Why I Scrapped My Prologue

Like most of the mistakes I may or may not have made during the querying process, this mistake is speculation. Why? Because in spite of all the queries I have sent, I've gotten a negligible amount of feedback in return, which means I have to guess when it comes to what I do right and what I do wrong.

The thing I think I did wrong this time is write a prologue for my book. I don't call it a prologue in the MS. I call it Chapter 1, and when agents ask for the first few chapters, I include it as the first chapter. However, I realized this weekend that everything I talk about in the prologue is covered later on in the book. Thus, the prologue is unnecessary.

I think this may have hurt me in terms of querying because my protagonist doesn't make an appearance until the first word of Chapter 3. Chapter 2 (what will now be my Chapter 1) is spent entirely on my villain. I don't regret that move. I like books and movies that explore the villain before the hero. After all, the villain is the one who complicates everything and puts the plot in motion. In my story, as in many stories, the heroine finds her opportunity to become a hero by reacting to the villain's villainy.

By scrapping the prologue, I now have a greater chance of sending the chapter that includes my protagonist off to agents. I hope that makes sense. Here's a summary:

  • My prologue is being scrapped.
  • Chapter 2 (villain's chapter) is becoming Chapter 1.
  • Chapter 3 (heroine's chapter) is becoming Chapter 2.

It may be too late for this revelation, which is why I call this a mistake. But perhaps I should think about it instead as simply being a new strategy.