Abaddon Books

Abaddon Open Subs Month: my submission, Mark Clapham

2 years ago

In writing about my experience pitching Dead Stop for the 2012 opens submission window in I have begun to write one account, completely re-written it, realised what I was writing was far too long, and then started over with this version.

This reflects the submission process itself – I came up with an idea, I wrote a synopsis that reflected all the detail I would need to write the final novella, and then I created a copy and started to cut it down into what was required for a proposal, rewriting it to fit the stringent requirements of the submission process in terms of synopsis, chapter breakdown and writing sample.

I wasn't just tightening for length, but for impact: that short synopsis was the tightest, punchiest pitch for a complex high concept I could manage; the breakdown wasn't just a blueprint for the story I would write but an excitable retelling of it to hook in the editors; and the sample itself wasn't just a chunk of story but also a showcase of the high concept, the characters, the tone and my own ability to write it.

It was a lot of work, but it worked.