Skip to main content

First 50 Pages

The First 50 Pages
Engage Agents, Editors, and Readers, and Set Up Your Novel for Success
by Jeff Gerke
Writer's Digest Books, 2011
ISBN: 9781599632384
$16.99, paperback, 240 pages

Image placeholder title

Buy the Book

Read an Excerpt
Poor dialogue is something you must not have in your submission package. In this excerpt, author Jeff Gerke helps you craft dialogue that will keep agents and editors reading.

Seeking writing success? Start at the beginning...
Whether you’re looking to get published or just hoping to hook your reader, first impressions are vital. Compelling opening scenes are the key to catching an agent or editor’s attention, and are crucial for keeping your reader engaged.

As a writer, what you do in your opening pages, and how you do it, is a matter that cannot be left to chance. The First 50 Pages is here to help you craft a strong beginning right from the start. You’ll learn how to:

• introduce your main character
• establish your story world
• set up the plot’s conflict
• begin your hero’s inner journey
• write an amazing opening line and terrific first page
• and more

This helpful guide walks you through the tasks your first 50 pages must accomplish in order to avoid leaving readers disoriented, frustrated, or bored. Don’t let your reader put your book down before ever seeing its beauty. Let The First 50 Pages show you how to begin your novel with the skill and intentionality that will land you a book deal, and keep readers’ eyes glued to the page.

**Includes a foreword by James Scott Bell, author of Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure and The Art of War for Writers

About the Author

Jeff Gerke is an editor and author of fiction and nonfiction including such books as the Operation: Firebrand novels and Plot Versus Character: A Balanced Approach to Writing Great Fiction. He is the founder of Marcher Lord Press, an indie publishing company dedicated to producing Christian science fiction and fantasy.

Writing Goals and Intentions: 25 Prompts

Writing Goals and Intentions: 25 Prompts

Make this year your most successful writing year ever by considering the following questions to set your goals and intentions.

Is a Personal Essay Considered Journalism?

Is a Personal Essay Considered Journalism?

Journalist Alison Hill answers the question of whether or not the personal essay is considered journalism by defining the genre and offering examples. Plus, outlets for you to publish your own personal essay.

Forth vs. Fourth (Grammar Rules)

Forth vs. Fourth (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use forth vs. fourth in your writing with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Place

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Place

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, make the setting the antagonist.

Gaslighting in Romance: From Jane Eyre to the Present Day (and Why Writers Should Care)

Gaslighting in Romance: From Jane Eyre to the Present Day (and Why Writers Should Care)

Gaslighting can work its way into the backstory of a character, but it can also be misused. Here, author Emma Barry discusses gaslighting in romance.

Brad Taylor: On Real-Life Threats Inspiring Thriller Novels

Brad Taylor: On Real-Life Threats Inspiring Thriller Novels

Author and veteran Brad Taylor discusses the research that led to his new thriller novel, The Devil’s Ransom.

How Roleplaying Helps Our Writing—and Our Marriage

How Role-Playing Helps Our Writing—and Our Marriage

As co-writing partners who fully embody the stories they tell in their writing process, authors Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka share how role-playing helps their writing, and their marriage.

How To Get Started in Copywriting

How To Get Started in Copywriting

From writing and reading to majoring outside of journalism, copywriter and author Robert W. Bly shares how to get started in copywriting.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 640

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a pursuit poem.