Friday, October 06, 2006

What I've Just Finished Reading: The First Five Pages

I just finished reading The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, which I'd highly recommend to those brand-new writers who finish their first draft and say, "Okay, I'm done," having never read a book on how to get published nor taken any classes on the same. It's an eye-opener.

For everyone else, I'd still recommend it. It's short, concise, and well-written and drives home the point that editors and editorial assistants, by the very nature of their hectic schedules, look first to weed out the rejects, and describes what they look for first.

It includes many samples of what not to do (for example, snippets of horrible dialog), and sometimes there are sections on how to fix the problems. The exercises at the end of the chapter are excellent exercises in good writing, but I must admit that I didn't do any of them. For one thing, I read most of the book on a plane and didn't have my manuscript with me. For another, I'm at the wrapping-up phase of my second novel and I just don't have the time to rewrite at that depth. For me, a simple checklist would have been more beneficial.

Overall, though, it's a very good book and I'd certainly read others by the same author.


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