First Ten Pages
And, we’re finally at the fun part, your actual book!
Q: X Agent wants first ten pages; which ten should I send?
A: The actual first ten!
Q: Chapter one sets up the book and is slow. Can I use the first ten pages of chapter two?
A: Well, you just answered your own problem — axe chapter one then! And make chapter two the beginning.
Q: Do I need to stop at the bottom of page ten even though it’s mid-sentence?
A: Don’t be silly. Pick the strongest ending closest to ten pages as possible! That doesn’t mean send twenty!
Q: X Agent seemingly has various submission policies — between agency website, blog, and Twitter — regarding amount of text to include. Which guidelines do I follow?
A: Respect the information provided but get as much of your manuscript in from the agent as possible. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Reminder on P.O.V.:
In third person, the author tells the story. But the author decides if the events will be objectively given, or if she can go into the mind of every character; to what degree she can interpret that character; to what degree she can know the past and the future; and how many authorial judgments will be allowed. In second person, the character is not referred to as he or she, or by name, but rather as “you.” First person involves when the author uses a narrator who is also a character in the story to speak.
Attach your first 10 pages!
(Note: Along with this assignment, I’ll be doing line edits and a short reader’s report.)
Danielle Lanzet reads for a “living” at Chris Calhoun Agency. She attended Colgate University, where she studied poetry with Peter Balakian and later attended Columbia University, the Columbia Publishing Course. She can be found reading, writing, and editing where the martinis are cold and the espresso is hot.
Submit Your Manuscript