Wednesday, September 29, 2010
So you've sent out dozens of queries and they have gone successfully, but it's the partials that are collapsing yet you simply don't know why. The Pin sees this very often in writing. As she went through the mounds of slush. In the good old days, The Pin saw many beginnings that started with the main character:
- Waking Up
- Getting ready for something
- Leaving to school
- Talking to a friend
All of these beginnings can be done, but most of the time, not. The major reason an agent will reject your work is because they will not be gripped at the very start of your novel. Say, who wants to read about Sam getting an orange juice and eating cereal? Isn't that what everyone (most...) does, eat breakfast? Obviously this isn't something very many people will be eager to read about. A boring and unexciting beginning will get the agent to discard your partial before they even get any further. All that work in the slush, simply because of the beginning? Darn. When I was in the business of let's call is slushing, I went through many manuscripts, and when the beginning didn't grip me, it was rejected. If it hooked me, I would take a look at the ending of the partial to make sure that the writing style is consistent and to see if it is still as good as it was at the start. So if you're suffering from the bad beginning syndrome, I will you this remedy...
In Medias Res!
Yes, that is your remedy. Where does your first action scene start? I don't mean terrorists bombing towers or cars falling into ravines, I mean the area where the conflict begins. Anything that will catch attention and make The Pin go "This is really good stuff!". Start there and don't be afraid to take out that beginning fluff, because trust The Pin, it really is fluff!
If you would like The Pin to take a look at your first chapter for free, check out my editing page. I will be more than happy to help and give pointers and helpful tips, and of course if you want to work with me on the rest of your manuscript The Pin will be so happy that she will jump to the ceiling! The Pin is very pleased to help new writers in becoming happy authors.
Your fellow nitpicker,