1. Loony-Luna22
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    Loony-Luna22 New Member

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    Prologe in third person but the story in first.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Loony-Luna22, Oct 29, 2010.

    Could you write the prologe in third person but then write the story in first person. Do you think it would just be weird or do you think it could work.

    I'm asking becuase the story I'm writing starts off when the MC older sister dies and I want to show what happens so the reader knows becuase it's a huge part of the story. The thing is I don't want the MC to descirbe it. So that's the prologe.

    The rest of the book though I want to do in first person. I was just wondering what everyone else thought.

    Thanks for your ideas

    ~Loony-Luna22
     
  2. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    If you write it well, I don't see why it couldn't work. But be cautious about prologues in general. If it turns into a info dump just for the sake of providing background information, you're be better off skipping it and starting right in with your 1st person narrator. Any details from the prologue that are necessary to the story, can usually be sprinkled in later and have a bigger impact.

    There's a few pretty good threads around here on prologues that might help you out.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Of course you can do it. Whether or not it's a good idea depends entirely on how well you do it.

    There are no hard-and-fast rules in writing. If a writer is good enough, he can make practically anything work.
     
  4. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the particular situation I'm not so sure - it's always harder when the character is seen in 3rd first, then suddenly is 1st. For one thing, often 3rd person prologues - and prologues in general - tend to tell something the main character isn't around to witness. Unless you wanted to make it extremely obvious from the first couple of lines of first person, then I, and probably a lot of other readers, might assume it's another character just from this general precedent, and have a long moment of "Huh what?" until it's spelled out, because of that.

    Not saying you can't go from 3rd to 1st, because it can be done, and well, but I'm wary of the narrator being there, is all.
     
  5. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you are a really really really good author with lot of experience, you might pull it off as a good thing. But generally, no.

    The beginning of a book, prologue or not should set up the promise for the rest of the book. If you are going to write an good book in first person, you want to show it off to begin with dragging the reader into the story with good first person perspective.Otherwise you giving the promise that "This book will be told in third person" and let them down on that first expression.

    You will make both the readers who like third person disappointed, and perhaps make the readers who like first person lose interest in the book if the first chapter is told in third person.
     
  6. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    I just read a book where its prologue was written in second and then the rest was written in third. I think it worked out pretty well. Go for what your gut is telling you, but also deliver your work in a presentable way.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    doing that doesn't make any sense to me... the prologue sounds like just an info dump, which is generally a major no-no... and switching from that to first person, with nothing else in third, would seem weird and i seriously doubt you could make it work well enough to interest a publisher or book-buyers...
     
  8. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    Well, in my opinion, I think there's always a chance to do something entirely new. We aren't bound by what others before us have done.
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'm smiling because the last time this topic came up - prologue in one POV, main body in the other, I mentioned that I had done a prologue in 1st person and the rest of the novel in the 3rd person. I had a specific reason for doing so, in that the bulk of the novel was flashback and then into the present, and the narrator of the prologue was a major character who had deeply hurt one of the other major characters and had been instrumental in the downfall of another, who he was now trying to help get back on his feet. I wanted to convey this characters remorse over what he had done, and his intense commitment to make matters right now.

    In reality, the prologue was the first chapter, and it worked better that way. Cogito suggested that I write it in 3rd person limited, but when I tried it, I found it lost the sense of intimacy with the character that I had wanted to capture, and I left it in the first person. I don't know if a publisher will be convinced, but we'll see once I get finished with the revisions.

    In your case, though, you are proposing a novel written in the 1st person, presumably for the same sense of intimacy with the narrator that I was looking for. But you are putting in a preliminary body of detached information, which the reader is likely to feel detached from the main body of the story. I would urge you to reconsider.

    It's not because "it isn't done". It's because you want the beginning of your story to be something that will hook the reader and make him want to know more, read more, buy into your characters and your story.

    Best of luck.
     
  10. Sham
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    Would that honestly be a good idea? Do you really need a, "recap story?" Plus if this book is new, I think you should just include the prolouge in a dream. Like, a character dreams of a prolouge. Thats fantasy, but whenever to you use a prolouge thats not fantasy?
     

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