Skip to main content

Meet Jeff Gerke | Writer's Digest Online Event

Jeff Gerke, author of The First 50 Pages, shares free tips for writing a novel. The opening fifty pages carry a surprising amount of weight for beginning a novel correctly. You have to engage your reader, introduce your hero, and establish the context of the story. You’ll also be presenting the stakes, introducing the antagonist, establishing the hero’s desires, starting the main character’s inner journey, and getting a ticking time bomb to ticking down.

You want to do all these things without dumping backstory on your reader, misleading your reader, insulting your reader’s intelligence, or tipping your hand to your reader.

Your primary reader isn’t always the end user—your opening 50 pages will first be read by literary agents and acquisitions editors. In this free online event, Jeff shows you how to begin a novel with the skill and intentionality that keeps all those readers’ eyes glued to the page.

His free advice on writing includes:

  • What most impresses an acquisitions editor or literary agent.
  • How to maximize the odds of getting a positive response from publishers and agents.
  • The main tasks that must happen in a novel’s first 50 pages.
  • How to engage a reader.
  • How to actually start a novel: opening methods, first lines and first pages, introducing your hero.
  • How to begin the Hero’s Inner Journey.
  • How to begin a Three Act Structure.


Order Jeff Gerke’s 50 First Pages through WritersDigestShop.com at a special discount. Enter GRP4WX1Z upon checkout to save an additional 10% off our already low prices!

You may use the coupon code for the following books on writing…

About the Author
Jeff Gerke is the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction including such books as the Operation: Firebrand novels. He has worked as an editor for numerous publications and is the founder of Marcher Lord Press, an indie publishing company dedicated to producing the finest in Christian science-fiction, fantasy, and other genres. He is also the author of The First 50 Pages and Plot Versus Character, both from Writer’s Digest Books. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His personal website can be found at www.wherethemapends.com.

Jeff Gerke | Writing Your Novel's First 50 Pages
How To Research Topics Like a Journalist

How To Research Topics Like a Journalist

From in-person interviews to scouring the web for credible sources, journalist Alison Hill shares tips on how to research topics like a journalist.

Can I Have Your Attention?

Can I Have Your Attention?

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, an announcement is about to change the course of history.

Glenn Boozan: On the Funny Side of Parenting

Glenn Boozan: On the Funny Side of Parenting

Emmy nominated comedy writer Glenn Boozan discusses how a funny piece of perspective turned into her new humor book, There Are Moms Way Worse Than You.

From Script

Adapting True Crime and True Stories for Television (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with writers and showrunners Robert Siegel and D.V. DeVincentis (“Pam & Tommy”), Patrick Macmanus and Liz Hannah (“The Girl from Plainville”) who both have taken creative liberties in adapting true stories for a limited series.

Chanel Cleeton: On Reader Enthusiasm Conjuring Novel Ideas

Chanel Cleeton: On Reader Enthusiasm Conjuring Novel Ideas

Author Chanel Cleeton discusses how reader curiosity led her to write her new historical fiction novel, Our Last Days in Barcelona.

Writer's Digest Interview | Marlon James Quote

The Writer's Digest Interview: Marlon James

Booker Prize–winning author Marlon James talks about mythology and world-building in his character-driven epic Moon Witch, Spider King, the second book in his Dark Star Trilogy in this interview from the March/April 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: New Podcast Episode, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our newest podcast episode, your chance to be published, and more!

David Adams Cleveland: On Truth Revealing Itself in Historical Fiction

David Adams Cleveland: On Truth Revealing Itself in Historical Fiction

Award-winning novelist David Adams Cleveland discusses the timeliness of his new novel, Gods of Deception.

Lisa Jewell | Writer's Digest Interview Quote

The WD Interview: Lisa Jewell

The New York Times-bestselling British author discusses creating thrilling plot twists and developing characters in her 19th novel, The Night She Disappeared, in this interview from the Jan/Feb 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.