If a literary agent asks for the first 5 pages of your manuscript, what if the 5th page cuts off mid-sentence?
Should I include the fifth page to avoid the abrupt ending of the sample, or should I just abide strictly by the guidelines?
Oops I meant "include more than the fifth page to avoid the abrupt ending"
- SpeedLv 72 months agoFavourite answer
Axioms, what they want is to the end of a paragraph. If you can find a break anywhere on the lower half of page 5, that's just fine.
If the end of page 5 happens to fall in the middle of a huge paragraph, go to the end of a sentence that allows it to all be on five pages.
What they are looking for, of course, is a writing sample large enough to see if you have a decent beginning and basic mastery of the written word.
- Jimmy CLv 72 months ago
It does not matter. The agent knows there is more and it leaves him wanting more.
I used to write direct mail copy and I always finished each page in the middle of a sentence, so the reader would turn over to continue, to find out what was going to happen at the
- Sir CausticLv 72 months ago
You have to send the first 5 pages whether they cut-off or not. What you must then do is phone the agent and speak the rest......... in a Dalek voice. Yes, I know it sounds silly but that's just something they do in the trade. If you don't, they put you on a blacklist and send people round to do you in. Hope this helped.
- VoelvenLv 72 months ago
If they ask for the first five pages you send them five pages, no more, no less. If the last page cuts of mid-sentence, then simply delete that sentence.
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- TinaLv 72 months ago
Grundoon, I am not quite clear what you mean. The questioner has not been asked for money, but the first 5 pages of his/her ms. This is extremely common. Agents will specify on their submissions page
1 if they are accepting submissions currently
2 what the submission should consist of - very often it is the first 5 pages of the ms, but it could be the first chapter (although not very often) or a certain amount of words or pages, with a synopsis and a query letter.
If they are interested they will then ask to see the full ms.
It is not helpful to suggest that this very common practice - really all agents do it - is suspicious, and means that the agent is a scammer, and somehow involves a request for money. Of course the agent will assume that people can write five pages - but five pages is usually enough to tell him whether he wants to see the rest.Axioms - send the first five pages, as requested, and either omit the last setence or finish it, but don't send any more. And good luck.
- WhateverLv 72 months ago
Skim through that fifth page and see if there's something that can be edited out and then do it. Voila! No abrupt ending and you stick to the 5-page guideline.
- GrundoonLv 72 months ago
If this "Agent" asks for ANY money, he is a scam.
By the way, almost all authors can write five pages and he knows it.