I have written five book proposals since 2004. Now I'm about to embark on a sixth. I have a hunch this will be the one.
Book proposals are by far and away the most difficult things I have to write. I've gone through extreme pain on each of the previous five. I'm bound to go through more on this one.
I'd like to think I'm getting better at it. My last agent told me as much. My writing has really improved, she said. But still, none of them sold.
Now I have a new agent. She talks with me more than the last one did. During a phone call last week, she suggested a new angle on the story of my experience in the mayor's office. I've been thinking about it for a few days. I think she's right. This is the direction I'm going to pursue.
I've set a goal for myself of completing the proposal by mid-July. Today I started sketching ideas on a scatter graph. I'm not exactly sure why I do them. They never seem to have much bearing to the end product, except that they're where I start. Tomorrow I'll draw a picture of a narrative arc. Or at least a picture of narrative chunks, with arrows between them. This will turn into an outline.
A good thing: I seem to be able to write crappy lately. This is a good thing. It's hard to start writing when you won't let yourself write crappy.