Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Update on First Page Shooter

I have an update! So far, as of this morning, First Page Shooter has received over 700 emails. This is of course really exciting. I was afraid no one would send any emails and this would be a bust. (I know, everyone keeps asking me why I was thinking that...)

Of course, the downside is that with so many emails, even if I post one a day and don't get any more, it's going to take me two years to do them all.

I don't want to discourage anyone from sending pages, but I do want to reiterate that just because the pages get sent doesn't mean they're going to get posted. Joanna and I will do our best to critique as many as we can.

Also, the first critique will go up on the blog on Wednesday 4/20 around 11:30 am. Anyone should feel free to comment on the post, as long as the comments are productive rather than simply negative. Comments can also disagree with the critique, again as long as they're productive. Any personal attacks will be deleted.

After reviewing the critique, if the author of the first page would like to revise and try again, her or she may do so, by resubmitting.

And finally, please keep in mind this critique is simply one agent's opinion, and one based solely on the first 250 words. It is not at all intended to be a comment on the author's writing ability as a whole. I of course believe in my own opinion, but it is my opinion alone.

So! Look for the first critique tomorrow.

28 comments:

Josin L. McQuein said...

Silly Suzie, thinking no one would send you pages...

Melissa said...

I think it's great that you're doing this and am really looking forward to reading the critiques.

Just an idea... With that much interest, you might consider setting up a blog specifically devoted to first-page critiques (similar to Query Shark). Then you'd neither have to worry about it taking over your regular blog nor be constrained to one per day.

Yes, I do realize that it could be a major time sink. You could have guest agents jump in and do a handful every now and then -- particularly if you get a bunch in genres you don't rep. It would be cool!

Livia said...

What Josin said...

lac582 said...

Perhaps I misread, but I definitely never assumed you'd critique every single submission. I figured you'd just selectively choose pages from out of the pool that helped you illustrate a point you thought was worth making!

Remilda Graystone said...

Yay! Looking forward to it! Over 700 emails is...wow. You two are just simply awesome. There's no better way to put it, really.

Thanks for doing this! I'm looking forward to learning more.

Peace, Lena and Happiness said...

Sounds like a lot of work. But I'm wondering if you will randomly choose entries, or as Iac582 said, read them and find ones that illustrate a point?

Bryce Daniels said...

700 e-mails? I can't stop shaking my head. This in addition to reading UNsolicited correspondence that lands on your desk each day, working diligently for your existing clients, and trying to enjoy a personal life as well?

Please tell me where you found those other five hours for your days. I could use some of that.

Can't say it enough. Thanks for doing this. Looking forward to learning more.

CNHolmberg said...

700? Wow, that's... amazing. So many people wanting o write, and those are just the ones who have read your blog in the last week!

Thanks so much for putting in your best effort, we all really appreciate it! (And understand if our lucky number isn't called, no worries. I already want to revamp my first 250 just from reading your other posts on the subject.)

suzie townsend said...

I'm glad that people are excited. I am too!

@Melissa--We briefly considered that. But the First Page Shooter idea was actually a brainchild that stemmed from the fact that I spend too much time staring at my computer thinking about what I should blog about. There are a lot of blogs out there and Joanna and I want to do something helpful to writers rather than just something generic. I want to be able to blog about other things too if they come up but trying to maintain two blogs would be a disaster for me.

The REALLY Real Curious Crow said...

I realized (once it was too late and out into cyberspace) that in my exuberance to send my 250, I forgot include to even a measly sentence to express my gratitude to you and Joanna for doing this...so a belated THANK YOU! Even if mine doesn't get selected, I look forward to learning from the others!

Kalinda C. Schreiber

LynNerd said...

When you offered to critique our first 250 words, I figured you wouldn't be able to get to all of them. 700 sounds a bit intimidating. Sheesh! I'm looking forward to reading everyone's opening words and hear your input. This is so cool! Thanks.

TirzahLaughs said...

YEs! Even if my poor 250 words don't get any 'screen' time, THANK YOU for the opportunity.

It is more than I had before.

Tirz

Abigail Bunting said...

Yes, thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity!
It's phenomenal that you're taking the time to do this.

Jeff King said...

Thx for the opportunity… if you don’t get to %5 of the submitted pages, I am sure we’ll all learn for them, and that’s what it’s all about.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

So many of us have learned so much from Query Shark, and yet there's no way we've all had our queries posted. I sent in my first page of a brand new WIP, but I expect to learn things even if mine never appears on the site. That's why I have a crit group, for more in-depth feedback.

The moral of the comment: We'll be grateful for whatever you can manage!

Jodi R. said...

That's 175,000 words!

Good point about trying to think of good things to post about - do you work on your blog during/as part of your job or in your "spare" time? I find I can't justify taking the time to write mine very often because it's not paying work. Yours, however, could definitely be considered job-related...

Thanks again for doing this - I think it will be great!
Jodi R.

Donna Weaver said...

The price of success. =D

Heather said...

Wow, 700 is a fantastic turn out! I like the ideas of randomly choosing or doing an ongoing kind of thing. I can't imagine having to read through all of those! I feel for you ladies!

Noree Cosper said...

Counting the minutes until the first post is up. You have you're work cut out for you with 700. I really admire you dedication.

Ellen Brickley said...

I also assumed that not every submission would be critiqued, but I am really looking forward to reading the ones you choose.

Also dying to read Invincible Summer. It's sitting on my Kindle taunting me. . . but it'll be the weekend soon. . .

David said...

I would suggest posting first pages in batches that suffer from the same problems--your comments could then apply across that board for that day's blog, teasing out bits of one and then another.

But now I'm confused.... is this more to show the writing that's still not quite there, to validate the writing that is, or both?

Zan Marie said...

Wow! 700 is immense. I'll just have to cross my fingers. I do understand your limits on time. Thanks for the opportunity.

Stephsco said...

Your project sounds insane. Insane and awesome! I don't think anyone expects you to look through all 700, but best wishes if you do. I didn't even submit anything, so just think of all those who held back! It could have been 1,000!

James Hansen said...

Just want to say thank you.

Roselyn said...

How does one find the site where you've posted the latest excerpts and their critiques?

I sent an email with my first page, and would like to check if it gets selected.

Thanks for doing this...
Roselyn Teukolsky

suzie townsend said...

Roselyn, This is the site. So far we've posted four critiques with the heading First Page Shooter #1 (or whatever number it is).

Annonymous said...

Dear Suzie,
I'm currently completing polishing my manuscript, as I fully intend to query you once I finish. Though I read somewhere that over 100k words is an instant rejection for a fiction manuscript. Is this correct?

anonymous said...

I submitted my first page shooter back in april, and while I'm really enjoying the posts, I no longer want mine to be considered. Are we allowed to retract our submissions? I know you already have hundreds to consider.

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Five Random Things About Suzie

1. I drink so much orange soda, it's probably running through my veins. I've been known to go through a twelve pack of diet sunkist in a day.

2. I'm legitimately nocturnal (or a vampire). I will be so exhausted at two pm that I'm falling asleep standing up - it has happened before, at Six Flags no less - but as soon as the sun goes down I'm wide awake.

3. I have a gorgeous unused $6000 Reem Acra wedding dress hanging in my closet, and it showed up on my doorstep the same day my (now ex) fiance broke up with me. And thank God for that. I wouldn't have wanted to waste that dress on him.

4. Social anxiety plagues me daily. I write a script and practice in front of the mirror when I have to make a phone call, but most people who interact with me have no idea how nervous I am (or perhaps they lie) because I've worked so hard to try to overcome it.

5. I'm actually worried that I will never love my children (when I do have them in the far off future) as much as I love my dogs. I just like animals better than people - they're sweet and innocent and soft and furry - is that so wrong?