The point is that there's no law about this. Send what you feel represents the book and your writing best in a short excerpt. Don't give up controls you don't have to give up. If the agent specifies what he/she wants in their submissions guidelines, yes, follow them. If not take advantage of the creative space you've been given. And try not to overthink everything (or suggest one agent/publisher speaks for them all--concentrate on the one(s) you are specifically submitting to).
Originally Posted by Jena Grace
Last edited by Gary Kessler; 09-22-2011 at 06:47 AM.
Well said and spot-on, Gary.
Originally Posted by Gary Kessler
LOL.. Actually I thought it was an interesting discussion. I'm not sure who has what credentials, but I was, over a drink at a conference in Penn State, told this by a very good agent that I'm sure everyone would probably know here if I said her name. She said she wasn't a fan at all of prologues, simply because the prologue is often used to mask a slow start to the first chapter. She felt that the book should stand on its own merit without the use of a prologue, but also didn't view this as a hard and fast rule. Personally, I often like the foreshadowing of a prologue because it gives the reader an insight as to where the book is headed. After all, without the blurb on the back of the book (and the blurb is often the catalyst to buy the novel) most first chapters give very little away about the the story at large.
Originally Posted by Avonne Writer
I also recently read this in an interview with another agent, and actually have an agent on my Twitter account that claims there are two things he hates in life; dry toast and prologues. Take it for what it's worth.
If there is one other consideration, I had a book in Amazon's Novelist Breakthrough contest that did well, although I did hear a number of authors complaining about the idea that Amazon axed all prologues in lieu of chapter one for the all the people making it into the contest.
So should you use a prologue? Hmmm... I guess in the end it just depends on the story and the author. However, I axed my prologue because of some of these reasons. On the other hand, I had another book and kept that prologue, because I felt it was intricate to the plot.
Wow... it's late. Anyway, thanks for all the feedback on this one! I think that's what makes things like writers.net such a great place for insight into different people's views on various topics.