The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile

Rejected again? It happens to all writers, even those with many publishing credits. Literary agents and editors receive and reject hundreds or even thousands of manuscripts each month.

While it’s the job of these publishing professionals to be discriminating, the writer’s job is to produce a manuscript that immediately stands out from the competition. And those outstanding qualities, says New York literary agent Noah Lukeman, have to be apparent from the first five pages. The First Five Pages reveals the necessary elements of good writing, whether it be fiction, nonfiction, journalism, or poetry, and points out errors to be avoided, such as

* A weak opening hook
* Overuse of adjectives and adverbs
* Flat or forced metaphors or similes
* Melodramatic, commonplace or confusing dialogue
* Undeveloped characterizations and lifeless settings
* Uneven pacing and lack of progression

With exercises at the end of each chapter, this invaluable reference will allow novelists, journalists, poets and screenwriters alike to improve their technique as they learn to eliminate even the most subtle mistakes that are cause for rejection. The First Five Pages will help writers at every stage take their art to a higher — and more successful — level.
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  1. says

    my biggest fault is uneven pacing and lack of progression, i must have this book….The First Five Pages, being able to capture the readers interest in the first 5 pages is some feat!…cheers