1. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Can't decide what prologue to use

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Protar, Jan 7, 2012.

    So for my WIP I've written up a prologue to give the readers a little extra information on the backstory and overarching conglict. But now I've thought of a second idea for the prologue and can't decide which to use.

    The first is from the point of view of the story's main villain, and a major villain throughout my planned series. It details his return to the world the story is set in (he's been chilling out in another dimension for 10,000 years.) and also these different dimensions become vitally important to the story later on so I thought it'd be good to debut them early. So this prologue concerns the overarching story.

    The second takes place from the POV of a mage, who encounters the main anti-hero of my work who is (arguably) the main character. This prologue outlines some of his motives for us (rather than inserting a clumsy exposition scene later.) and starts off his personal character arc. Also this one better sets up the main story of this specific book, but not the whole overarching story.
    In your opinion, which sounds better?
     
  2. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I would go with the first one. It is good to get the main antagonist's story arc out there early. Plus, the second one will be better if you slowly show what the main protagonist's motives are in the first few chapters; it will hook the reader.
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    One would have to read the actual prologues to say with more certainty, but based on the summaries, I would agree. The first sounds more like a proper prologue - the second tending toward infodump.
     
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  4. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Well to elaborate the second prologue, where I to write it would involve the character breaking into a building, and coercing a mage into giving him some information on an ancient sword. It would make a nice action packed start. But then I agree that it would be good to give the reader some immediate info on my villain. I'd post an excerpt but I've already posted a couple from my WIP and much more and I doubt I'll be able to get it published.
     
  5. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    You can make the villains return to the world action packed as well.
     
  6. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Well it doesn't really work with the story as in the first book at least it's fairly low key. There aren't any massive battles with armies, and the villains return is more in secret. I think that in the end it'll still be the best of the two. I guess I'll write the second one and then compare the two. Any other advise is welcome.
     
  7. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    There is nothing wrong with low key. A prologue does not need to be one or the other. It needs to be what it needs to be; I know that is vague and I am sorry. But I cant think of any other way to say it.

    I will try again:

    A prologue needs to be important information that readers need to know upfront (but not an info dump). So your villain coming back into the world not only works for your prologue, but also as a hook for your readers.

    Your main character breaking into a building works more as a first chapter.
     
  8. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Yeah It was just that both events take place a few months before the story starts proper. But yeah perhaps it could be a first chapter or maybe related through a dream or flashback so it's more tied in with current events so to speak. The villain prologue would definitelly more impactful in the long run (the multiple dimensions, or realms pop up several times and are very important.) but the anti-hero prologue would have more to do with the immediate story. That was the main piece of indecision I had. Set the scene for the overarching plot or the immediate story line.
     
  9. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I would have it be a flashback whenever it is pertinent to tell it. Even if that means the first chapter or last chapter.

    Or even break it down into a couple sentences that some character can say later on when it is needed; instead of some big multiple page ordeal.
     
  10. hoggyboy
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    hoggyboy Senior Member

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    definitely the first idea works better as a prologue

    (although im biased since i reckon starting it off as a villain is a great idea)
     

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