Can You Send More Than 5 Pages?

Author:
Publish date:

Q. I've noticed that many agents ask for the first five pages of your manuscript in their query submission guidelines. I was wondering what to do if the first five pages cuts off in an awkward place, such as the middle of a scene/chapter or even the middle of a sentence. Should you reformat the manuscript so that you can fit, if not the whole scene, a better stopping point for it? Or should you just leave it as it is, because that's just how it is, and squeezing in more or cutting something out would be deceptive?
- Sina'i

A. I'd advise just to turn in the first five pages, even if it ends in the middle of a sentence. In fact, that can be helpful to you. If you hook an agent with your first five pages, and then it abruptly ends in mid-thought, they are immediately going to request more because they want to know what happens next.
That said, if you want to try and squeeze in a sentence or two at the end of page five, you can. But, in theory, it shouldn't be necessary.
If you're having trouble with the start of your story, check out Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages.

Image placeholder title
April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 15

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a blank story poem.

Kristin Beck: On Writing Quickly and Publishing Slowly

Kristin Beck: On Writing Quickly and Publishing Slowly

Debut novelist Kristin Beck shares what it was like to write her historical fiction novel Courage, My Love and why she was so thankful for a slow publishing process.

Whitney Hill Elemental

Whitney Hill: Self-Published E-Book Awards Winner

Whitney Hill, winner of the 8th Annual WD Self-Published E-Book Awards, talks fan fiction, creating her own stories, and why she chose to self-publish.

8 Tips to Build Your Supportive Writing Network

8 Tips to Build Your Supportive Writing Network

Writing can be a solitary activity ... but it doesn't have to be. Let author Gale Massey give you some tips for building a supportive writing network.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 14

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a "from where you're sitting" poem.

Tension in Poetry: The Hidden Art of Line-Writing

Tension in Poetry: The Hidden Art of Line-Writing

Writer and editor Matthew Daddona explains how to easily create tension in your poems and how that adds weight to your message.

Natalie Lund: On Grief and Unanswered Questions in YA Fiction

Natalie Lund: On Grief and Unanswered Questions in YA Fiction

YA author Natalie Lund shares how she handles the subject of death for a YA audience in her latest novel The Sky Above Us.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a Lucky and/or Unlucky poem.