Dear Miss Snark,
When a writer is directed to include 5 pages of a manuscript, what is expected? The first 5 pages starting at Chapter 1, (double spaced with 1.5 margins all around) or the first 15,000 words (approximately 5 pages of a printed book, genre pending)? Would a good snarkling also include the title page and prolog, should one exist? If so, is this part of the 5 page count?
ok, here's a MAJOR clue about directions: follow them.
ok...let's break this complicated theory down to small steps.
"When a writer is directed to include 5 pages"
...notice it says PAGES. Not words. Not phrases. Not bon mots. Not even pearls before svine-golly, no.
"Pages" means just that. Pages of your manuscript. Your manuscript is not a book yet, and directions are written for the form you are submitting in. Thus, we say "pages" and mean 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper, not trim cut stylish pages fresh from the webfeed.
"Five pages" means pages of the writing. Not title pages. Not pages of dedication.
Not pages quoting po-ems that illuminate the dialoge on page 72.
"Five Pages" means pages 1-5 that start with something like "Miss Snark set her hair on fire and then sat down to answer this question. KY arrived and commented that her 'do was particularly hot this evening".