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CraftyCreations411
07-16-2013, 12:26 AM
for a Table of Contents or Outline, what are they talking about?

It doesn't sound right to say: Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc. And as far as an outline, I'm use to the school note taking - I, A, 1, 2, a, b, c. I'm fairly sure that that's not what they're talking about.

I haven't been able to find anything about so I'd be grateful for some help.

Candy

Siri Kirpal
07-17-2013, 12:38 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Outline means chapter summaries: what's in each chapter. If you don't have a table of contents or chapter titles, that's what you want to send.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

CraftyCreations411
07-17-2013, 12:48 AM
How long are normal chapter summaries?

Chapter One - It's a Man's Army - It's raining outside. Lightning flashes brightly throughout the darkened Quonset hut. Hospital beds with dummy patients line the walls. Silver I.V. stands next to the beds as if guarding against intrusions. I feel my body being forced into bed and a man having sex with me. This becomes my first military secret.

OR

Chapter One - It's a Man's Army - My first rape.


Thanks for the help.

Candy

Siri Kirpal
07-17-2013, 05:40 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Short paragraphs, so the first is preferable.

Also, if you have titles for your chapters, then you should have a table of contents. You just don't put in the page numbers, because those will depend on how the book is printed.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Axordil
07-17-2013, 08:08 AM
A Table of Contents would be more of a non-fiction need. I have a hard time imagining one being useful for fiction submission purposes. Chapter outlines would work for either.

CraftyCreations411
07-17-2013, 08:33 AM
Thanks.

I'm writing a memoir. I've come to the conclusion that figuring out what an agent wants is almost like pulling gators teeth! It can be done!

Everybody says that a query is like a synopsis, but yet the agent wants a query AND a synopsis. Then there's the agent who wants the query, synopsis, table of contents, outline AND a proposal. But yet the proposal has all that stuff in it. Doesn't sound real smart to duplicate the stuff, I'd find it a turn-off and definitely fit for File 13.

I don't know if agents are using different terms to denote the same things or if maybe I'm just reading too much into it. I do have a bad habit of that.

Thanks again,
Candy

Terie
07-17-2013, 05:02 PM
Everybody says that a query is like a synopsis, but yet the agent wants a query AND a synopsis. Then there's the agent who wants the query, synopsis, table of contents, outline AND a proposal. But yet the proposal has all that stuff in it. Doesn't sound real smart to duplicate the stuff, I'd find it a turn-off and definitely fit for File 13.

You're going to need to get your head around what these artifacts are if you want to be successful.

A query is not at all like a synopsis. A table of contents is nothing like an outline. A proposal is nothing like a query, a synopsis, or an outline, and doesn't necessarily have any of those things in it.

A query contains a summary that's more like jacket copy. A synopsis is usually one page, sometimes can run to a second page -- unless the agent specifies something longer. A table of contents is exactly that, and if you haven't titled your chapters, you don't need to supply one. An outline is more structured than a synopsis, usually chapter-by-chapter summaries. A proposal can be many things; the one prepared for the memoir I co-ghostwrote was a 40-page abridged version of the full manuscript.

This process isn't easy, but we have to suffer through it to get to the other side.

CraftyCreations411
07-17-2013, 08:28 PM
Thanks. Wrapping my head around something is really hard for me. I'm so thankful for the people who continue to bear with me as I try.

Sometimes I don't know who gets more frustrated - the person(s) trying to help or me. There are concepts that seem to take a long while for me to understand. Ask poor cornflake - I think I drove her(?) crazy with my questions! Awesome person!

If a ToC is just a listing of the chapters, but the agent wants one, and the chapters haven't been named, do I ignore what the agent wants?

I'm currently querying agents that want only a query. That part I think I've done fairly well on. Then I'll move to the query + synopsis, and so on. The proposal is what's really confusing to me. If I were doing a comparison of two things - no problem. I actually think I could do it. But a memoir? I'm totally lost. I've got Larsen's book on writing a proposal - but it doesn't tell me what I really need to know and only leaves me more confused than when I started.

Right now I really want to understand the differences in synopsis, outline, and ToC. I think that if I can get the proverbial light bulb to go off on those three, then it gives me a little more hope for figuring out the proposal.

Candy

Siri Kirpal
07-17-2013, 10:04 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Proposal contents:

Overview: For a memoir, this is like a snappy, but complete synopsis, but with such added elements as word count, genre, title, etc. (Disclaimer: Overviews aren't my strong suit.)

Author Bio: Anything about you that will help sell a book: your credentials, any media or stage experience, etc.

Market: Who would read this and why

Promotion: What can you do to help reach those markets

Comparative Titles: Pick popular books that are like yours in some way. Being the only one of your type doesn't really help.

TOC: if you've got one

Chapter Summaries (AKA outline): See Terie's and my comments above

Sample Chapters: Always include chapter one of a memoir

Start all the above with a cover page containing the title, your name, your pen name if you're using one (and given your topic, I assume you are), all contact info.

Second page is a Table of Contents for the Proposal itself: what page the Chapter Summaries are on, etc.

Hope that helps.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

CraftyCreations411
07-17-2013, 11:28 PM
Overview: For a memoir, this is like a snappy, but complete synopsis, but with such added elements as word count, genre, title, etc.

This is what I mean. It sounds like a query with the word count, genre, etc. Wouldn't the agent already have that information when I queried them? Or does it matter that I'd be repeating myself? Is the overview shorter or longer than the regular-type synopsis?

Author Bio:

I have no kind of credentials. The only thing I can currently think of is the fact that I'm a veteran that's managed to survive MST. I've never been published. I've never written for a magazine or anything like that. I'm the mother of three kids, 7 grandkids, and I've been married to the same man for 36 years.

Market: Who would read this and why

I really don't know. People who like memoirs? People who've experienced the same thing? Interested in things the military does and why they get covered up? I don't know.

What can I do to help promote the book?

Again, I don't know. I once applied for a state job dealing with child abuse cases. They gave me a list of about 30 questions and each question started with, "Are you willing . . ." I answered 'yes' to each question because I thought it was what was required - part of the job. I didn't like some of the questions, but if it was part of the job, why wouldn't I do it?

While I was in the Army I didn't go to physical war everyday - I was a soldier first. I didn't work in a pharmacy every day - I was a pharmacy tech second, but if I was told to go pick up cigarette butts in the parking lot - I went. It was part of the job.

I'm definitely writing under a pen name. Two of the perps live in the next city over and I've seen them a few times. I want to stay safe and I want my family safe. You said I put my name - Jane Doe and then my pen name - do I say something along the lines of "writing as Jane Smith?"

Trust me, every little bit helps. I just wish it didn't take me so dang long to figure out what someone's trying to tell me!:D I'm very grateful for ALL the help I get here.

Candy

WeaselFire
07-17-2013, 11:54 PM
FWIW, I've never been asked for a table of contents or an outline except in non-fiction. Fiction they have always asked for a synopsis, even 30 years ago. I've queried very little fiction in the last decade or so though, so things may have changed.

Jeff

CraftyCreations411
07-18-2013, 12:00 AM
This is for nonfiction. I'm writing a memoir. Just so many confusing things, I get lost. But hey, I'm in Florida and we can't count chads so what do I expect? ;)

Candy

Siri Kirpal
07-18-2013, 02:01 AM
Overview: For a memoir, this is like a snappy, but complete synopsis, but with such added elements as word count, genre, title, etc.

This is what I mean. It sounds like a query with the word count, genre, etc. Wouldn't the agent already have that information when I queried them? [The point of a proposal is that it's got everything in one nice bundle, so yeah, you'll be repeating yourself on some things.] Or does it matter that I'd be repeating myself? Is the overview shorter or longer than the regular-type synopsis? [Typically it's longer than the query and contained the ending, which the query usually doesn't, but it's shorter and has fewer details and characters than a synopsis.]

Author Bio:

I have no kind of credentials. The only thing I can currently think of is the fact that I'm a veteran that's managed to survive MST. I've never been published. I've never written for a magazine or anything like that. I'm the mother of three kids, 7 grandkids, and I've been married to the same man for 36 years.

[In this case, you've got the military experience. If you have a college degree, include that too.]

Market: Who would read this and why

I really don't know. People who like memoirs? [Yep.] People who've experienced the same thing? [Yep. And their friends and family.] Interested in things the military does and why they get covered up? [Yep.] I don't know. [People interested in current events.]

What can I do to help promote the book?

Again, I don't know. I once applied for a state job dealing with child abuse cases. They gave me a list of about 30 questions and each question started with, "Are you willing . . ." I answered 'yes' to each question because I thought it was what was required - part of the job. I didn't like some of the questions, but if it was part of the job, why wouldn't I do it?
[So, what you say is that you're willing to do whatever is necessary to promote the book.]

While I was in the Army I didn't go to physical war everyday - I was a soldier first. I didn't work in a pharmacy every day - I was a pharmacy tech second, but if I was told to go pick up cigarette butts in the parking lot - I went. It was part of the job.

I'm definitely writing under a pen name. Two of the perps live in the next city over and I've seen them a few times. I want to stay safe and I want my family safe. You said I put my name - Jane Doe and then my pen name - do I say something along the lines of "writing as Jane Smith?" [Yes, that's the usual way. Since I use my pen name as my preferred personal name, I put it first. But in your case, the wording you gave is the wording to use.]

Trust me, every little bit helps. I just wish it didn't take me so dang long to figure out what someone's trying to tell me!:D I'm very grateful for ALL the help I get here. [No problem. I understand.]

Candy

Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

See comments above.

You'll get there.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

CraftyCreations411
07-18-2013, 02:26 AM
I have a BA, but it's in business administration. I have a secondary degree in computer science.

You got it, I'm willing to do whatever is needed. If it meant standing on my head in the middle of the world's busiest intersection - I'd stand on my head in the middle of the world's busiest intersection. But how would I say that.

"I'm willing to promote my book by whatever means may be required."

Or do I have to name everything - do talk shows, radio, book signing, etc?

I didn't think of the 'current events' thing. And it's definitely in the news!

I may get this thing figured out yet! :hooray:

I can't thank you enough for your help. It means a lot to me!

Candy

Siri Kirpal
07-18-2013, 09:51 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Glad to help a fellow memoirist.

If you're willing to hire a publicist, say so. (Understand that you won't be doing that unless you get a good enough advance.) Then say what you're willing to do.

For a proposal bio, go ahead and mention both degrees. Oh, and since you do crafts, mention that too--what types, how long you've been doing them, etc. That's something that could go on a cover jacket.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

CraftyCreations411
07-18-2013, 10:06 PM
Then this memoirist definitely needs help! :ROFL:

You know, I've actually thought about those agents that I have to mail stuff to - send them a business card! If they don't like the book and stuff, then maybe they'll like what I make! :evil

I had to go look up what a publicist was. I think my book would have to hit the bestseller list for a l . . . o . . . n . . . g time! But yeah, if I had to - I'd do it.

Siri - have you ever gotten so ticked at a memoir you're working on that you've trashed it and then just completely written it from scratch? Just being nosy, as usual.

Does an author have in say so in a cover jacket? I know what I'd love to see on the cover. I just don't know if I'd have any input to it.

Candy

Old Hack
07-18-2013, 10:41 PM
You said I put my name - Jane Doe and then my pen name - do I say something along the lines of "writing as Jane Smith?"

That's a particularly lovely name to have. Ha!


Does an author have in say so in a cover jacket? I know what I'd love to see on the cover. I just don't know if I'd have any input to it.

You're very unlikely to get any sort of power of approval on your jacket design, but if you've got an idea then tell your editor. There's no guarantee your idea will be used, but there's no guarantee it won't, either.

CraftyCreations411
07-18-2013, 10:45 PM
You're very unlikely to get any sort of power of approval on your jacket design, but if you've got an idea then tell your editor. There's no guarantee your idea will be used, but there's no guarantee it won't, either.

You're right. What are they going to say? No? Go away? :roll:

Candy

Siri Kirpal
07-19-2013, 07:14 AM
Then this memoirist definitely needs help! :ROFL:

You know, I've actually thought about those agents that I have to mail stuff to - send them a business card! If they don't like the book and stuff, then maybe they'll like what I make! :evil

I had to go look up what a publicist was. I think my book would have to hit the bestseller list for a l . . . o . . . n . . . g time! But yeah, if I had to - I'd do it.

Siri - have you ever gotten so ticked at a memoir you're working on that you've trashed it and then just completely written it from scratch? Just being nosy, as usual.

Does an author have in say so in a cover jacket? I know what I'd love to see on the cover. I just don't know if I'd have any input to it.

Candy

Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I had the theme for the memoir I'm now querying within a couple of months of the inciting event, but it took me two and a half years to find a structure for the memoir that worked for me. And even then, a few months after I started querying, I took it off the market, shipped it to a reputable editor and redid it. Most of the chapters stayed much the same. And not that much of my writing actually changed, but the structure! Lord, yes!

Don't ask about the novel(s) I've tried to write!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

CraftyCreations411
07-19-2013, 07:24 AM
I really enjoy writing. I just have no idea where to even begin. Seems like every time I think of something - somebody else has already done it. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I don't want to keep writing about the same things over and over again.

Maybe if I did a memoir of the fun times in the Army? :ROFL:

Candy