Ah, the question that plagues many of the authors poring over our submission guidelines page!
While I can’t speak for the other crows here at Upstart, I prefer to begin—very simply– at the beginning.
Reading the first twenty pages of your manuscript allows me to get acquainted with your story and your characters, and to get a sense of the vibe of your narrative. It’s tougher for me to do that if I’m jumping into your story at chapter twenty-seven.
So if you’re sitting out there in cyberspace, wringing your hands over which chapters to send, take heart! The bones of a truly great story will shine through, even if you think your opening chapter is a bit on the clunky side.
I’ll make a deal with you: I promise to approach your manuscript with an open mind if you promise to approach your writing with an open heart.
So let’s start with chapter one, shall we?