From my guest blog post over at Kidlit Central:
“Many years ago I read submissions for a science fiction magazine. I freely admit that I didn’t read everything assigned to me. Reading everything simply wasn’t my job. My job was to pass along to the editor those stories that might be good enough to print. To do that, I only had to grab a story off the top of the slush pile and read far enough to know for sure that the story didn’t work. Sometimes I figured this out in four or five pages. Sometimes it took four or five paragraphs. Stories written in pencil didn’t get read at all. They were returned with a form rejection quoting the magazine’s submission guidelines.
The first pages of your manuscript are the most important ones you will write. If you do not capture an editor in the first few pages, she will not keep reading. Likewise with the casual reader. So how do you make the first pages interesting?”
For the rest, click here.