Saturday, November 24, 2007

Synopsis Plus Sample Chapters

This week's dip in the slush brought me a manuscript for which there was a synopsis and sample chapters. That's what our submission guidelines request, so the submitter gets points for reading the guidelines. The sample chapters, though, were chapters 19 and 47.

So a quick bit of advice.

I don't need consecutive chapters at this stage, because sample chapters are really just about whether your writing style appeals. (And the synopsis is about whether you've got a plotline that hangs together.)

But let's see... one assumes you've given me your best chapters. Is one of those not chapter one? Has it occurred to you that readers of your published book will not read chapters 19 and 47 first? They'll read chapter one (often skipping any foreword), and if it doesn't grab them, they'll put the book down.

If you have not put some of your best writing at the very front of the book—on the very first page, ideally—that is Not Good.

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