Yea, it's a pretty nitwitty question, but still not quite Nitwit of the Day

Miss Snark,

I'm sure this e-mail will at least qualify me for consideration in the contest for the Nitwit of the Day award. My question is, when agents ask for "the first 50 pages of the book", are they asking for whatever the first 50 pages happen to be after you have converted the document to double-spaced format for the agent to read, or are they asking for what the first fifty pages would be in single space (if the first three chapters equal 50 pages single spaced, then should I just send 50 double-spaced pages, even if that only results in the agent seeing 1 or 2 chapters?)

Eagerly awaiting my official inducting into the Royal Order of Nitwittery.

Fifty pages in the correct format. It helps if you don't stop in the middle of a sentence or paragraph, and a complete chapter is better, so 50 pages "more or less" is really the best.

Mostly what we're looking for here is whether the novel is moving along and the characters are doing more than talking to themselves about nothing (ya ya ya, I read Becket too, doesn't mean I'm going to sell him today).

Try not to look on this as some sort of contest to see how much you can send and still be within the 5o pages. You don't get points for creative margins and obscure fonts. We want to know if you can write, not create font art.


Anonymous said...

I'm still confused. Do agents want single or double spaced pages?

Elektra said...


Termagant 2 said...

I follow a common RWA convention: query letter gets single spaced 'cause it's a letter. Actual pages get double spaced to avoid terminal eye strain on your hoped-for agent or editor. You don't want their eyeballs rolling around on the floor from fatigue when they're about to sign a contract for your Magnum Opus.


Anonymous said...