1. khr1996

    khr1996 New Member

    Jul 15, 2010
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    Opinion for submitting work for publication

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by khr1996, Jul 15, 2010.

    When I'm ready to publish - once I've finished my current work - I intent to submit my first three chapters to the Australian publishing company, Penguin. Anyway, would my first three chapters include prologue, or not?

    Basically, my prologue brings the reader immediately to the misdeed of the book. It shows the main...antagonist... of the story, and how he watches others suffer. It does not explain the why, or what lead to it.

    The first chapter, on the other hand, acts as an introduction, to the characters. The, I guess, willing captives.

    On the other hand, if the first line is what draws you in, let me show you the first...paragraph, I suppose... of each of them.
    Two shadows lurked alone in the room, almost as one in the dark.
    Chapter One:
    A brunette girl was folded up, perched on the window sill with her tan hands resting on the book on her knees. When her concentration was interrupted, her long thin fingers twitched as she raised her hazel eyes. Glancing out the window, she recognized the black four-wheel-drive pulling up outside.

    Which one?
  2. Banzai

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Mar 31, 2007
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    Reading, UK
    What, specifically, do the submission guidelines ask for?
  3. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Nov 30, 2006
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    Ohio, USA
    If you wrote the prologue because it is important to understanding the story, it would be sent, along with the first two chapters.

    I say this because of the question: If the prologue isn't that important to understanding the story, then why would it be included in the novel at all?

    Sometimes guidelines, especially with fantasy markets, give specifc info about prologues. Usually they consider them a chapter.

    If your prologue is one page or less, you may not really consider that 'a chapter' but it should be included, again if it's important to understanding the story.

  4. Tamsin

    Tamsin New Member

    Dec 25, 2009
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    I would go with the first one but it is hard to judge with only a sentence.

    The second one has a very amateur feel to it. You would do yourself a favour by taking out the unnecessary adjectives. Also a car pulling up at the beginning of a story is not much of a 'hook'. I would focus on the character at this point to try and create an interesting hook with her.
  5. OvershadowedGuy

    OvershadowedGuy New Member

    Jul 2, 2010
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    Not trying to sound harsh here but.......

    I would probably set my manuscript down for about 3 or 4 weeks, in the meantime write a short story about something involving a protagonist that is allergic to sunlight. Then I would re-read your manuscript, fix the obvious stuff that pops out.

    Next I would recruit someone to read over the manuscript and point out things, then also try and fix those...

    Lastly I would repeat process just to be safe.

    Then I would find the list of requirements set down by the publishing house, and I would follow those.

    You cannot underestimate how important it is to submit a manuscript that is nothing short of excellent. The quality of your writing has to be superb or no one is going to read past the first paragraph.
  6. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    From what you've described, I would lose the prologue. Better to begin with the characters. The events of the prologue reveal themselves in their proper time anyway.

    This is not the right place on the site for critique, but the first paragraphs are crucial. You cannot win the reader (or publisher) in those paragraphs, but you can lose them there.

    Please take OvershadowedGuy's advice.

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