...it never ceases to amaze me. And this crosses ALL status lines, all rank and file, all levels of proficiency, and all age groups.
Why is it when I very clearly state "the first two pages" of something, people will send me something that's 20 pages long and say, "Oh, just pick the two pages you think will show your editing style the best"?
Is there something alien and undecipherable about the phrase the first two pages?
Is is that you don't trust your own work to be good from the get-go...or you don't trust ME to be able to tell from those first two pages how things are going to go?
If you don't trust that the first two pages of your work are that good...work on them until they are.
If you don't trust that I can tell enough from the first two pages...read some more of this blog. I suspect it will give you all the confidence you need that I know what I'm about.
But it is a never-ending frustration to someone to ask for something so simple and have it turn into anything but what they asked for. If this was one of those "tests" in which you don't get any farther than the first instruction if you fail that part, guess what? You'll have failed already. And no, I'm not being needlessly pedantic. If an editor tells you she wants 2 pages, and you give her 20, what do you think she's going to do with that work?
If you're really trying to give me reasons to say "No," one has to wonder why you're approaching me in the first place. Do you honestly think I won't notice?
There's a reason I'm called "the pickiest of the picky," you know. :-)
*(if you're of a certain generation, you'll be able to complete the legendary phrase above. If not, put a question in the comments, and I'll be glad to elaborate. )