If a literary agent asks for the first 5 pages of your manuscript, what if the 5th page cuts off mid-sentence?

Should I include the fifth page to avoid the abrupt ending of the sample, or should I just abide strictly by the guidelines?

Update:

Oops I meant "include more than the fifth page to avoid the abrupt ending"

7 Answers

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  • Speed
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Axioms, what they want is to the end of a paragraph. If you can find a break anywhere on the lower half of page 5, that's just fine.

    If the end of page 5 happens to fall in the middle of a huge paragraph, go to the end of a sentence that allows it to all be on five pages.

    What they are looking for, of course, is a writing sample large enough to see if you have a decent beginning and basic mastery of the written word.

  • 2 months ago

    It does not matter. The agent knows there is more and it leaves him wanting more. 

    I used to write direct mail copy and I always finished each page in the middle of a sentence, so the reader would turn over to continue, to find out what was going to happen at the

  • 2 months ago

    You have to send the first 5 pages whether they cut-off or not. What you must then do is phone the agent and speak the rest......... in a Dalek voice. Yes, I know it sounds silly but that's just something they do in the trade. If you don't, they put you on a blacklist and send people round to do you in. Hope this helped.

  • 2 months ago

    If they ask for the first five pages you send them five pages, no more, no less. If the last page cuts of mid-sentence, then simply delete that sentence.

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  • Tina
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Grundoon, I am not quite clear what you mean. The questioner has not been asked for money, but the first 5 pages of his/her ms. This is extremely common. Agents will specify on their submissions page

    1 if they are accepting submissions currently

    2 what the submission should consist of - very often it is the first 5 pages of the ms, but it could be the first chapter (although not very often) or a certain amount of words or pages, with a synopsis and a query letter.

    If they are interested they will then ask to see the full ms.

    It is not helpful to suggest that this very common practice - really all agents do it - is suspicious, and means that the agent is a scammer, and somehow involves a request for money. Of course the agent will assume that people can write five pages - but five pages is usually enough to tell him whether he wants to see the rest.Axioms - send the first five pages, as requested, and either omit the last setence or finish it, but don't send any more. And good luck.

  • 2 months ago

    Skim through that fifth page and see if there's something that can be edited out and then do it. Voila! No abrupt ending and you stick to the 5-page guideline.

  • 2 months ago

    If this "Agent" asks for ANY money, he is a scam. 

    By the way, almost all authors can write five pages and he knows it. 

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