I was wondering about prologues. Please, stop cringing and hear me out! From reading the blog I understand that when querying and sending the first ten pages, those ten pages should be from the main narrative and not the prologue. But what happens when a partial request comes in? Do you send the prologue along? I guess my question is, at what point do you break the devastating news to your agent-to-be that you have a different beginning (maybe even with a different tense) than the main novel?
This is a good question.
Rather than just state a rule as in Do This and Never Do That, let's look at the purpose of query pages, partials and fulls to help suss out the answer here.
Querypages are intended to show the reading agent that you can string sentences together in a compelling way. That you can wrangle words deftly. That the story is enticing.
To that end you want to send the pages that show the start of the story. Most often that is chapter one, page one.
Prologues are often set up, backstory, or in some cases, the twist in the plot that you understand only after you have read the whole book.
In other words, they fulfill two of the three requirements for pages.
Chapter one, page one fulfills all three.
Thus: generally you will NOT send the prologue as pages with the query.
Partials are intended to do all the things the querypages do, but with more real estate.
I'd ask for fifty pages with the query if I could because all too often the story starts on page ten, not page one, and I won't see that at the query stage cause I only ask for the first 3-5 pages.
But even a sharkly agent with a cold cruel heart isn't going to ask for 50 pages embedded in an email.
With a partial do you need setup, and backstory? Maybe.
It depends on the book, and how the plot unfolds.
If you think the prologue will help the agent assess those first 50 pages, then yes, include it.
If the prologue is the twist to the plot, save it for the full request.
Which leads us to requested fulls: yes you should include the prologue.
Prologues are so often misused that the entire Prologue category gets shamed. I've seen VERY effective prologues. And of course we've all seen those that should have been excised.
As you read in your category, keep a list of books that have good, effective prologues.
It will be an aid when you have to decide yes/no on including a prologue in your next Tome of Terrific.