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The Craft: The First 50 Pages (Gerke) – Chapter 2 “Proposal Killers

August 18, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke – Chapter 2, “Proposal Killers”

Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then…

Last Friday we kicked off our nearly half a dozenth study book in CSWriters in the last two and a half years!  We looked at what literary agents and publishers want:  Manuscripts that Sell.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with aiming high and creating literary masterpieces.  I encourage you to do that, as that’s part of the craft, but only so long as that doesn’t interfere with putting food on the table.  Some of the most successful novelists are indeed literary masters.  Others, however, like J.K. Rowling, have a unique talent for telling an enticing, captivating story that compels the reader to eagerly read it through to the end and come back for more.

Tonight we’re covering Jeff’s Top Three errors writers make out of the 20 errors he usually discusses in seminars.  We will also be discussing a few things which tend to put off those who would like to see you succeed i.e. literary agents and publishers.  In fact, they would love to see you succeed!  When you succeed, you make money, they make money…  Trust me.  They actually do want you to succeed.  Thus, if you want to succeed, it’s helpful to know what they frown upon, and why.  The why is simple:  Some things simply kill sales.  As writers, we must know these things and avoid them like the plague.

Jeff Gerke is a local.  In fact, he recently hosted a symposium at a writers conference just a few blocks from where I live.  Several people I know who’ve met him say, “He’s terrific!”  I haven’t met him, yet, but I’ve read through his First 50 Pages book, and find it to be a valuable resource.  Thus, The First 50 Pages will be one of the two books we’ll be studying over the next few months.

The other one will be on character development, selected from one of the three books we looked at last week.  I will let you know which one when I’ve made a decision.

I will also be reading short excerpts from two others books, but there’s no need for you to purchase them, as we’re only covering about 2% of either of them each week.  However, in case you’re wondering, they are:

The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists:  Insider Secrets from Top Writers by Andrew McAleer

Writing Down the Bones:  Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

Homework:  Please purchase the latest version of The First 50 Pages:  Engage Agents, Editors, and Readers, and Set Up Your Novel for Success by Jeff Gerke, and bring it with you to tonight’s meeting.

Finally, if you took my copy of the Gotham Writer’s Workshop on Writing Fiction (yellow, with my name across the top), then please bring it back.  I still need it.  Thank you.

7:30 – 9:00:  Tre Critique

Tre Critique is  three-member team approach to more dynamic and informative critiques of our work.  By both giving and receiving two critiques each week, the quality of your writing will improve at a rapid pace and reach high quality in the shortest possible time.

Please bring two (and only two) printed copies of your latest work using the following format:

• 12-pt Times New Roman or other commonly-used font (courier, bookman, garamond, calibri, etc.)

• Up to 6 pages or 1,500 words, whichever comes first.  Please include a short synopsis of the story up to the beginning of your selection.

• 1″ margins, double-spaced lines, and indented paragraphs (no additional lines after a paragraph).

Please number and staple your pages. If you have scene breaks, please show them with a number symbol, asterisk, or tildes centered on a line.

Also, please refrain from discussions during reading and critique periods.  If you’re not participating in the critique, feel free to hang out and write, but keep things “library” quiet until after all critiques are complete.

See you there!


August 18, 2017
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Agia Sophia
2902 West Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80904 United States
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