PDA

View Full Version : Ch 1 -- send prologue and, or?



mayqueen
10-24-2012, 10:37 PM
I received a response to a query asking for the first chapter. I have a short (735 word) prologue. So, this is a really silly question, but one I don't know the definitive answer on, but what do I send? A prologue is obviously your first chapter, but mine is so short. I'm leaning toward sending the prologue and Ch 1. Is that overreaching?

retlaw
10-25-2012, 12:15 AM
I've had this same problem. Here was my thinking: Sometimes its better to ask forgiveness than permission.

A single chapter isn't enough to judge an entire book on. What a single chapter reveals is style, craftsmanship. I decided that - if I must be judged on _one_ chapter - then I would rather it be work that best represents me as a writer.

And it isn't that my prologue-ish first "chapter" was bad. Far from it! But did I really want the agent to think it was XX,000 more words of the same as my PROLOGUE, which would not be true, or XX,000 words that more resemble CHAPTER ONE?

if I get just ONE swing with just ONE bat, I'm going to the plate with my best bat. If I get the chance, I'll ask forgiveness later.

waylander
10-25-2012, 01:53 AM
I'm sure I've seen this on a number of agent blogs. Send them where the story starts which should be ch1.
When I was querying I sent ch1 and not my prologue.

Siri Kirpal
10-25-2012, 02:07 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

The rule of thumb: if they say, send x pages, feel free to include the prologue, but if they say, send 1st chapter, send 1st chapter only.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

JanDarby
10-25-2012, 02:32 AM
Skip the prologue. It won't do you any good, and it could hurt you.

NicolaD
10-25-2012, 05:11 AM
You want to wow the agent/editor from the get go. I think it was Laura Bradford who once said something along the lines of if your story starts with a prologue but you are unsure about sending it, then you need to consider whether it is really the best beginning for your story.

(For the record, my book starts with a prologue and I always sent that for first pages/chapter.)

Good luck with your request! :)

blacbird
10-25-2012, 05:23 AM
Skip the prologue. It won't do you any good, and it could hurt you.

This could be any reader's reaction, too. With all this advice not to send the prologue, I have to wonder why you even have the damn thing in your manuscript.

caw

shadowwalker
10-25-2012, 05:40 AM
This could be any reader's reaction, too. With all this advice not to send the prologue, I have to wonder why you even have the damn thing in your manuscript.

caw

Maybe the 'damn thing' belongs in the story, and the advice not to send it is just people's personal preferences getting in the way.

Personally, I'd send both the prologue and first chapter, assuming the agent wants to read the beginning of the book. Or the OP could verify with the agent exactly what s/he wants.

Tigerlilly79
10-25-2012, 05:41 AM
to skip the prologue and send them the first chapter. Some of them also say not to have a prologue at all and just start the story.

katci13
10-25-2012, 07:06 AM
If they asked for the first chapter, send just that. If they ask for 10 pages (more or less), that's up to you. I sent my prologue with mine when I could because it was awesome.

mayqueen
10-25-2012, 07:25 AM
Thanks for your advice, everyone. I think my default from now on is going to be "first chapter" means Ch 1 and "first xx" means beginning of prologue through whatever place in the chapters proper.

Putputt
10-25-2012, 11:54 AM
Depends on your prologue. If chapter one is where the main plot begins, I would skip the prologue and send chapter one in instead. When I was subbing, I got more requests for partials or fulls when I skipped my proloue. When they asked for the full, that's when I include the prologue. It did make me wonder if I shouldn't just axe the prologue altogether, but my agent told me to keep it in there, so we'll see...

For now though, just send in your first chapter. :)

Project Deadlight
10-25-2012, 05:00 PM
I have a prologue. In my opinion it is part of the first chapter, therefore I send that and the first chapter. I've not been taken on yet, but I have had a fair few personal rejections, none of which have mentioned the prologue being an issue. UK agents though.

Susan Littlefield
10-25-2012, 06:10 PM
I am in disagreement here. Obviously your story starts with a prologue, which basically makes it the beginning chapter. I would either combine the prologue with chapter one, with a break between the two, and call it chapter one, or I would send the prologue. Combining would not be for submission purposes only, but for good.

However, if the prologue really does not belong, throw it out for good and send chapter one.

Susan Littlefield
10-25-2012, 06:11 PM
I have a prologue. In my opinion it is part of the first chapter, therefore I send that and the first chapter. I've not been taken on yet, but I have had a fair few personal rejections, none of which have mentioned the prologue being an issue. UK agents though.

I think that's a good idea too.

blacbird
10-26-2012, 11:21 AM
If chapter one is where the main plot begins, I would skip the prologue and send chapter one in instead.

If chapter one is where the main plot begins, I would jettison the prologue entirely. As a reader, if that is the structure, I would probably jettison the book.

caw

Putputt
10-26-2012, 11:57 AM
If chapter one is where the main plot begins, I would jettison the prologue entirely. As a reader, if that is the structure, I would probably jettison the book.

caw

As much as I hate to admit it, I see where you're coming from...my agent and I had the hardest time trying to fit the prologue somewhere else in the book as it contains super sekrit information that (hopefully) adds to the climax. I asked if I should get rid of it entirely, but in the end I deferred to his decision to keep it.

Just fyi, the first chapter begins five years after the prologue, so that's what I meant about the main story starting at chapter one. Ah dilemma, thy name be Prologue! :D

BethS
10-30-2012, 01:51 AM
Send Chapter One only.

If they later request a full manuscript, then you can include the prologue.