Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The First Five Pages

A Writers Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile
- Noah Lukeman, Simon and Schuster

I embark in an effort the next several posts to share my notes of this wonderful text--not for the purpose of saving you from buying Noah's book. You must buy it. You can't live without it. No summary will do. My notes only serve as a review, to provoke memory of what you've read in this marvelous text.

As a way of telling how to do it correctly, Noah does a great job telling you how not to write, breaking down how he strikes submissions. He used three passes.

First Level of Elimination: Preliminary Problems
1. Presentation
2. Adjectives & Adverbs
3. Sound
4. Comparison
5. Style

Second Level of Elimination: Dialogue
6. Between the Lines
7. Commonplace
8. Informative
9. Melodramatic
10. Hard to Follow

Third Level of Elimination: The Bigger Picture
11. Showing versus Telling
12. Viewpoint & Narration
13. Characterization
14. Hooks
15. Subtlety
16. Tone
17. Focus
18. Setting
19. Pacing & Progression

Stay tuned for a bit of the detail.

Write Every Day!



  1. Just read this book - it's very helpful. I also recommend it.

  2. I haven't read this book yet. I'll have to add it to my list for possible e-book buys. But, at the same time, I really would rather spend time reading my favorite fiction--even if it's replete with adjectives and adverbs. I'm so lazy.