1. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    Prologues

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Sapphire, Oct 5, 2006.

    Okay, I'm having difficulty on my fantasy book right now on what to do for my prologue. What do people usually expect in prologues? Like something related to the story but when people read it they are like 'okay, what does this have to do with anything'? I'm trying to do something like that but I'm not sure what to put down and it's really driving me crazy. Can someone help me out and give me pointers on what to do for a prologue and what people would expect?
     
  2. kalibantre
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    kalibantre Member

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    Firstly, you don't have to have a prologue.

    Prologues are there for you to set up information that is very important for the novel but which has no place within the novel. A breif history of a war perhaps if you're book is about the years afterwards. Like lord of the Rings there could have been a very ancient battle that changed the world, but has no direct part to your story so the characters will not tell the reader themselves.

    In my novel, mainly concerning life at sea/in piracy. My prologue is setting up the myth of a formidable pirate named Red who has stalked the seas for the past decade. The first chapter, reinforces this when you meet Red but Red isn't what you expect she ends uo being a woman. But the fear her name strikes into people wouldn't work so well ifI didn't have the prologue.

    Many, if not most, fantasy books have prologues because they're set in new worlds, with new histories that need to be explored for the bok to become real. You don't have to have one.
     
  3. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    Okay, I think I get it now. I wasn't really sure because prologues have always caused me trouble and I'm trying to write it, but I wasn't sure what to put in it.
     
  4. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    My prolouge tries to establish a relationship that doesn't have a place in my book.

    Unfortunately, I've come to realize that the peaceful, almost pastoral setting of the prolouge is phenomenally boring. I need to cut it out and replace it with explosions. Perhaps that will get a better reception.
     
  5. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    I think prologue is only needed when there is quite a bit of backstory, if you get my drift.
     
  6. Nexus
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    Nexus Contributing Member

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    Well, I generally dont have a prologue but I love reading them. From the books I read, the prologue is a cunningly written history of the characters, but done in a time slightly before the main book starts. Its like an infodump but not quite as much information.
    This prologue is used for books with backround and are VERY hard to do well, but make for a fantastic effect if done properly.
     
  7. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    True, an example of this is lord of the rings.
    I think it is important to have a prologue when neccesary, which you feel, can't be included in the book itself.
     
  8. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    Yeah, my main character in my story has a little bit of history with his parentage, and I need to have a little story to that before I get to the real story, but it will be kind of misleading which will get people to be like "holy crap I didn't see that coming!"
     
  9. Laimtoe
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    Laimtoe Senior Member

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    whatever can be said in a prologue can be said in a first chapter.
     
  10. wordweaver
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    wordweaver Member

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    Use of flashback can really help put in the information you want for past history. Little snippets of information are best used this way rather than having a short prologue.

    As above, you don't really need one, I have one for my nip but I don't like them. I only did so because the information was critical to the story, and in no place within the story context could it be referred to. As a reader I usually skip over them.

    Only use one if you really, really can't put the "important" information in the story itself.

    Hope that helped, and good luck!
     
  11. Skipdonahue
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    Skipdonahue Member

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    Write the prologue last. It's alot easier.
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I usually let my storys tell the prologues.
     

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