1. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Prologue question

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Scarecrow28, Oct 11, 2008.

    Alright, so in my novel I have a several-part prologue. One part takes places several hundred years ago, then it jumps to a few decades ago, then a few years after that, and then to modern times. These "parts" are all interesting and important to the story, but my question is should I just leave them as prologues and seperate them by the data of occurence, or just have some be the first couple chapters? Thanks!
     
  2. lordofhats
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    From what you describe it sounds like a lot to be putting into a prologue. I don't mind prologues, but they need to be short simple and sweet to the point. Jumps through time might be more than some readers would like. Maybe keep the first scene and spread the others out across the story as flashbacks in time that can appear as the information they contain becomes relevant.
     
  3. Scarlett_156
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    I agree that it's a matter of organization and assembly. If it's fiction, there is no need for a prologue of any type if you open the parts of your story well enough. You can incorporate the prologue material into the story itself.

    I realize that this may seem a daunting task--and yeah. There's no simple way to write a complex story. It takes time, any way you slice it. I hope this is helpful. yours in Chaos, Scarlett
     
  4. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    Why not just replace the word "prologue" with "chapter one"? If it's important to the story, then it's part of the story, and if you're not calling it the prologue, then you don't have to worry so much about it being too long.
     
  5. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Use the "modern" part of that prologue as your prologue, and integrate the rest into the story.
     
  6. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    I might end up doing that. But the reason I'd like to keep them in the beginning of the novel is that, as the story progresses, the reader begins to piece together how this seemingly unconnected events are connected to the actual story. If I just put these seens into the story when they were necessary, it would kind of ruin the "mystery" element of the plot.
     
  7. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    You could spread the information out, or create a plot device character who would bring it up at various times. Drop it all in at the very beginning and I know I'd skip it all and get straight to the story and miss out (And if I did read it I'm sure I'd forget about it all by the time I got the the mystery solving part).

    Spread the info out and I'm more likely to read. You might need to get creative to find a way not to dump it all in on us at once. Maybe insert sections of it as quotes from fictional sources at the beginning of each chapter? That way we get a little at a time. Maybe even make each quote relevant to the chapter, to see if the reader can fit it in.
     
  8. TWErvin2
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    Although not impossible to do well, prologues as history lessons to get the reader up to speed generally don't work.

    The author knows the world and such, but the reader does not. The reader has no frame of reference to anchor the information...no character or event that they've experienced through reading to tie it to. Why should the reader care?

    If it is vital to the plot, place the information in the context of the story if possible. It will make more sense to the reader, tie into the 'current' events or struggles, and the reader will better remember the history and its significance.

    Just my two cents.

    Terry
     

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