I've read through several threads thanks to the search function and have a sense that a gripping story can delay the arrival of key characters so long as the time is spent establishing the MC. OK, but are there any marketing reasons to ensure that readers get the flavor of different key characters in the first 5k to 10k words? My WIP has four main characters on a mission together, and POV shifts between them by chapter as the action gets going. The MC I've started with falls into the tough male warrior type, though I spend most of my time undoing the stereotype. Two of the four MCs are women, the first of whom gets introduced about 4,000 words in. The whole team is assembled and fully established by about 15,000 words and then the fun begins. I'm thinking about compressing that to about the the size of the sample sent along with a query letter (6k to 7k). Is that too fast?

Also, where is the forum to say that AW is awesome? I love the archived threads. So many of my questions get answered without having to post anything, and with a better search function, I might never post anything other than critiques and material to critique.