Reader Question: Flaming Corpses
- By: Jessica Faust | Date: Feb 06 2007
Borrowing a colloquialism from Miss Snark, do you (or your slush-pile reading assistants) tend to look for “flaming corpses on page one”?
Do you expect first novel writers to get right to the conflict?
Would it be fair to say that these are the query sample pages to which you extend invitations to a partial?
My apologies to Miss Snark. Although I’ve read her blog I’m not a regular enough reader to know for sure what a “flaming corpse” is. So I don’t think I look for them. What I do look for is a reason an editor would reject your book because, honestly, that’s what most editors look for. They have a huge inventory, and while every editor loves buying new books and is always looking for new things to buy, she’s also looking for a reason to clean out her office and reject something. Therefore, I’m also looking for that reason. And let me tell you, there’s nothing more gratifying than reading a book and not finding a reason to reject it anywhere.
I don’t expect anyone to get to the conflict right away. I do expect something to happen, though, and I expect that something to move the story forward. So, I guess I do expect a little conflict.
And I apologize again, but I’m not sure what you mean by “are the query sample pages to which you extend invitations to a partial?”