1. Riffle
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    Riffle New Member

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    I have a plot but can't figure out a way to make a good prologue.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Riffle, Apr 4, 2010.

    So i'm writing a story and i can't get a good prologue, so i'm looking for some help.

    Basically, in the future the united states and her allies have developed a technological breakthrough called an "oxygen wand", which turns nitrogen into an artificial oxygen molecule that burns more efficiently than gasoline, and produces no pollutants. Practically overnight all of Americas oil dependency is gone and the united states is able to pay off all her debts and become-super industrialized. The markets recover, housing is back and unemployment is down, etc etc. (I'll add in more if anyone would like to know, this is just a quick run-down)

    However, countries like Saudi Arabia and china that prospered off of American dependency and debt quickly plummet. Almost all of asia and the middle east falls into chaos as ultra-nationalists violently seize power. Using russias few high-tech military innovations, china and africas mass numbers and the middle-easts mass-ammounts of oil, the eastern world quickly becomes histories largest allied military in history.

    American spies determine this outcome long-beforehand so all aspects of the military are completely overhauled exponentially thanks to the artifical oxygen, and the us becomes the worlds most technologically advanced military in the world.


    The story begins just as black-ops troops are invading iran, and it follows a massive military campaign throughout the rest of the world as the now designated "allies" slowly push back the "crudes", nicknamed for their use of crude oil instead of artificial oxygen, which was only sold to american and allied companies.


    I have no idea how to start a prologue, can someone give me some ideas?!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Then don't write a prologue at all. Dive into the story with Chapter One.

    Most prologues are better off never getting written. Not all, but most. If you don't have a compelling reason to include a prologue, don't!
     
  3. Riffle
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    Riffle New Member

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    Say! Thats a sweet idea. It always amazes me how the simplest things can be the best answers.

    Thanks again. I'll get it up soon (hopefully)
     
  4. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    I agree with Cogito: unless there's a reason for a prologue, then don't. And if there is a need for one, you wouldn't be asking :) Just jump in and make sure to pepper in enough information so the reader understands what we're all fighting about.

    On a side note, don't forget the US receives a fair bit of oil from Mexico and Canada too.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto above... no law says you have to have one...
     
  6. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    You don't need a prologue..

    What you can do is simply write the story and kind of use a chapter later-on as a prologue.

    In my fantasy novel I used the prologue to describe the world, it's history, it's inhabitants, it's culture..

    Don't think too much about it, you dont have to write your book in the same order it will be read, you can add it later on if you decide you want a prologue.
     
  7. themistoclea
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    themistoclea Member

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    One of the dangers of prologues is that they can become nothing more than a place for the author to rationalise their story/plot, whereas in a well written book there should be no need to point-blank explain the background. The setting should reveal itself.

    And this is just my opinion, I like political thrillers, but your idea seems far-fetched even for fiction. And I am a little troubled by the way your plot centres on the dichotomy of East v West, with the former being polarised explicitly as "crude"... I think that your idea would be far more interesting if you looked from an unexpected point of view, such as someone who is not of the ruling axis... Or even a dual POV? But that's just me :D
     
  8. Rechar
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    Rechar Member

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    I agree with Themistoclea, the idea is a little too far-fetched to be believed (and thats coming from a lover of all things fantasy!).

    Oil is used for much more than making petrol leaving a need for its dependancy. With climate change there is simply no reason for America to withhold such a tech as regardless of the location of pollution it affects everything on the planet.

    If you want to keep the core of your story, switch it around. In the near future with oil reserves across the world reaching critical levels America develops a replacement. Zealously guarding its new technology thanks to America's history of selfish patents and copyrights due to its capitalist nature it refuses to share, only supplying a limited quantity of the replacement at extortionate prices.

    The economies of other nations begin to feel the strain. Hatred for America on the streets give rise to hardline nationalistic governments who rally with each other, leading to an innevitable war.

    Its still a shakey approach with a lot of holes but at least gives your story a moral message...sharing for the betterment of mankind is a good thing, not doing so causes problems.
     
  9. ToxicWaste
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    ToxicWaste Member

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    There would have to be a lot of strain on the world for all of the east to unite in its hate of America. If there is one thing the east hates more than the US, it's each other. China isn't a fan of Russia. Iran certainly never liked Iraq and the feelings mutual. India is no fan of Pakistan and nobody likes Israel. That being said if the strain is great enough to be an existential threat, I could defiantly see them uniting.
     
  10. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    I was reading an article one day and to be honest and if I remember correctly (I apologize if this is wrong) only 1 out of every ten people read the prologue. Most generally skip it and go straight into the story, since the story is more appealing to them.

    So really, if you don't need a prologue, which it really doesn't seem like you do, just skip it and start with the story. There's a lot of newbie authors out there that make the mistake of writing a prologue only to find out they wasted valuable time and effort.
     
  11. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    I agree with this, however I use my prologue to immediatly surge the readers into the story and creating the atmosphere for the entire book. I wrote it as a bit of a folklore, that perhaps one of the characters in the book tells. Stuff such as cultural habits will introduce themselves later while reading..

    I always loved the prologue of "the Edge chronicles" which uses basically the same prologue for each book, and it basically describes the entire world.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That is precisely the reason for not using a prologue.

    The best way to "immediately surge the readers into the story" is to begin with the characters in story-present from the first paragraph.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    agreed... only starting right out with the story can 'surge' readers into it...
     

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