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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Book Proposals & Query Letters by Coleen O'Shea, Marilyn Allen

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Presenting Your Story in Three Documents

Your novel should demonstrate a mastery of your genre and offer convincing evidence that your work has the right elements to appeal to the market. Novels may seem like spontaneous outpourings of writing, but good novels, and good short stories, are built on strong underlying structure. As the author, it’s your job to present the structure, the characters, the dialogue, and the action. You have to show the agent that these pieces are in place in your novel. An easy way for an agent to see what your novel accomplishes is for you to provide three documents that detail your novel: a short synopsis, a cast of characters, and an expanded synopsis. Together, these documents will show if your plot is strong or ...

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