O, Devious & Wonderful Miss Snark, (and his Royal Highness, Killer Yapp),
An agent asks for a first chapter to be included with a query. I just happen to have both the query and the first chapter. The one problem is that my first chapter is barely four pages long, and doesn't give a good feel for the story of the characters. I just put it first so I can start off with action.
Do I send these four pages alone, put it at the end of chapter two (where it chronologically belongs) and make chapter two chapter one, or just decide not to send to this agent?
I've searched the Snarkives, but didn't find a proper answer to this question (though, it may be there).
Please help me! (I tried sending Killer a tin of chocolate-flavored bones, but for some reason they won't go through with an e-mail.)
KY has his own email address. It is firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's pause for a moment and consider the purpose of the writing sample you are sending. It is to put your best foot forward and snag the interest of an agent. Therefore, disregard page and chapter numbers and assemble your sample in the way that will best accomplish that.
I'm a devotee of early action. If you have my interest, if I want to find out "what happens next", I'll hang in there for character development and story. And if you're asked to send only one chapter a very savvy writer would make sure that chapter had about ten pages.
Remember, what you send the agent is not necessarily what will be the final draft. First things first: get my attention, then show me you can surf the word ocean successfully. After that we'll see what washes up on shore and drink mai tais with Annette and Frankie down at the Sugar Shack.