Organizing the story in Query Letters, Plot Summaries, Sales Pitches, Outlines Synopsis, Treatments and Book Proposals

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Organizing the gist of the plot by level
  • A Query letter
    • One-sentence hook that described the story
  • The plot summary
    • On or two sentences that describes the gist of the story, telling:
      • What readers should expect
      • What sort of story it is
      • Who the protagonist is
  • The story sales pitch
    • Consists of five sentences:
      • 1: introduces the characters and story-world
      • 2: summarize the beginning and first disaster
      • 3: summarize the first 50% of the middle up to second disaster
      • 4: summarize the second 50% up to the final confrontation
      • 5: Explain how the story ends
  • Write the outline
    • The six most important scenes of your story:
      • The climactic scene (ending)
      • The opening scene
      • The opening scene of act II
      • The closing scene of act II
      • The opening scene of act III
      • The closing scene of act III
  • Write a synopsis
    • at least one page, max 5 pages
    • telling the story in prose from start to finish in present tense
    • present names and descriptions of all major characters
    • summarize all major events
    • describe point of view
    • skip all dialogue unless absolutely necessary
  • Write a treatment
    • Usually between 20-30 pages, a step by step narrative account of the story in present tense.
  • Write the book proposal
    • 1 paragraph description of the idea
    • Table of contents: Chapters and subheadings of the book
    • 1-2 pages of overview in narrative style
    • Description of competing books and how yours is added value
    • 1 page narrative description of each chapter
    • A finished chapter (or two)
  • The manuscript
    • Your fully filled in story