Monday, April 07, 2008

Proposals and Synopses

What I'm reading: Daphne #3, Touch of Magic entry #2

What I'm writing - synopsis, proposal package

Kill word of the day: 'had'

Karen Kendall spoke to us Saturday, and the timing couldn't have been better. I'm not at a point where I sell on synopsis, so I take the coward's way out and write it after I finish the book. Usually I procrastinate until the last possible moment, only writing it if I have to submit it. Since I sent the revised and edited manuscript to my agent last night, I guess it's time. And some of the pressure is off, because she's already agreed to try to sell the book.

Karen's advice and examples, however, sent me home with at least a spark of -- well, enthusiasm is a bit too strong -- but at least I didn't break out in a cold sweat when I opened a new document.

Since writing is all about the characters for me, I decided to start from there. It'll take time to work out the kinks, but with Karen's advice, I have a better idea of what needs to be in there. How's this for starters? Comments welcome.

Hiding behind the public fa├žade of San Francisco-based Blackthorne, Incorporated's high-profile private investigation and security firm is a low profile—think subterranean—division of elite covert operations field agents who go where Uncle Sam can't.

Dalton (Just Dalton—nobody dares call him Ambrose), is one of Blackthorne's elite. A charming Texan, he prides himself on blending in anywhere, and there's nothing he can't scam. But his obsession with putting Colombian drug lord Rafael out of the picture threatens to endanger his life and the lives of his teammates. The fact that he nearly blew a simple undercover assignment at a fundraising gala, getting his wallet lifted in the process, convinces his boss to yank him out of the field and tether him with a safe assignment that will keep him stateside.

I've got a long way to go yet, but at least I've started.


Chudney Defreitas-Thomas said...

Its a great start! I get a real sense of Dalton already. You're miles ahead of me in that regard. I'll just stand over here in the cheering section and cheer you on.

Terry Odell said...

Thanks, Chudney -- but let's not forget I've already written the book, rewritten the book and revised and edited the book. Plus Dalton's a secondary character in my December release, so I think I know him pretty well. (My agent would slash that use of "pretty", but I'm all about slang and idioms).

Now, if I had to do this for a proposal for a yet-to-be written book --- well, it wouldn't be pretty! (That usage is OK).

Katie Reus said...

Great start! And I agree, Saturday was just what I needed. Her handouts will stay close to my computer for a while :)

Terry Odell said...

Thanks, Katie. Of course, today's email from my agent said, "I got your manuscript. Now I need a synopsis and a marketing plan." At least this came AFTER Karen's workshop, so I'm plugging away. Marketing Plan? "Tell me what you want me to do, and I'll do it" doesn't seem to be what they want.

I really HATE having to compare my work to "comparable" books. I tend to read big names, and my stuff is SO not comparable to theirs except in the broadest genre terms.

Macy O'Neal said...

Great job, Terry.

I couldn't stay for the rest of the meeting on Saturday. We were getting ready for the great 16th birthday bash for my step-daughter (hosted at my house -- yikes!!)

Can anyone slip me the handouts?