❰Download❯ ➵ The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile Author Noah Lukeman – Horse-zine.co.uk

10 thoughts on “The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile

  1. says:

    This isn t at all what it claims to be I was looking for a book that would give examples of what to do and not to do in the first five pages of a book to get an editor to look at the work, the hook In fact, he didn t think hooks are that important Every other writing book I ve read said that if you don t grab the editor on the first couple of pages, your book won t get read Otherwise it was another general writing book and not a good one at that It took a long time to get to the meat of the book and it would only be useful for someone really new to writing who isn t very good and has no clue There were even grammar errors Most of the examples were silly and extreme, made up to prove a point but not showing anything that might really be written in a book They only focused on what was wrong, not on how to do it right Only occasionally was a real book quoted but they were all similar, mostly classics, and ALL written by men Some of them were even bad The opening line of Kafka s The Metamorphosis is, As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect It s a wonderful opening for the time and the book, but it would get rejected out of hand nowadays The text was long without interruption, no helpful sections, recaps, sidebars, anecdotes, nothing that would make this something other than the try and boring book it was The section organization made no sense.It was completely focused on print publishing The stuff about formatting the manuscript was good, stuff I ve never seen before, but I don t think anybody submits manuscripts by paper any It did have exercises but in huge paragraphs rather than a list, and they were all verbose, not short and sweet and helpful.This was when the author really lost me he said that missing dialog tags was a problem Most dialog tags are completely unnecessary and clutter up the writing If something is in quotes, it s obviously dialog he said is not needed The writing should convey who s talking and if it doesn t, that s the problem, not the tags.He didn t differentiate between an agent and a publisher He also didn t mention the differences in various genres For example, he said that we re tired of the description of a male protagonist as brown eyed and brown haired That would be novel in a romance.Another poor recommendation is that you don t need to reveal the plot right away What about in a thriller or mystery The plot is the most important thing and key If someone looking for suspense has to wade through two or three chapters to get any excitement, they re going to put it down.Lastly, the beginning of each chapter has a quotation sort of about writing but that doesn t match the chapter at all I don t recommend this book to anyone Instead, try Manuscript Makeover Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore.

  2. says:

    So once I stopped beating my wrists and wailing at the utter unfairness of how ruthless editors and publishers can be, I took a deep breath and considered the advice in this book I hate that just one tiny mistake can make an editor drop your manuscript right away I ESPECIALLY hate that editors read manuscripts HOPING they can find something wrong with them, so they can move on to their never ending pile But I get it I don t like it, but I get it And I deeply, deeply appreciate the author of this book leveling with the aspiring authors out there and telling it like it is Learning to see your work the way an editor would is truly invaluable.I m one of those people who when I edit my own work, I can tell when something is off, but I can t necessarily tell what it is, or how to fix it This book was like a road map to me, because it showed me how to identify and fix many of these issues I feel much less lost when editing now My writing has improved, and so has my confidence in my writing.The book walks you through the major issues that editors look for that will get you rejected, and advises you on how to address them Examples are given, both of how to and how not to, for each step I definitely appreciated the chapter on sound, as it is something I think many authors don t think about as much.The only issue I have with this book is the worry that because it is over ten years old maybe the industry has changed, and so the advice may not be completely spot on any, but even so, it is still a valuable look inside the publishing industry.Source Received as a gift

  3. says:

    There are a few reasons I was less than thrilled with this book.1 For each chapter on what might make an agent or publisher put your manuscript down, Lukeman gave an example Unfortunately the examples were all so obvious or over dramatized that I couldn t help but think There s no way anyone actually writes like this I so desperately wanted examples that reminded me of my own work so I might catch my mistakes, and I don t feel like I got that.2 Lukeman didn t even take his own advice, particularly on subtlety He spends a whole chapter or two talking about not beating the reader over the head with useless or repeated information, and yet I lost count of the times he gave the same advice again and again 3 He paints publishers and agents out to be soul crushing monsters who look for reasons to put your book down, but I have listened to many publishers say this isn t the case logically, one of the two must be lying and unfortunately I don t have much trust in Lukeman 4 Mostly I just get the feeling this book is a little outdated I ve heard many an experienced author say that the industry is changing quickly, and next time I ll look for a book that closely reflects that.

  4. says:

    Anyone who daydreams about being a published writer owes it to themselves to read this book and learn what they re up against There are many, many writing books out there, but this one stands apart for a couple of reasons One it s not by a writer, but by one of those evil literary agents who currently act as the bouncers of the publishing community His focus in this book is to tell the aspiring writer exactly why their work is going to be rejected long before things like plot, setting, and characterization ever come into play Which leads us to Two While lots of writing books focus on the big picture themes first and only get down to the fine details of editing and word choice in a couple of chapters at the end, Lukeman does it the other way around He begins by looking at the individual word and punctuation mark , because that s the first thing a bouncer agent will notice Only after you ve proven yourself in terms of style and readability will the agent be forced to give you a closer look and then it gets worse If you are marginally competent enough to get him past the first five pages you re still not in the clear because now you ve pissed the bouncer agent off by forcing him to read your work deeply, and that s when the gloves really come off.

  5. says:

    Much of this will be review for all but the newest writers No hot secret or sure tips to nab an agent s attention mostly common sense advice Still, it bears repeating nonetheless, and a little review benefits even the most seasoned of writers.

  6. says:

    My writing teacher recommended this book for novelists wishing to improve the very start of their book so it grabs people right away I immediately put in an order for it and consumed it as soon as it arrived Disappointing.The title is misleading This book, like several others I ve read, goes over what you should and should not do in prose writing Show don t tell Passive voice Dialogue tags Pacing Yeah, nothing new to see here None of it is geared specifically for opening your story with a bang It s all the usual rules you should follow for your entire book.Yes, toward the back there is a chapter on memorable opening lines, where we get to read Call me Ishamael for the millionth time The author doesn t explain how exactly to approach writing a memorable first line, he mostly warns against using one followed by a story which can t live up to it If you find yourself in that situation, either tone down this awesome opening line you spent a month crafting, or drive yourself mad dragging the rest of the 300 pages up in quality.I took issue with the author s highly exaggerated and almost unreadable examples For the most part he came up with the absolute worst mini scenes to show what you shouldn t do He seldom rewrote them into something fixed , which is understandable there was no fixing them He did provide a handful of examples to give the reader some idea of what he considered skilled writing Nearly all of them were from the classics, with only one or two from anything people would read for pleasure Using Melville to illustrate good writing is like shoving a person s hand into a fire to teach them what it s like to get burned It hurts and makes them want to run away.He also discusses the art of naming characters I understand why he brought this up since a name consisting of only consonants or vowels can make it difficult for the average reader to hang onto Having a bunch of similar names can cause issues too Names which are too long can cause fatigue and slow down the story one of my great problems which I don t know how to fix since everyone is so formal in my stories.However, there is a limit I remember reading Shogun over twenty years ago and having trouble keeping all of the Japanese names straight Does that mean Clavell should have changed everyone s names to suit my ignorance Of course not And Noah Lukeman offhandedly suggesting a sci fi writer should name a space alien Bob because it s easy to remember, and would be an unusual name for a space alien, is wrong headed too.Ironically, many of the quotes heading each chapter are telling than the content of the chapters They sometimes even seem to contradict Mr Lukeman s points For example, all throughout the book, the author clamors about this and that Russian writer and disregards genre fiction Yet chapter 18 starts with a quote from Mark Twain A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read Noah Lukeman s goal appears to be to encourage you to write like people nobody wants to read.If you haven t already read a goodly number of writing books I recommend Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer or just about anything by James Scott Bell , then you ll get out of this book than I did If you re like me and read how to writing books as often as fiction books, then this book is likely to anger you than inform you.

  7. says:

    The First Five Pages is one of the first theory books on writing I ve ever read Because I learnt so much from it I bought my own copy, and since I m editing my second book now I figured it was the perfect time to read it again The blurb isn t kidding when it hails The First Five Pages as the one book every writer needs to own, or at least read It goes over every problem your draft could possibly have, shows you why each is a problem through examples, and shows you how you can fix it It gives you the chance to apply what you learned right away with end of chapter exercises On top of that, it offers small insights into how agents and publishers work, and why they might reject your manuscript And, importantly, it shows you how to fix it.And on top of all that, it s encouraging I have never had a book, story or poem rejected that was not later published If you know what you are doing, eventually you will run into an editor who knows what he she is doing It may take years, but never give up It s an invaluable resource and I urge you to read it, maybe even buy your own copy It s not a dry thing you ll struggle through It s easy to read and quite humorous throughout the latter is a quality my theory books must have if they want to end up on my shelf

  8. says:

    I bought this for a friend who s struggling with his first novel Idly flicking through the pages, I realised that my need was greater than his, so he ll have to wait Slim enough not to be threatening, and yet never facile, this is great value I constantly refer to it, and I suspect it ll never actually be shelved

  9. says:

    This guys waffling, should follow his own advice.DNF at 9% Unrated on policy.

  10. says:

    The First Five Pages was written for writers and it does a good job of covering every aspect of writing This book was written by literary agent and former editor Noah Lukeman as a quick guide to the major aspects of a manuscript that needs to be looked at to help avoid being put into the rejection pile The book covers topics like 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 progressionThe First Five Pages isn t about being a better writer, its about understanding bad writing and becoming a better rewriter or a better editor This is useful for people that have a manuscript of a draft ready for polishing, but for beginners and people still writing I would recommend starting with On Writing by Stephen King When you are ready to edit, get yourself a copy of The First Five Pages.

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The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile download The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile, read online The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile, kindle ebook The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile, The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile 395fc4158821 The First Five PagesEditors Always Tell Novice Writers That The First Few Pages Of A Manuscript Are Crucial In The Publishing Process And It S True If An Editor Or Agent Or Reader Loses Interest After A Page Or Two, You Ve Lost Him Or Her Completely, Even If The Middle Of Your Novel Is Brilliant And The Ending Phenomenal Noah Lukeman, An Agent In Manhattan, Has Taken This Advice And Created A Book That Examines Just What This Means, And I Have To Tell You, It S One Of The Best I Ve Read I Ve Written And Seen Published Pretty Close To A Dozen Novels In As Many Years Some Are Still To Be Published And Will Be Out Shortly Others Are Already Out Of Print After Four Years But I Wish I Had Read Lukeman S Book, The First Five Pages, When I Began Writing Fiction I M Glad I Did Now It Has Helped, Immediately I M Already Embarrassed About Some Of The Goofs I Made In My Writing And I Ve Been Revising Recent Prose With His Advice In Mind First Off, Lukeman Is A Literary Agent Who Once Was An Editor, And His Editorial Eye Is Sharp If Every Novelist And Short Story Writer In This Country Had Lukeman As An Editor, We D Have A Lot Readable Prose Out There He Writes Many Writers Spend The Majority Of Their Time Devising Their Plot What They Don T Seem To Understand Is That If Their Execution If Their Prose Isn T Up To Par, Their Plot May Not Even Be ConsideredThis Bears Repeating, Because In All The Books I Ve Read On Writing, This Is An Element That Is Most Often Forgotten In The Rush To Come Up With Snappy Ideas And Sharp Plot Progressions You Can Always Send A Hero On A Journey, After All, But If No Reader Wants To Follow Him, You Ve Wasted Your Time In A Tone That Can Be A Bit Professorial At Times, Lukeman Brings What Prose Is And How It Reads To Others Into Sharp Focus He Deals With Dialogue, Style, And, Most Importantly, Sound Sound How Does Prose Sound It Must Have Rhythm, Its Own Kind Of Music, In Order To Draw The Reader Into The Fictive Dream Lukeman S Tips And Pointers Are Genuinely Helpful, And Even Important With Regard To The Sound Of The Prose Itself Lukeman Also Brings In On Target Exercises For Writers Of Prose And The Wonderful Advice For Novelists To Read Poetry And Often Those First Five Pages Are Crucial, For All Concerned But Forget The Editor And Agent And Reader They Are Important For You, The Writer, Because They Determine The Sharpness Of Your Focus, The Completeness Of Your Vision, The Confidence You, As A Writer, Need To Plunge Into A Three Or Four Or Five Hundred Page Story The First Five Pages Should Be On Every Writer S Shelf This Is The Real ThingPDouglas Clegg Douglas Clegg Is The Author Of Numerous Novels And Stories, Including The Halloween Man And The Collection The Nightmare Chronicles In Addition, Clegg Is The Author Of The World S First Publisher Sponsored Internet Email Novel, Naomi