1. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    How fast does your work get thrown out?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by zilly, Sep 13, 2010.

    If I am submitting my work in the hopes that it gets published, how quickly will the average publisher/agent/who ever disregard it?

    I'm worried because the book has a very silly tone and as such the preface is a bit absurd as is the first paragraph of the story. I'm wondering if it would be best to submit it without the preface and modify the first paragraph. Then, if anyone is interested, discuss the possibility of having it the way I prefer.

    Is there any chance to change things if it is accepted? Should I just leave it how it is?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A preface is not part of the story in any sense. A preface is a note by the author about the writing of the story or some other similar meta-discussion.

    A prologue is a portion of the story preceding, but somehow separate from, the rest of the story. Most prologues are better off removed.
     
  3. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    Right, it's a preface. It's not part of the story, but I thought that if I wanted it to be in the book I'd need to submit it.

    However, it appears that is not the case. Now that you said it, it makes sense. Thank you.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A preface should never be submitted as part of the manuscript.
     
  5. Horizon Noise
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    Horizon Noise Member

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    How would that conversation go? "I'm so pleased you've agreed to work with me on this manuscript but I'd like to suggest that we change the first paragraph to something very silly and absurd." ;)

    I'm being a bit facetious of course but the upshot is your story should be the best you can make it. If the first paragraph doesn't work then it doesn't work and you shouldn't use it.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    anywhere from on first sight by a mailroom reader, to after several in the agency/publishing house have had a look at it...

    first of all, why have a preface at all?... if it's needed, then why isn't it simply the first chapter?... and if it and the first paragraph are all that silly, why leave them in?...

    most mss undergo changes after being accepted... it's a rare one indeed that wouldn't...

    not if you're so sure it's a poor way to start your book!

    why don't you post the preface and first paragraph for review and see what others here think?
     
  7. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    The preface and first paragraph are perfect to set the tone of the story since the book is very silly. I just don't want it to seem too silly that it's not even serious, though.

    I won't submit the preface with the story now, though.
     
  8. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Always remember the rule of three.

    An editor will make a judgement after 3 sentences whether or not you have a firm grasp of grammar and sentence construction. If the answer is no, it'll be put down immediately.

    An editor will make a judgement after 3 paragraphs of well-written prose whether or not your story sets up sufficient intrigue/mystery to warrant further attention. This is a tough hurdle to surpass.

    In the case of a novel, where you'd submit only the first chapter initially, an editor will make a judgement after approximately 3 pages as to whether to request the full manuscript or whether to reject the idea on some grounds, which will hopefully be explained to you if your manuscript has made it this far through the cutting process.
     
  9. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    I feel very comfortable if those rules are true. I'm not in the slightest bit worried about grammar and I'm fairly confident that an editor will be suitably entertained within three pages. However, having to sufficiently intrigue the editor within three paragraphs is somewhat troubling.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    then your ms may be in trouble... and keep in mind that an agent or a reader/potential book-buyer will also make a judgement based on the first three sentences...
     

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