You know how writers go up and down on the despair and happiness wheel? It's kind of self-induced bi-polar disease that writers get. Right now, I'm on the down side. Anne Mini over at Author! Author! is getting closer to reviewing my prize winning entry.
And I'm dreading it.
I have to keep reminding myself that this is a contest that I entered. That I won (or at least came in the top three). That this is something I want.
And then I (or my editor) reminds me of the facts. My story starts slowly. Yes, I do have a great opening paragraph, but the fact of the matter is that I spend the rest of the entire first page (250 words minus number of words in opening paragraph) trying to show (not tell) what genre the book is, what my character is, and some of her magical abilities. People may think I have too much back story, or that I don't have enough action.
As a reader, I resent it when I'm told things. So, that's the way I write. Don't tell me this is set in the modern era. Mention cars and streetlights and I'll figure it out. I promise.
So, I have to decide what to do. First, write the book I want to read. Then, either submit or edit based on what I think others would like to read. I think reading the first ten pages would give a good showing of my writing style, what the main character is like, and the general tone of the story. But five pages? Would that be enough? I don't think so. Maybe I should only submit to agents that want ten pages :)