We now get to the part of the book proposal where we start to do some hard planning as to the book’s actual structure. This is where the basic blueprint starts to outline the framework against which we will write.
Bear in mind that I: a) had never written a book before; and b) had never written a proposal before.
My internet research suggested that publishers generally want a book no longer than 300 pages / 60,000 words from an unknown, first time author. Perhaps this only applies to fiction; I don’t know. Regardless, I imposed this artificial constraint upon myself for this part of my proposal. As it turned out, it was completely unrealistic for what I was trying to accomplish, but I didn’t have the experience with longer written works to appreciate this.
What I will is show what I originally wrote in this part of my proposal for the stillborn book concept of ONE, which included the word counts that added up to slightly less than the 60,000 word constraint. Afterwards, I’ll show what I actually came up with for the current book The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood. Note that I tried to make the chapter titles as interesting as possible, and that they betray a sense of humour:
* * * * *
List of Book’s Chapters
1. Was Someone Trying to Tell Me Something? (4,000 words)
2. Glancing in the Rear View Mirror (3,000 words)
3. Living a Myth Isn’t Living the Dream (5,000 words)
4. A Maelstrom Is a Poor Place for Swimming Lessons (10,000 words)
5. Thanks for Planning my Funeral – How Rude of Me Not to Die (10,000 words)
6. Sigmund Freud Sipping Coffee at a Paris Café (6,000 words)
7. When an English Monk Serves Duck for Geometry Class (6,000 words)
8. What Mrs. Crocodile Thinks Every Good Mother Should Know (6,000 words)
9. What’s Good for the Gander is Good for the Goose, so Long as Mine Doesn’t Get Cooked (6,000 words)
* * * * *
[The Mirror, Book One]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
BOOK ONE: Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood (94,000 words)
PART I: Narcissus’ Sister
3. Decline & Fall
PART II: Courts of InJustice
6. Something Wicked This Way Comes
7. Something Wicked This Place Stays
8. Vive la Revolution!
Intermission – Act I
BOOK TWO: Harbinger of a Dark Age
Intermission – Act II
PART III: Matriarchy
10. (Swastika in the) Mirror
11. Prime Time
12. La Cage aux Folles
13. Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged
14. The 2nd Library of Alexandria
15. CAIO Feminazis
* * * * *
As we say in the military, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. There has been a substantial evolution from the plan for ONE to the resultant The Mirror. Going the self-published route liberated me from the artificial 60,000 word constraint, and now one book will be two.
I started research for what would ultimately become The Mirror back in the summer of 2008, and under dire family circumstances. Roughly two years later, I wrote this proposal for the concept book ONE. Roughly another three and a half years, and I am on the verge of publishing The Mirror.
I suppose this rather makes me a Terminator when it comes to feminism. They messed with the wrong Dad’s kids.