Book Sculpture by Guy Laramee
Think about it. It's 3PM on a cold Wednesday afternoon in January. The agent of your dreams has just read through her 40th middle-grade fiction submission of the day. The space behind her eyes is beginning to ache. Her neck is hurting from bending over her desk. She's thirsty. She wants to get up and grab a glass of water or maybe even a Diet Coke, but she needs to get her reading done because she has a late meeting, so she's pushing through.
Knowing the above, do you think your chances of nabbing her as an agent seem fairly strong with a mediocre first page?
|Book Sculpture, Artist Unknown|
Agents and editors don't sit around dreaming about the many writers and manuscripts they can reject. They dream about the authors they can rep and the manuscripts they can buy. They want you to be awesome! They are betting their time and money on you. So let's be honest, if it were you in their shoes, would you invest your time and your money into a book you weren't totally in love with? Would you settle for mediocre? Would you keep reading?
Here's the kicker to all of the above. The manuscript you wrote may be fantastic, original, and a one of a kind jewel. It may be THE ONE! It may be the manuscript that agent of your dreams has been searching for all year, but she'll NEVER know it because she couldn’t get past the first boring formulaic mundane page of it and you just received a rejection email from her, faster than you could nuke your leftover pizza in the microwave. Happens every day.
|Book Sculpture by Robert The|
Now I know I titled this post Make Your First Page Mind Blowing, but this doesn't mean you literally have to have an explosion in the first page or a maniacal ninja fight scene. The first page can be absolutely subtle and quiet. It can even be a whisper. It just has to be unique, like the extraordinary book sculptures you see here. It has to be special. It has to go beyond everything that agent has read and is expecting to read that day or even that week or that month. You have to surprise her. You have to make her forget she's got a looming headache behind her eyes and there's a 6PM meeting she can't get out of. You need to make her tilt her head in curiosity or maybe gasp just a little and sit up her chair and then guess what happens? She moves on to page two.