What’s a book outline?

Okay guys, I admit that this one took me a little while to figure out! Many authors dread writing an outline more than they dread any other part of a book proposal. As always, the exact content that agents and publishers want from a book outline varies.

There’s no doubt you must be adaptable to surviving in the publishing industry!

The book outline is a detailed breakdown of what happens in your story by chapter. Sounds like a bit much, doesn’t it? Well, don’t let it overwhelm you!

Unlike your query and synopsis, this part of your proposal does not have a page limit, not to my knowledge, but always remember to check submission guidelines to be sure. With that said, your outline should still be as concise as possible. Add only the parts of the story that is most important, only dialog that is key to the plot.

I like to write each chapter outline like a short blurb to keep the reader going. It makes sense to me. The book should do the same, right? Each chapter should end with some key points to keep readers turning the pages!

The same holds true for the outline. No one should fall asleep reading it. 😉 Keep it moving and make sure you describe each chapter with a building anticipation toward the big finale.

Another important point to remember is that agents and publishers need to know what happens. Don’t hold back the ending. Don’t leave questions unanswered to surprise them later. They need to know if they like the ending you’ve written. Okay?

So, I hope this has been helpful. Good luck writing your outline!

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Published in: on October 28, 2010 at 8:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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