Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Overview (what's an overview?)

Saving Mary: The Possession and Deliverance
The MotherHeart of God: Biblical Evidence for the Femininity of the Holy Spirit
So now that I have two titles that are both clear, concise, commercial, emotional and informative it's time to move on to the Overview.

The overview's job (according to our mentor M) is to prove that our idea is both practical and marketable. In addition to this we must also prove that we are the right people to write about our idea and (if that weren't enough) we must prove we are the right people to promote our idea.

The overview can be written in numerous ways. (Typically 1-3 pages.) You can, of course, submit all this information in a few paragraphs, or you can break it down (see the "proposal example" under Resources). I'm going to break my overview down.

The overview starts with an opening hook. The best piece of advice that I read in M's How to Write a Book Proposal was: "Your overview sets the standard for the tone, style and quality of what follows."
I think my initial problem when writing overviews in the past was I had it in my mind that a proposal was necessarily boring. But after reading M's advice, I now see that the proposal is not merely a mundane list of what I have to offer, rather it is an example of the way I write. I found I had to remind myself, "Remember, you are a writer--you know how to write for emotion, excitement and interest. So do it. Come up  with a great hook by using your talent as a writer. DO NOT BE BORING.

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