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  1. #1
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    can I include a prologue

    When sending out queries, I have noted that most agents ask for, in addition (of course) to a great query letter, a synopsis and the first chapter (or more) to get a sense of the writers ability, etc. What do you do with the prologue? The novel I am working on has a short (3 page) prologue. My reason for putting this in is to generate several questions that I hope will make the reader want to read the whole story. The prologue is actually about what happens as the end of the story, without giving away the final outcome. Since it is completely out of sequence with the beginning of the story, I can't see making it a separate scene of chapter 1. So, can it be sent along with the requested chapter 1? Or should I just make it the opening scene and not worry about the fact that it is not in sequence with the rest of the chapter?



  2. #2
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    My opinion: If an agent asks to see the first five, ten, thirty, whatever pages of your manuscript, that's what you send them. Prologues are not excluded from this count.

    Phrased another way, agents want to see how you launch your story. If a writer feels that a prologue is a necessary preamble to Chapter One, it must be included as part of those first five, ten, etc. pages.

  3. #3
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    JUST MY OPINION, FEEL FREE TO IGNORE:

    They may ask for a chapter, but if they aren't intrigued by the first page, they aren't going to keep reading. Neither would anyone in a bookstore picking up your book. Basically, you've got ONE PAGE to get a reader intrigued.

    So, if you think the first page of the prologue is strong enough to make an agent want to keep reading, send the prologue.

    And if you don't, you shouldn't be using a prologue at all.
    Last edited by leslee; 10-26-2011 at 08:29 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    Kenneth: Read the prologue in Water for Elephants and you'll see one that does what it's supposed to do.
    Cindy

    And be at peace... the universe is unfolding as it should

  5. #5
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    In your case, I don't see a problem. Your prologue is only three pages. Send that plus enough into the first chapter for the agent to get a feel for your writing quality and storytelling ability.

    On the greater question of what to send if there is a prologue. I don't see why the writer gives up control of this. It can be your choice whether to start with the prologue or start with the chapter--and this doesn't really rest on whether there should have been a prologue or not. I reject any blanket statement that a prologue has no use or that if you don't think that's a good sample to send on a partial to the agent that you shouldn't have a prologue at all.

    In general I suggest that you not give up controls that you don't have to give up. Yes, there are opinionated agent on shoulds and should nots, but if you don't have information on what they are, feel free to rely on your own opinion what best showcases you in a partial.

  6. #6
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    What Leslee said. The first page of your prologue should be as captivating as the first page of chapter one. If not...why did you write it?

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