Oh yes, I'm going to say it. You're reading this thinking, "Yay! Here's some wonderful advice from an agent's intern!" Are you the writer who scours the blogs to glean every possible ounce of knowledge when it comes to agents and publishing as a whole? Great! Me too. But here's the thing. This is one subjective business and blogs, well, they are all in essence the opinions of a few. Some quite knowledgeable few, but a few nonetheless.
Have you ever thought these things?
"Of course I would never send 10 and a half pages when they specifically requested 10." Or how about: "No way should I start a YA dystopian, the trend is already gone." Or how about, "My fantasy manuscript will never see the light of day now that the market is saturated." Or, "No way can a 35,000 word YA manuscript be published."
Take a deep breath.
Nothing is written in stone. Yes, it's good to follow all the rules. Yes, you shouldn't consider yourself the exception to any rule.
But here's the thing. Writers shouldn't drive themselves crazy over little details. "Oh no, I open with a waking up scene!" Or " It's raining in my opening!"
Yes, be careful, but if things work they work. Agents will not care about the rain falling and will focus instead on the heartbreaking break-up being played out on the page or your characters waking up to a fire.
It's okay to not follow the rules all the time.