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Thumbs up for Noah Lukeman's New e-Newsletter

July 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I like Lukeman’s writing style.  It is succinct, content rich, and conversational in tone.  When his e-newsletter showed up in my email box, I was excited to see what he had written. 

If you are trying to break into publishing, Lukeman’s contributions are a must read.  He gives insight into why some books bubble up to the top of the slush pile and some crash and burn at the query level.  So, increase your odds of your writing being discovered; follow his suggestions.

 You won’t regret taking the time to read the advice in Lukeman’s e-newsletter. Also included is  a thumbs up free e-book on How to Write a Great Query Letter.  (As I read the e-book, I can only imagine some of the queries he has read over the years.  It must be the comic relief of his occupation!)

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Tired of Rejection? — Must Read Book

April 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Front Cover   If you write fiction, everyone tells you rejection is part of the process.  If you were selling a hammer for instance, how is your no name hammer different from the Sears, True Temper, or Stanley model?  What makes yours better?

This is the very same question publishers and agents ask when you submit your novel.  Why this novel and not the next one lying on the slush pile? 

Noah Lukeman is a literary agent in NYC.  He has written a book called The First Five Pages – A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile. 

This is a book for both novices and seasoned writers.  It is about the craft of writing, but unlike Strunk and White’s classic Elements of Style, this book will increase your chances of staying out of the rejection pile.  As a literary agent Lukeman shares with us exactly what agents and publishers look for in a manuscript. 

The First Five Pages covers common manuscript errors, gives solid advice on what attracts agents and editors, and provides writers with the tools to take their craft to the next level. 

The topics range from listening to how a writer puts words together to creating effective dialogue, to designing a more holistic picture of getting all the other elements working together (viewpoint, narration, characterization, hooks, tone, focus, setting and pacing).

What I like about this book is that it is more than just a text defining what constitutes good story telling.  Lukeman isolates the problem, illustrates and defines the writing technique and offers a better solution.  He adds exercises at the end of each section to help the writer identify weaknesses.

Yes, I am guilty of breezing through exercises without doing them.  However, Lukeman’s suggestions were different.  He didn’t burden you with “assignments”.  He asks you to take the work you have already created and examine it from a different perspective. 

Lukeman’s writing style is easy and conversational.  He talks to us in the lowest common denominator, which really helps if you are reading this past midnight.

Perhaps, my only real criticism may not be with the content as much as the publisher. All his excerpts were difficult to read because of the size of the type.  Passages looked as if they are in 8 pt., New Times Roman, italic.  Anyone in the business knows that comfortable reading is  10 pt. or higher.

This book gets a thumbs up from me for its content and usefulness.  Noah Lukeman may not have all the answers to keep your first novel from being rejected, but if you practice what he outlines in his book, your work will surely show promise.