Now came the hard part: Finding a Literary Agent Now that I had my book proposal together I had to generate a list of literary agents to query. This was a fascinating time-suck but proved to be pretty useless as far as narrowing down prospective agents to query.
Three months ago I started writing a memoir. This story has been hiding in my brain for the last decade, percolating without me knowing it. Long story short, back in middle school I started dating a guy and it turned into a seven-year, mildly abusive relationship.
A decade after it ended, I realized the microscopic hooks that found their way into my veins so long ago were still part of me today.
Three months ago, I woke up. Do I start at the beginning of the story and end at the end?
Should the book be a series of flashbacks? Do I write the last page first? Do I transcribe my journals? Or do I just sit down and start with whatever comes out? But while King helped me understand the importance of daily writing habits and slaughtering adverbs, his approach scared me.
Apparently King just sits at his desk and starts telling the story, a story with characters who magically write themselves, a story that simply takes on a life of its own, beginning to end.
I sat down and tried to write the first scene of my story. Two problems promptly ugh, adverb, sorry presented themselves: My first attempt was horrible.
I started writing about the day Tom not his real name, of course and I met. What tumbled out was a list of actions: Someone dared us to kiss. I should definitely never write books and should probably just push papers for the rest of forever.
Copy someone else What I wanted to know was how to write well. How to structure my story. Not just the book, but a paragraph. So what if I just copied someone else? I opened the first page of one of my favorite memoirs, Eat, Pray, Love.
Lucky for me, the first scene was about a kiss.
Oh, but there are so many reasons why this would be a terrible idea. To begin with, Giovanni is ten years younger than I am, and — like most Italian guys in their twenties — he still lives with his mother.
I was sinking into the couch, surrounded by an array of other sweaty thirteen-year-olds, tugging at my shapeless T-shirt, praying someone would dare him to kiss me.
It was just getting dark outside, the floor-to-ceiling windows, curtain-less, making me feel like we were alone, tension rising, in a cave. I felt instant relief. A headspace where I could more easily capture tone and rhythm and sensation.Brooke Warner's How to Sell your Memoir is a step by step guide to putting together a comprehensive book proposal.
The book is organized in clear and concise sections for each part of the proposal. Writing an Irresistible Book Proposal by Michael Larsen If it’s a narrative book like a memoir, it could be a compelling paragraph from your book (but only If you feel a sense of mission about writing and promoting your book, describe it in .
Usually, an agent and author will work for months to put together a 30–50 page proposal that lays the book out in detail. The agent will then get on the phone and call a carefully assembled list of editors (the submission list) and will describe (sell) each one over the phone on the strengths of this particular memoir.
More resources on book proposals.
I offer a comprehensive course on book proposals that takes you through the research and writing process in 10 steps.; Agent Ted Weinstein outlines the necessary parts of a book proposal, and also offers an audio recording of his minute workshop on proposals.; My favorite comprehensive guide on book proposals is How to Write a Book Proposal by agent Michael.
Business Writing. The basic principles of good business writing, to make writing easier and more effective. Writing an Irresistible Book Proposal by Michael Larsen The Golden Rule of Writing a Book Proposal is that every word in your proposal should answer one .