First 50 Pages

Author:
Publish date:

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.

GettyImages-119430542

Your Story #112

Write the opening line to a story based on the photo prompt below. (One sentence only.) You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

Self-Published Ebook Awards

Announcing the 8th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 8th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards! Discover the titles that placed in the categories of contemporary fiction, fantasy, memoir, mystery, and more.

Greg Russo: On Writing a Film Based on a Video Game

Greg Russo: On Writing a Screenplay Based on a Video Game

Professional screenwriter Greg Russo discusses the joy and challenge of converting a popular video games series into a screenplay and the balance of enticing a new audience while honoring a franchise's fans.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 16

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

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Under the Influence

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Under the Influence

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let a character fall under the influence of something or someone.

WD-PersonalEssay-2020-WinnerGraphic

Suspended: Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards Winner

Congratulations to J.E. Stamper, grand prize winner of the Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards. Here's his winning essay, "Suspended."

Planting Clues: Red Herrings That Fool but Don't Frustrate Your Readers

Planting Clues: Red Herrings That Fool but Don't Frustrate Your Readers

Want to know how to keep your readers engaged and entertained with your mystery novel? Let these six tips from thriller author Kris Calvin guide you!

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.