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Writer's Guide to Getting Published: The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

Updated on September 18, 2014

Writers Write

Typewriter for writing.
Typewriter for writing. | Source

Do You Want to Write Better?

If your goal is to become a better writer, whether you want to be published or not, The First Five Pages is the book for you.

Written in easy-to-read language that speaks to you, as a person, this book explains what the reader wants from you, as a writer.

The answer in a nutshell is this:

Readers make up their minds about reading a book in the first five pages. If those first five pages don't pass muster, your book will more than likely get abandoned with nary a bookmark peeking from the top to know anyone was ever there.

Literary Agent Gives Sound Advice

Noah Lukeman is a literary agent who knows what he's talking about. One reason I recommend this book is Lukeman knows his stuff.

Who better to learn what an agent is looking for in an unknown writer than to learn from an agent?

The agent acts as the middle man between the writer and the book editor looking for that next great book.

And get this: Before becoming an agent, Lukeman worked as an editor, so guess what? He has worn both hats and knows what an agent and an acquiring book editor are looking for!

Write Books to Be Read

Books are written to be read.
Books are written to be read. | Source

Tip No. 1: Your Book Must Be Well Written

Your manuscript has to be written in engaging prose that's well written.

In his book, Lukeman writes: "If the writing is good, then we'll go back and consider the synopsis."

So, this means that a poorly written book won't be read, even through the first five pages. The best plot and storyline are nothing if poorly written.

The First Five Pages Available on Amazon

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
Noah Lukeman explains what agents and editors (and readers!) want to read. What I took away from this book is this: Make your writing engaging so they'll want to keep reading the entire book because pages six to the end have to be just as good as the first five pages.

Summary of The First Five Pages

Tip No. 2: Use Dialogue Correctly

Lukeman states in The First Five Pages that agents and editors read dialogue right up front to see if conversations are written well.

Too much dialogue is not good. In fact Lukeman writes, "...if I skim through a manuscript and see pages and pages filled with dialogue, with no breaks or rests in between, chances are, it's going to be rejected."

He also advises that a book with too little dialogue is bound for the rejection pile as well.

Tip No. 3: Show, Don't Tell

Writers are often told to show me, don't tell me.

Lukeman agrees and writes, "It is the writer's job to show us what his characters are like, not by what he says about them, or what they say about one another, but by their actions."

Paint a story with words and your reader will be engaged and want to keep reading. Give a laundry list and they'll get bored, and possibly go do laundry instead of reading your book.

Writers, Tell Us Your Tale!

Have You Written a Book?

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