Interview with agent Sorche Fairbank, owner of Fairbank Literary Representation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Hosted by Shelagh C. Shapiro, Write The Book airs on WOMM-LP 105.9 FM “The Radiator,” in Burlington, Vermont, every Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m.

Prompt: Today’s Write The Book Prompt is an exercise for novelists who think their work might just be ready to send out to agents. Sorche Fairbank quoted the publishing adage that most novels really begin somewhere between pages 12 and 24. She suggested that writers who are trying to decide if their work is starting in the right place should open their manuscript randomly within that page range and read sentences. Ask yourself, “What if I started with this sentence? How would that influence the book?” Look for those exciting sentences that might indicate a better starting place. While you’re at it, look as well for dead zones, spots you wouldn’t want an agent to judge your work on. Try to figure out what’s wrong with those places and how you might fix them. Good luck with this exercise - and in your quest for publication! - and please listen next week for another.

Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several South Burlington High School students)

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