Secret Agenting

hitchcock_secret_agentIn addition to going through a bunch of my own queries for Queryday last week, I also made a secret guest appearance on Miss Snark’s First Victim as her monthly Secret Agent. Authoress, aka the aforementioned first victim of Miss Snark, opened submissions early in the week and posted 50 first pages — about 250 words each. Over the course of the week, I looked at each submission and made my own comments, naming the winners today.

Much like Nathan Bransford’s Agent for a Day contest last week, I think events like this are a great way for authors — or anyone interested in what agents do — get a sense of what our days are like, workwise.

In looking at the other authors’ comments on the first pages on Authoress’ blog, the biggest thing I noticed was how often the readers remarked that they were “hooked.” I think many of them confused “hooked” with “curious,” and said as much. I may be curious about what’s going to happen in a story, but am I hooked? Do I NEED to know what happens next? Not all that often.

Out of the 50 first pages I looked at, I expressed further interest in 8 of them. This is a much higher percentage of requests than I normally make on queries, but I only specifically asked for material on two runners-up and one winner.

Want to play Secret Agent? Take a look at the 50 first pages on Authoress’ blog, without looking at the comments or the post with my winners, and see if your favorites match mine! (Start here, and click “newer post” at the bottom of each page after you’ve made your decision.) Let me know how you did in the comments below.

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