The First Five Pages : A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile Paperback
by Noah Lukeman
Whether you are a novice writer or a veteran who has already had your work published, rejection is often a frustrating reality.
Literary agents and editors receive and reject hundreds of manuscripts each month.
While it's the job of these publishing professionals to be discriminating, it's the job of the writer to produce a manuscript that immediately stands out among the vast 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: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile 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 - 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.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 208 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 11/02/2010
- Category: Creative writing & creative writing guides
- ISBN: 9780199575282
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by marnanel
When you try to sell a book to a publisher, one of the things you send them is the first few pages of your manuscript. This book promises a discussion of how best to present your work to a publisher, but what it actually delivers is a detailed discussion of how to write good prose at a low level: the use of parts of speech, "show, don't tell", euphony, and so on. It makes only a brief attempt to deal with higher-level issues such as plot and characterisation, though the author has a book on those subjects too.This sort of book is useful in its way; heaven knows there are many would-be writers who need a remedial English lesson. But the problems it addresses affect the entire manuscript, not only the first five pages, and there is not enough of an attempt made to deal with the actual pitfalls specific to submission, such as writing the first five pages in a way that will sell the rest of the book. I was disappointed.
Review by PhilSyphe
Many books on writing focus on what *to* do in hope for success, yet this is such a broad spectrum that such advice will most likely only help certain types of authors. The "do nots" are more specific, therefore Noah Lukeman's advice of what a writer should avoid is well worth paying attention to. His own writing style is straightforward, which is how advice ought to be.Recommended for unpublished and established authors alike.