Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The First Five Pages



Welcome to Day Two of my Back From Hiatus Contest. Today's favorite non-fiction book is:

The First Five Pages.

Author: Noah Lukeman, literary agent whose clients include Pulitzer Prize nominees, New York Times bestselling authors, Pushcart Prize recipients and American Book Award winners.

Amazon.com Price: $10.04

Why I Like It: I've been reading how-to writing books for many years now. I've read so many that it's hard to find one that tells me something new. This book did. I decided soon after I started reading it to highlight sections of the really important stuff. Flipping through it now, it's hard to find a page without highlights. It's that full of good stuff.

Each section starts off with a thorough discussion of the topic, then includes Solutions to common problems, then Examples, and then End-of-Chapter Exercises. It's hard not to understand his instruction after seeing it shown so many different ways.

From the back cover, here's a list of some of the problems Lukeman covers:
A weak opening hook
Overuse of adjectives and adverbs
Flat or forced metaphors or similes
Melodramatic, commonplace or confusing dialogue
Undeveloped characterizations and lifeless settings
Uneven pacing and lack of progression.

This book isn't just for novices. Even experienced authors can benefit from Lukeman's advice on staying out of the rejection pile. I don't know about you, but staying out of the rejection pile sounds pretty good to me. :)

Don't forget to enter my Back from Hiatus Contest by commenting on this original post.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

25 comments:

salarsenッ said...

Yeah, Lukeman is great! I would love this book!! I, too, have many writing books yet I don't have this one. Instructional book that makes you apply a lesson taught are great.

Joanne said...

Lots of great advice here. Every writer can be reminded of these from time to time, it seems like a great resource.

lotusgirl said...

I just finished this book. It has fabulous advice. I'd recommend it to anyone trying to improve their writing.

MeganRebekah said...

Too weird -- I just ordered this book on Amazon last night! I'm so glad to hear you've liked it. I can't wait to ge tmy copy and dig in.

Old Kitty said...

This sounds like a great how to book...thanks for the info!!!

I must always remember to cut down on adverbs and adjectives - it's so easy to forget!!!

Take care
x

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I won this book in a blog contest. It's a great book. :D

Bossy Betty said...

Thanks for the review! I want to sit down and read for hours!!!! Think I could get a job where I could do this?

Talli Roland said...

This sounds like a great book! I recently went to a workshop on the first 100 words. It'ss amazing what am impact a strong opening can make.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Oh, this one sounds even better than yesterdays. One thing I don't understand thought is that the kindle addition is more than the book, in cents but still - weird.

Aubrie said...

I have this book as well and I love it.

Ann said...

Well you just solved a problem I have been grappling with, what to use my B&N gift card on. I think I will just go straight over there and purchase above named book. Thank you so much Susan!

Crimey said...

Susan, I have this book and I love it. I hope I've put it to good use. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Another book to add to my really long Christmas list!

Lola Sharp said...

I own and loved this little book. Even though one of his peeves is echoes, and yet he says 'thus' constantly. Enough to bring me out of his topic and bug me. Aside from that, I love his thoughts on writing and this book is put together quite well.
Noah'd be my dream agent if only he accepted new clients. *sigh*

Every writer should read this book before querying.

Nice pick, and I agree. It's in my top 10 list, too. :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I agree, this is a wonderful book!

Jen Daiker said...

Sounds like a book I should have my hands on right now!!!!

MT said...

Excellent. I'll add it to my list of to reads. I can use all the help I can get. :)

Jackee said...

Man, I need to read this one. That list is just what I have to work on (as in now)!

Thanks, Susan. :o)

Jai Joshi said...

This does sound like a good book. My only problem is that books like this turn me into a quivering wreck.

Jai

Margo Berendsen said...

I love this book too and I should dig it back out for a refresher! One thing I remember from it though, was how he talked about a good opening hook isn't enough; after the hook you have to KEEP delivering, putting the same effort as you put into that hook into each chapter. It overwhelmed me, but in today's competitive market, I believe it's true.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I LOVE this book too! I also read his book "The Plot Thickens" but didn't like that one as much.

Brian said...

For the sound of all the other comments it sure must be good!

Myrna Foster said...

You're the fourth writer to recommend this one, and look at all of the endorsements in your comments!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

This sounds like a must-have! I am off to Amazon to wish list it! :-)

Patti Lacy said...

Oh, I LOVE coming out of the writing cave to this place!!

Like you, I read lots of "how-to" books and agree this one sounds fresh!!

Thanks, Susan!
Blessings,
Patti