06 April 2010

The First Five Pages

Noah Lukeman is a New York literary agent with a number of top-ranking authors as his clients. He has also written a number of books on the craft of writing (see The Art of Punctuation for instance) so he knows what he's talking about when it comes to the literary marketplace - in which it must be said so many people wish to make their mark. Publishers and literary agents receive hundreds and hundreds of manuscripts each month - almost all of which are rejected. It's the job of these publishing professionals to be discriminating, and it's the job of the writer to produce a manuscript that stands out among the competition. Those outstanding qualities, Lukeman argues, have to be apparent from the first five pages - otherwise no agent or publisher will bother reading further. In fact he claims - and I believe him - that five sentences is enough. ... more >>

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