Thursday, October 19, 2006

Trudging through it

"I'm hoping to finish this book proposal today..." [SIGH] Sometimes my optimistic expectations astound even me. Suffice it to say, it ain't done yet. I'm trudging through it. What an exhausting process this is. They ask for so much in the proposal (Statement of aims and rationale for the project; 300-word overall abstract; chapter outline with 500-word chapter abstracts; biographical sketch with "concise CV"; assessment of likely competition and description of the target audience, etc.), then write with sadistic glee that "the proposal should therefore extend to between 2-5 pages".

2-5 Pages!?! In what, 6-point font? That's like asking someone to lecture on the major events regarding Civil Rights in America, from 1933-1968, paying particular heed to the role of women, pointing out areas of convergence and conflict between African, Latino, and Asian populations, making mention of literature, music, and art as protest expressions, and doing this all in 25 minutes, allowing time for questions.

But it's not for me to complain. I want to do this, do it well, get it accepted, then move on. I'm planning some major overhauling of the dissertation, far beyond what I did in the dissertation distillation article: the addition of historical and biographical notes and sketches, to fill in more of the story; and the inclusion of a great deal more translations from original source materials that have never appeared in, let us say, any major world language. That and editing, revising, and reorganizing. All of this, of course, makes a chapter synopsis somewhat more complicated an endeavor than I imagined at first. Better to do it now, however, so I have a to-do list once it's accepted.

Hats off to those of you with book contracts under you belt. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Good luck! I hope to put together a proposal myself in about a year, so it's interesting to see your process.