we’ll never make – or collect recipes to fill our day with making homemade treats for our kids.

Essentially – everything that I am doing today. Oh wait – I forgot to add write a blog post about the very thing you’re struggling with at the moment.

I bet you’re expecting to discover what my secrets are for writing the perfect proposal for a 3 book series – right? Sadly, I hate to disappoint but that’s what I’m about to do. I have no secrets, other than waiting for the perfect words to describe a book or a series that I’m so in love with but don’t know how to describe.

I’m the worst person for describing my books. I know, I know – I should be able to tell you in three sentences or less what my book is about – but I can’t. I’m one of those writers who go to a conference and blab on and on about their book without really getting to the point most people want to hear. I’m one of those writers who sent days, weeks and countless emails to friends asking for help in drafting up a blurb. I’m also one of those writers who tends to wait till the last minute for inspiration to hit – because that’s when it usually hits me.


My mother-in-law asked me this weekend what my next release (coming in March 2014) is about. I blathered on and on not even noticing the look of confusing in her gaze until the very end when I threw up my hands and said “it’s a  psychological drama centered around a husband, wife, and newborn baby, who discover things are not quite what they appear.” She politely nodded and smiled while I inwardly groaned and berated myself (again) for not learning the trick of a great one sentence pitch.

Back to the proposal…here is what I ‘do’ know. My first page will includes my book title, series name, author name and what is included in the package. In my case it’s the first 3 chapters, book 1 synopsis, and then an outline for Books 2 & 3. Easy peasy right? Sure…until you find yourself staring at the page and the words won’t come. I’m sure I’ll get it done in time – I’ve never not met a deadline (I normally try to be early but not this time) and the words are partially there – I just need to put it all in order and make it look pretty.

What I did for the synopsis and outlines were create points of what happens in the story – the crucial elements. Then I put them in order and draft sentences up so they make sense. This is my easy-peasy way of doing it. I’m sure YOU have a better way, a way that would probably make this whole process go smoother and faster…and I KNOW there are countless articles and blog posts from successful authors and agents (like this one from Jane Friedman who says what I’m trying to write is a novel proposal) out there with recommendations on how to do this.

Unfortunately, this post is not one of them. It’s just a sneak peak into the mind of an author with not enough coffee and zero chocolate (which is probably what the problem is). Except … now that I’ve blathered on – inspiration suddenly hit…