What goes where?

So today I couldn’t handle not looking at my manuscript. I changed a few words (nothing major) but I also looked at my first chapter. Now a lot of agents want a query letter, and the first five pages of your manuscript. I looked at my first five pages, and I like them, but I wonder if they are the right five pages.

Since I decided to write in present tense, I always worried that within 5 pages of my book, I have a flashback. The flashback is funny, according to most readers, but it is kind of early on. I worry that agents, as well as potential mass readers, might find this jarring. So today I decided to rearrange it a bit. I moved things all around to configure the first 2 chapters differently. The result of this ended up dividing the material of them into 3 chapters. Now the first five pages are certainly more streamlined, but I’m not sure they are any better for it. I worry that while this might make the book seem more conventional, it hurts the tone of the piece. As the funny stuff doesn’t come in until chapter 2.

I guess I won’t know how people feel, till I get feedback, but it is nice to have a plan.

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3 Comments

  1. pinkagendist said,

    April 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Hi,
    In my experience agents want more than five pages. I sent the first half of my “rough” manuscript to 5 agents two years ago, got 3 rejections and two were interested. I ended up choosing the agent that I feel is on my wavelength.
    Don’t worry so much about the “rules”, agents come in all shapes and sizes. Many will read whatever you send them, others won’t get past the 1st page.

    • kyoske said,

      April 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Hi! Pinkagendist, thanks for commenting!

      Yeah, I think my issue is, I REALLY want a certain agent (which is nuts I’m sure) but I also want the book to be really good. Since I got done with my work early today, I was just interested in trying to see if reorganizing helped. My problem is, I can’t tell if it did.

      Were you happy with your agent? Are you still with him/her?

      • pinkagendist said,

        April 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm

        Yes, I think they’re great… the problem isn’t them, it’s me 😀 After everything was approved and they lined up a publisher I decided I hated the book and wanted to start over. They’ve stood by me, which is nice; But I’m nowhere near finished, and it’s been two years now.


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