Author proposes what comes next.
Three – count ’em – three proposals are now out there in the universe. For me, that’s a bunch. Since I rarely restrict myself to one series at a go, that doesn’t mean only one of these three proposals I just finished will go forward at the expense of everything else. There’s the next Camelot Reborn book, which will happen one way or another. The other two are for brand new series more in the vein of the Baskerville Affair – adventure stories with a nod to romance rather than vice versa. I’ve been waiting for an A+ idea for the Emma Jane Holloway stable, and the muse finally delivered two. I have now sent them to my agent. The second absorbed a chunk of my Christmas holidays, but I can’t think of a better way for a writer to celebrate than with a whole new universe to play in!
For those that don’t know, a book proposal is about the first three chapters plus an outline, plus some other supporting materials. Mine generally run around fifty pages or so if it’s for a new series, mostly because I want to be sure to get my idea across. There’s an art to writing these things, and most of what people say about synopsis construction isn’t that helpful (at least to me). I struggle every time, and the events I talk about in the outline may well be lies. I’m a plotter, but quite happy to change course at the drop of a hat. What really matters is digging deep enough to come up with the core themes and conflicts and making them shine. I always imagine my future editor reading the proposal in some far-off place, maybe on a subway with no sleep and a squalling kid across the aisle. I ask myself if the ideas are good enough to overcome the background noise and make him/her keep listening and keep wanting more.
Anyway, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the spark I see in my mind’s eye translates to the page.