New Unfamiliar Writing Tasks

Working with an agent leads to a whole new set of tasks for both fiction and non-fiction books that are new to me. On the non-fiction list, my agent asked me to update the proposal for Gold & Silver Wings – Tales from Three Generations of Military Pilots while she was on vacation. Actually, the work was self-generated because unlike most non-fiction book proposals, the author writes the first two or three chapters and provides a detailed table of contents with outlines of the remaining sections. Instead of chapters there are excerpts from throughout the manuscript. And, since the first draft is now more or less complete, she suggested that I update the table of contents as well as the proposal. This task is now completed.

For the Derek Almer series of books, she asked me to provide a synopsis of the series and then two page synopses of the first three books. They were harder to write than I thought given the constraints I was given.

Originally, I tried to write the series synopsis first. That was a mistake. After I wrote the ones for the first three books – Flight of the Pawnee, MANPDADS and The Ass’m Draggin’ – my original concept to the series synopsis changed.

It would be redundant to cut and paste précis of each synopsis into the series synopses document. Instead, the document gives a publisher six reasons why readers will buy the books along with a hint on how it could become a longer series. After all, it is as much about the marketability of the books as it is about the writing and the story.

The two pages is more of a constraint that one would think, but required elements are the genre BISAC Code, one or two sentence bios on the primary antagonist (bad guy), protagonist (good guy), details on the plot and status of the manuscript. BISAC Codes are six digit numbers used by the industry to classify books. They were created because, unlike the Dewey Decimal System used in libraries, it was designed for computer.

The last asked for document was a summary of all the books I have in work. There are, if one includes the five listed in this post, four more – The Red Star of Death, Retribution, Hannenkam, and Outsourced. The first two are written and I’ve edited them a couple of times but they both still need work. The latter two exist only in a rough story/plot outline. Hopefully, they will be published sometime in the future.

Its been a busy week or so writing on everything but a book!

Marc Liebman

July 2018

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