Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Two Pages Tops

STATUS: Boy do I need to catch up reading after the move. I have to admit that Sara and I are a little behind on reading queries and partials right now. Perhaps I can catch up this weekend.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? LUCKY STAR by Madonna

Sometimes I wonder if I’m revealing a deep dark agent secret and whether it pays to be brutally honest on this blog.

There will always be some anonymous commenter who will see it as the sign of the publishing apocalypse. Big smile here.

When reading sample pages, I have literally stopped reading after the first opening paragraph. (Sometimes the writing is just that bad.)

That’s pretty rare. However, I’d say, on average, that I can tell a NO within the first two to five pages of a submission. .

I know this is probably appalling for writers. How can ANYONE make a determination in such a short span of pages?

Trust me. Spend one week at an agency reading the submissions and after you’ve read thousands and thousands of partials, you know.

Like a good melon…

Sometimes it’s the quality of the writing (or the lack there of). Sometimes the writing is solid and the story just isn’t right for me. Sometimes the writing is really good and I just haven’t clue what I would do with the work.

Sometimes I just like it but don’t LOVE it and that’s enough to be the deciding factor.

But on the whole, it’s rare that I read the entire 30 pages I request before making a determination. That’s probably not super encouraging but at least you know the truth about those all important first 10 pages.