Nov 24 2009

An easy mistake for prospective novelists and comic book writers…

Published by at 11:24 pm under Common Mistakes of First Time Authors

Novelists, make sure that your synopsis covers the material in your sample chapters.  That might sound unnecessary– if they can read the chapters, why do they need the summary?  Because you don’t know that the editors will read the chapters first.  If the editor picks up the synopsis and it starts at chapter 4, you’ll force him out of his comfort zone.  Not a good plan. 

Comic book writers, some publishers (like Image) ask that you include sample pages illustrated when you submit your proposal.  If you include sample pages, make sure the script includes those pages even though the editor can SEE those pages. First, this keeps the editor from getting totally confused if he misplaces the sample pages. Second, it allows the editor figure out what you’re trying to accomplish with the sample pages.  For example, let’s say the backgrounds and side-characters look very boring in a particular sample.  If the editor didn’t have the script in front of him, he’d probably conclude that the colorist wasn’t very good.  But if the script says something like “Make sure that his office and coworkers look as drab as possible so that we’ll cheer for him to get a new job,” then it makes sense that the sample pages would have some drabness. If the editor knows that the drabness is intentional, then it’s a sign of the colorist’s ability to set the mood, NOT incompetence. If the editor knows what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s easier to tell whether you’ve succeeded.

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