I see that often (if not always) agents request the first ten pages (or some other equally manageable quantity) of a novel to be included with a query -- and many (if not most) are adamant about including specifically those pages.
Now, I am a firm believer in adhering to the guideline of any potential reader (and yes, I always include SASE's, thank you very much), but my question is this: what if the first ten pages are not quite representative of the writing as a whole?
Specifically, my novel has a 12 page prologue that, while well-written (one hopes), uses a different voice and style than the remaining 350 or so pages. I fear that including only the first 10 pages will give an inaccurate impression of the novel itself. Would it be appropriate to include the first 10 pages of chapter 1 (with a note explaining why), rather than the prologue pages?
Thanking you from the bottom of my newly skarlinged heart; (skarlinged?)
If you have a prologue, DO NOT SEND IT as your first ten pages.
Send the first ten of chapter one.
You don't have to explain it either. IF the agent wants to read the novel and asks for it, THEN you mention in your catchy and enticing cover letter that you have a prologue.
I hate prologues. Not quite as much as I hate synopses, but close.