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« on: March 09, 2019, 11:49:21 PM »

Very often an agent's guidelines instruct one to submit the first chapter along with one's query letter.

I feel that if I submit the first chapter I must submit the second chapter as well.

The main character in my book ricochets back and forth between diametrically opposed outlooks:  At times he is very dismissive of homosexuality; at other times he embraces gayness.

More specifically, in chapters 1, 3, 5 etc., homosexuality is portrayed in a negative light and the characters are catty, cruel and criminal.  In Chapters 2, 4, 6 etc. homosexuality is embraced and celebrated.   

If I were to submit the first chapter and only the first chapter, the agent might think I am homophobic and might reject me.  However, if he saw the first chapter AND the second chapter, he would realize that I am not homophobic as the second chapter implicitly renounces the first chapter.

QUESTION ONE: Can I include, in my submission, a statement that says that since the second chapter renounces the first chapter the second chapter is being submitted as well.  Should  such a statement appear in the query letter or as a preface to the sample of the novel being submitted.

QUESTION TWO:  What am I to do if the agent's guidelines say he only wants the first 10 or even 5 pages.  This would include only a fraction of the first chapter.  How can I manage to give the agent the second chapter as well when he only wants the first 10 pages. 

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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2019, 06:21:05 AM »

This is when a strong query comes into play. Make sure your query tells the heart of your story. That way the agent can get a feel for it despite the first chapter.

Also, keep in mind many people read the first few pages of a book to make a decision on it... so if it's an issue that the first few pages may throw off an agent, wouldn't you also be concerned they would throw off potential readers?
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2019, 12:03:43 PM »

I agree with Koji.

Also, some agents will delete a query altogether if it goes against their submission guidelines. So I recommend always submitting exactly as much as the agent requests you do if you want your work to have a fighting chance.

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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2019, 04:14:42 AM »

Yeah I can understand your predicament. I think it's best to include an asterisk in the query letter and mention how the alternating views of the MC means the first and second chapter have opposite tones, switching between homophobia and pride. You should definitely include some sort of indication in your query just to be on the safe side. Whether or not it turns away normal readers, however, depends on your target demographic and whether or not they're clear about the book style going into it.
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 06:07:22 PM »

Kofi said it well. The query will explain everything. The agent mostly wants to see if you can write.
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