My advanced fiction class started this week and there are several promising new novels in the mix. It is always interesting for me to see that no matter how many craft classes a writer has taken, there is often the commercial element missing in their presentation. Beginning with the query letter, it is rare we see one that really stands out for a novel. If we are pulled in by the query and author bio, we request a partial manuscript. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a knock-out title, first line, first paragraph and first page for your book. Most of our agents will not make it past more than 2-3 pages if these elements are not interesting and well writting. With a shrinking publishing market, your novel must stand out above the rest and keep us turning the pages from beginning to end. I will be offering the beginning class online soon.