My story starts with a prologue/beginning chapter which is completely different, apart from tone, to the rest of the book. Basically an old lady has died and they're clearing out her flat - the old lady turns out to be a character of huge significance later on. The beginning chapter is very police procedural-y, and we get to know the clearers a bit. It's set in the present day, and quite down-to-earth, if you know what I mean. The next chapter, the main story, is set in a very stylised past, and has a very strong fairytale 'ring' to it. It has a young boy as the MC, who has absolutely no link with the clearers and the old lady's house, or even the old lady until much later on. I would call the prologue quite heavy and the main story more 'sparkling', although I plan to include some very gothic elements... My problem is basically this: there's a fair bit of information to get over in the prologue, and hence more time is devoted to the clearers' characters early on. At the moment it's 1,500 words approx., although when I finish it'll probably be 1,700-2,000. Is this too long just hinting and creating atmosphere? The old lady (or at least her 'presence'; she's dead) looms large from the first sentence, and really, she is the driving force behind the book. But when I then focus on this young boy, d'you reckon it would jar badly? Oh, it's hard to get across without revealing too much!! I'm thinking general devices would be to hint heavily in the prologue, add objects that maybe the young boy uses. Or symbolism? Thoughts, anyone?? Thank you, as always. I love knowing there's other writers out there with similar worries!