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

Author: Noah Lukeman

Paperback |

A practical and succinct guide designed to help you give your manuscript its best chance to be noticed by literary agents. Contains a systematic chapter-by-chapter look at the symptoms of bad writing and how to avoid them. Written in an engaging and friendly style by a successful literary agent with a knowledgeable insider’s perspective. (202 pages)


ISBN: 9780199575282 | Publisher: Oxford University Press (UK) | Published: 2010

Category: Writing / Editing / Publishing

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.