Although publisher/agent guidelines vary in the specifics, most novel queries require a cover letter, one to three sample chapters and a synopsis. Synopses, however, tend to bedevil early-career writers. They’re presented, usually, as an afterthought, or as some sort of back-of-the-cover tease — and therefore, the synopsis becomes the silent killer of what otherwise could have been a perfect pitch.
Like it or not, although writing as an activity is inherently solitary, writing for publication is an astonishingly social cultural phenomenon that requires much networking and relationship building.
A few quick items of interest from your friends at Caffeinated Press — Open office hours today, Sun. Mar. 13, from 10a to 4p. Please feel welcome to drop in, have some coffee, plug into the power and the Wi-Fi,
Even though it might be embarrassing, an occasional trip down memory lane is useful. And it’s worth remembering, too, that your first or second novel will almost surely end up in the back of your file cabinet. That’s OK. It’s healthy. Your goal shouldn’t be to write and then to publish, but rather to write until you’re ready to publish.