Outline of new novel

(4 Posts)
ImperialBlether Sun 07-Feb-16 18:55:08

I've been asked to write an outline of a novel. I haven't started this novel yet and I know a lot of development will go on as I write. How long should this outline be and how complete does it have to be? It's going to be sent to publishers with a full manuscript. I'm finding it really hard! It was bad enough writing a synopsis after the book was written, but writing one before it's written is horrible! Any advice from experienced writers?

wordassociationfootball Tue 09-Feb-16 08:38:26

Not experienced in exactly this at all, as you know smile but...

You'll have to sell the sizzle not the sausage. It's a selling document whose job is to say 'yes, another blinder from Imperial. You know you want her.' You'll have to put across mood and high stakes and an interesting mc. They'll also want to know it's in the same genre.

I would try and dream it out in longhand in a notebook. Do some writing practice stuff, maybe some automatic writing about how difficult it is to write this outline and what your fears are about having to do it then write your way into it and see what you can harvest.

(I guess this means you managed to deliver your re-write in Jan? I have asked for an extension to the end of this month. Slogging through, revising the re-write draft and cutting 10,000 words - have managed 6,000 from the first half, so doing OK)

wordassociationfootball Tue 09-Feb-16 08:39:23

Bet they want a page, but would be interested to know if that's not the case.

ImperialBlether Tue 09-Feb-16 08:50:18

Yes, the rewrite is done and she's ready to send it off! Exciting times... What's less exciting is having to do this bloody outline! Nothing can go off without it.

Yes, now that the one I did has been ripped apart (!) I've been told this (for anyone's future reference):

- No more than 250-300 words
- Bare bones of the plot rather than what happened when
- Show the beginning, the middle and the end
- Fresh and original (ie nothing like the previous novel)
- Same genre

My agent is lovely but can spot a flaw/weakness at 100 yards!

Having another go at it today.

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