As I trudge through the submission process to find that perfect agent who will recognize my nurtured talent and my innate creativity and usher to fame and fortune, I find that I am often asked to submit the first ten pages of my novel.
And since I've been rejected about thirty times, clearly these prospective agents aren't reading past the first page.
So, I must ask for your opinion. Below are different potential beginnings of my novel, a serial killer thriller, The Artist. The first excerpt is the first page as of now. The second excerpt is the beginning of a section that begins on page 3.
Please comment: Should I stick with the beginning I have now, or should I try sending the second excerpt to agents I query in the future?
When he first tore her open, Janet Cooper didn’t understand what was happening.
One minute she had been in her bedroom checking her email, trying to ignore the music thundering from Teresa’s room, and then the next minute, on her way to ask her roommate for a little quiet, a gorgeous man emerged from the bedroom. Gently closing the door behind him, he smiled warmly, and she stopped midway down the hall. He wore a pair of loose-fitting blue jeans and a black V-neck sweater. The hint of a solid strong body shifted beneath his clothes as he transferred his weight from one leg to another.
“Teresa mentioned that you’d be home soon,” he yelled over the music. He took a step closer to her and when the light fell across his face, Janet’s lips parted, the tip of her tongue gliding across them.
Janet heard a rip, felt the fire burst between her legs, and saw the red stain spread through her white pants. Her knees buckled and she began to sink to the floor, but the man seized her by the base of the neck and slammed her up against the wall, his palm pressing her airway. Her jaw dropped open, but swung as if hanging on overstretched joints while a gurgle swished around in her mouth.
The killer always phoned Detective Corey Malone on her land line after committing his crimes.
The first phone call came four months ago in October. He had called at 2 a.m. waking Corey from a seldom-found deep sleep. Her archaic answering machine had caught the message, projecting his voice throughout her apartment. At first it had lingered in her ear, intermingling with her dreams. A haunting ancient sound he made, like something trapped within the walls of her childhood fears.
I’ve got something to show you.
She had gotten out of bed and staggered half asleep to the answering machine. The message consisted of an address and ended the second her fingers touched the stop button. She stood, slightly confused and frightened. The abrupt completion of his message at the very instant Corey attempted to speak to him disturbed her. Coincidences always disturbed her. She reported the call and then searched her small apartment, white knuckling her 9mm.
A murder victim had been found at the exact location mapped out on her answering machine.