Author Topic: Chapter or Prologue?  (Read 1504 times)

Offline JWiseman

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Chapter or Prologue?
« on: April 07, 2017, 09:13:04 AM »
I'm starting with a very important scene for my novel, but ut takes place hundreds of years prior to my main story. It is about ten pages long, and really gives a good idea of what the rest of the story will become. Does this have to be the prologue or can it be the first chapter?

Lin

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Re: Chapter or Prologue?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 11:46:12 AM »
First, ask yourself how important is this?   Can you not start at Chapter Two and weave in the information you have for your prologue?

Prologues are often too long and unnecessary.  Readers always want to get stuck into the story, and backstory can be boring.  If I were you I'd start at Chapter Two. You'll be surprised at how unnecessary your first ten pages can be. I haven't read your work so I cannot really comment until I see how involving these pages might be. So just ask yourself with marks out of ten 'how important is this information for the rest of the story.  Can I weave all this into the novel as a whole?'  If your marks come out less than 8.5 then ditch it!  If not then start at Chapter One.

My advice for what's it's worth.

Lin

 
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 10:17:08 AM by Lin Treadgold - Author »

Offline AssetMB

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Re: Chapter or Prologue?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 03:24:51 PM »
In my personal opinion, I hate prologues.

It tends to be a description of some past event, prophesy, or whatever, and they bore me. OR, it is a single event, and I become disgruntled when I realize that the character I just sat down to get to know is already leaving me. I'm already trying to become invested when I meet the protagonist - when I discover it's not the protagonist, I feel cheated. If I know from the beginning that it's not the protagonist, I'm automatically a little bored and wanting to know just what's so important I have to slog through something that happened hundreds of years previously.
I'm never going to meet those characters again (Most likely). Everything that happened can usually be summed up and explained later, preferably after I've gotten a little invested.

But that's just one reader's opinion.

Jo Bannister

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Re: Chapter or Prologue?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 03:50:54 PM »
Nine times out of ten, a prologue is the writer putting off beginning his story.  They're usually filled with material that the writer may well need to know but the reader does not.  If it doesn't feel like chapter one, then you're probably starting your story in the wrong place.

Offline Shortcross

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Re: Chapter or Prologue?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2017, 02:36:35 AM »
I'm writing one right now. It's set twenty years before the main body of the story, and the MC in the prologue is the MC in chapter one (just grown up), so there's continuity - and I'm still nervous about it! I don't want to try and build it into exposition though, as it would take forever to get the info across. Like H3K, I'm no fan of prologues, but I figured if I just write it as I would a first chapter (punchy opening lines, introduction of the MC, closing hook), I might be able to live with it.

Shorty

Lin

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Re: Chapter or Prologue?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2017, 10:16:35 AM »
I'm not sure that it's you who has to 'live with it.' Consider the feelings of the reader too.

Lin x :D

Offline Shortcross

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Re: Chapter or Prologue?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2017, 11:42:53 AM »
Ah, they can wait :)

Offline Bradley Shiner

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Re: Chapter or Prologue?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2017, 04:27:37 PM »
Hi! From my point of view it sounds just like prologue. Unlike some of my predecessors I also like prologues as long as they are immersive and heat up curiosity (what should be one of the main reasons behind their existence). The only mistake which might be made over there is making it too long. ;) Best