What’s in a Prologue?

Now that I’m back from moving hell and actually at the point of just putting things away instead of clearing space to actually live in, I thought I would sit down and start writing again. Where I left off in that writing course was at a prologue. The original “first chapter” of my story should be a prologue. It includes too much information that should be given as flashbacks or remembrance or the like.

I started editing the prologue before the move. I did a rewrite from what I left in the cuts I did. Now I’m considering rewriting again and doing it from another character’s prospective. The more I thought about it, the more I questioned it. Throwing up my finger in triumph I cried, “TO GOOGLE”, startling my poor neighbor who was walking past my window.

I pulled up a result from Kirt Hickman in his blog and the advice there seems to fit what I’m trying to do.

An opening scene begins the story that you’re telling.  A prologue conveys something that the reader needs to know, but is distinctly separate from the story.  More specifically, one or both of the following should be true of your prologue:

    • The prologue should take place at a distinctly different point in time (usually before) the story, or
    • The prologue should be written from the point of view of a character whose viewpoint is not used again in the book.

The prologue I’m writing does, in fact, happen before the story and if I write it from this girl’s viewpoint, she won’t be used again as a viewpoint character later on. She’ll be minorly involved in the story, but she won’t be a viewpoint character. Writing from Rose’s viewpoint will make the prologue more exciting and it will allow me to actually convey the pieces of story I want to tell without having to write through the MC’s alien viewpoint at that point in the story. Right now it’s just too vague because he doesn’t think like we do. I’M bored and it’s my story!

I’ll post both prologues once I have them written and ask for your opinions.

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About Carrie Fulk Vaughn

Carrie Fulk Vaughn (C.V. Madison) is a licensed massage therapist, author of LGBTQIA, Urban fantasy, horror & romance. Gamer geek full of Mountain Dew and schadenfreude pie. Twitter addict. Ball jointed doll collector.

Posted on September 10, 2012, in For Writers. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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