Writing Nonfiction Books (Part 17)

The second part of a book proposal is The Chapter Outline. Keep it brief. Write a short paragraph summarizing each chapter to give the editor an overview of your book. This can be a vital tool for understanding the entire manuscript if the book proposal reaches the stage where it is considered by a publishing house committee. Some publishing houses prefer a synopsis of the book rather than a chapter outline. This is usually the case for fiction.

Here are the first three chapters of my chapter outline for my book, Wounded by Words.

Chapter 1:  Hurtful Words – Caustic words and demeaning statements can be as dangerous to our well-being as any weapon. People often use words that dominate and control when they feel insecure themselves. Unfortunately these words are often directed at close family members, often children, and the outcome is much pain and suffering. The tension resulting from these heated words often leads to the telling of lies by both parties.

Chapter 2:  Invisible Scars – Verbal abusers isolate, disorient, and indoctrinate their victims. Whether they are children or adults, the abused are usually family members. Depression, behavioral problems, and physical illnesses are a direct outcome of the emotional abuse. Often these results are not easily seen.

Chapter 3:  Distorted Self-esteem – Standing in front of a mirror reflects our physical image, but not the image of our soul. Often a woman who is verbally abused thinks others have a low opinion of her. The pattern of abuse creates a feeling of rejection and worthlessness. Emotional abuse is a learned behavior for both the abuser and the victim. It undermines the foundation of the family.