Monday, November 1, 2010

Half of this Post is a Footnote.

Well, I’m not as close to finishing this outline as I thought, because I just realized I haven’t interwoven any of my government yet. ;_; Thanks to some brainstorming yesterday, I have most of my protagonist-side done (well, kind of), but not much of the other side. Oi. This is more work than I remember it being. I could write the prologue* and first chapter without hinderance, but I can’t get too much further than that.

*First off, I feel slightly guilty about this prologue. It’s really short, but I kill a baby in it.
Secondly, I honestly don’t need to have a prologue on this book. If I were to cut it, the story carries on just fine, and I believe a lot of people hate prologues. However, it does add an air of intensity to the story right from the get-go. What do you think? Prologue or no prologue? How do you feel about prologues in general?


  1. You know, my thoughts on prologues have changed quite a bit since the last time I ranted about them. I can see now that they can be necessary to set up the overall series arc (as in Martin's Song of Ice and Fire), or to give the reader a sense that something big can happen at any time and that the story will eventually transcend its opening conflict.

  2. My first prologues were awful. They could have easily just been short first chapters.
    My new rule is that prologues have to be distinctly distant from the remainder of the story. By this I mean characters that are obscure or play a part later (Warbreaker), old and dead (Elantris), or giving background on the story but not currently actively taking part (Steelgods; the first few bits of Name of the Wind). I feel THAT is what a prologue should be, not just a short chapter leading into the next chapter which is the same character doing something else. (which reminds me, WGMD suffered from this and Brandon actually pointed it out in his critique, which is why the WGMD prologue now happens 6 years before the rest of the novel).
    I always considered them to be the first level of "hooks", with the first sentence of the first chapter being the "official hook." A prologue offers a unique opportunity: a chance to barf something short, catching, and fantastic that doesn't have to be entirely related to the rest of the novel. In fact, if the super-hook that is your prologue isn't addressed right off the bat, it can lead to the reader continuing on just to find out what happened to that character/action in the prologue (ala Warbreaker and Vasher).
    So that's how I feel about prologues. I still hate epilogues, though.