View Full Version : First Three Chapters Query

Project Deadlight
07-04-2012, 12:59 PM
I've just printed my first three chapters... and it's 64 pages!? This seems like a lot. My book is written from two perspectives, and each chapter has one bit from each of those perspectives.

Do you think that each "perspective section" counts as a "normal" chapter, and actually I am about to send off a de facto six chapters?



07-04-2012, 01:30 PM
Don't worry about it. If an agent asks for three chapters, send the chapters as you've written them. If an agent asks for, say 50 pages, you can't send an extra 14, but a page or two more or less to break at a logical breaking point (such as a scene break) is fine. (In the latter case, be sure to say in your letter that you've attached the first 50 pages and not the first 3 chapters!)

Project Deadlight
07-04-2012, 01:36 PM
Cheers Terie!

Old Hack
07-04-2012, 03:45 PM
What Terie said. Mostly.

What's the word-count of those three chapters? It could be that your formatting could be tweaked a bit to squish your words a bit tighter onto the page but this is unlikely, if you've done it all right.

Project Deadlight
07-04-2012, 06:10 PM
I've set out the novel as per Shunn's manuscript format guide. I have set out each section of the "second perspective" as if it were a new chapter, namely the centre of the page. I could bring these to directly follow the ends of the "first perspective" but I feel these sections need to be separated so as not to confuse.

07-04-2012, 06:31 PM
If you intend them to be parts of the same chapter, then they should be presented as such. A manuscript formatted so that each POV is its own chapter will make it look as though the author intends for each POV to be its own chapter. That will probably buy you nearly 5 pages of space right there, assuming you have partial pages at the ends and beginnings of each POV right now.

Only you can make that call; there's no rule about how long your chapters have to be. But if your intention as the author is that chapter 1 consist of two POVs, you show that by separating the two POVs with a centered "#" character with no extra line space (beyond your standard double-spacing, of course):

First POV First POV First POV First POV First POV First POV First POV First POV First POV First POV

Second POV Second POV Second POV Second POV Second POV Second POV Second POV Second POV Second POV Second POV Second POV Second POV Second POV

But 64 pages isn't that crazy for 3 chapters. If you said you printed your first three chapters and they were 100 pages? Then I'd start to wonder, or hope that your book only had 9 chapters. (Which could also happen!)

Old Hack
07-04-2012, 07:47 PM
And what's the word-count?

07-04-2012, 10:14 PM
Teri is correct...

Project Deadlight
07-05-2012, 05:15 PM
13,000 words.

Old Hack
07-05-2012, 06:08 PM
64 pages with an end-count of 13,000 suggests that you're running at about 200 words per page. Standard formatting is usually around 220 to 250 words per page, so you should be able to tweak it a bit to reduce the page-count for the same number of words.

Project Deadlight
07-05-2012, 08:56 PM
I think the large number of "chapter breaks" as discussed may account for the lower word count. Thanks for the advice guys. I may consider shrinking the perspective chapters. Any other tips to shrink this?