Quote Originally Posted by Orianna2000 View Post
The character list, I'm told, is so they can keep track and make sure all the names are spelled right throughout the whole book. Sounds like something they probably wouldn't need until the book was with a publisher, though.
This is the copy editor's job--not the agent's job (and the copy editor isn't an issue until after the book has been sold and edited). The CE will produce a style sheet with character names, place names, terminology you use, etc., which he or she will check as s/he goes through the manuscript, making sure everything is consistent.

If you're writing fantasy or a historical novel and have a lot of unusual/foreign names and/or terms, it doesn't hurt to provide your own style sheet to help the copy editor--but again, this is not something that's needed at the agent submission stage.
So just a synopsis and bio? All this other stuff makes me quake with fear. I'm basically a hermit, so I don't know any authors or famous people to endorse my novels. I have no connections with the local media. My novels have nothing to do with my non-fiction work, so my platform is pretty worthless. Ugh.
You don't need a platform to sell fiction. Really. Plenty of totally platformless, previously-unpublished first-time writers sell novels. You don't need anything more than a finished, polished, marketable manuscript.

You don't have to find endorsers or blurbers, either. Your publisher (and sometimes your agent) will help with that--they'll probably ask you for suggestions, so that's your chance to suggest your dream blurbers. Again, though, not something you need to worry about until the book is contracted.

Ditto for media connections. That kind of thing falls under "great if you have it, not a problem if you don't."

Once your book is sold, you will need to think about what you can do to promote it, but there are plenty of things that even hermits can do (one of the beauties of the Internet is that you can do publicity while alone in your home in your pajamas).

- Victoria