March 17th, 2018 – 12:23 pm
Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope you are having a good week. We received tons of snow on Wednesday but today was quite sunny, as was the day before so the crusty snow is beginning to melt away. The powder blue sky hints of spring. Soon 😊
In the publishing industry, the first five pages can make or break it for a reader, potential agent, and editor. You want those first five pages to be intriguing, introducing readers to a character or characters that they will happily follow for the next 300-400 pages. The writing, tone, voice, setting, and characters are all integral. I feel like writing is a balancing act, sometimes. So, you ask, how do you make sure that your first five pages are stellar? I have a few ideas.
About six years ago when I first began pursuing writing seriously, I didn’t think about critique partners. I just wrote for myself with the hope that the book would be solid enough to send away at some point. Hahaha…oh naïve Loie. I can’t do it alone. Oftentimes, we are too close to our work to see glaring mistakes, pacing issues, awkward wording, etc. There are many things a critique partner provides you.
They can be a cheerleader; encouraging you on as you embark on this wonderful and wild journey of writing with the hopes of eventual publication. They are the ones who you can turn to and scream/laugh with over the fact that an agent requested your full MS. Alternatively, they can be someone you can cry to when you receive a rejection from one of your top five agents.
They also can help point out things that aren’t working in your MS. They can give you an unbiased opinion of how the pages are working for them. If there were any places where it felt like they got confused or the dialogue was unrealistic.
So, critique partners are just wonderful, wonderful human beings. You really want to find yourself a critique partner, friends. Or a few critique partners!
Another avenue to see if your first five pages are working is to sign up for a pitch session or consultation with an agent or editor. This is costly but it is a great opportunity to see what an agent thinks about your opening pages.
Here is a link if you’re interested:
#1st5Pages Workshop (COMPLETELY FREE!)
Finally, here is an amazing opportunity for you to enter a free workshop. You submit your first five pages and have them critiqued by four other workshop attendees, published authors, and in the final week of the revision, a literary agent!
It is first come first served and submissions open at 12 pm EST on Saturday of the month. The workshop runs every month except August and December.
For this month, I was lucky enough to have submitted on time and received a spot! It has been so amazing getting to read my fellow workshop participants work and critique their work. When you critique someone else’s work, you are also growing your writing brain so to speak, because you’re seeing what works and what doesn’t. This will inevitably help you with your own writing.
Thank you so much, Erin Cashman and all the other wonderful folks involved in making #1st5Pages workshop happen. It is an awesome opportunity for up and coming aspiring authors.
Link is here if you want to check it out:
Oh, and if you want to read my first five pages (lol shameless plug, eh) here is the link:
I have one more revision to send in. It’s due by Sunday evening. That’s what I will be working on today, friends 🙂
Is there anything you are working on this weekend? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time,