Working through the edits for one of my works i was given two rounds of feedback.

The first noted that the first chapter of a fantasy should contain a little more of the fantasy world than i had offered up. So i set to work on the solution and ended up with a hundred or so words which i didn’t even know were important to the story until i had written them. They detailed the very reason the main character was important, the developing magical battle and a blurred line between good v evil which is one of the center points of the work.

But i had not written a new chapter 1, 99% of what i write is in the first person  and my MC is clueless which left me with a side character. One who knows everything but features very little in the actually work. A great new angle to play with. I termed this new chapter a prologue and asked for another round of comments.

This time i was slammed back in the other direction. My feedback centered around the lack of need for a prologue and the fact that my helpful readers only read prologue plus chapter one didn’t help. But then if the book doesn’t make sense by chapter one there’s no use arguing that they should keep reading until it does because lets face it that’s not how you sell books.

Yet i’m still too close to the project to be objective. I agree i must tighten the prologue, make it worth reading on its own. I was suggested this website: http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/prologue.shtml

But even as i read my prologue i’m ticking off these boxes.

Do i really need it?… maybe not but it’s doing a job that can’t be done any other way.

What does it do?… it introduces the drama, the conflict and the imminent death of the mc from the get go. It adds the fantasy element that was missing from the first chapter.

Does it do the job right? perhaps not, i can edit that in. but with all the editing i am still ending up with a prologue.

From above mentioned website:

(quote)Job description: “different POV”

A different POV prologue describes a certain event from a point-of-view different than the main characters of the plot. This event may occur in the same time-frame as the plot, or years before or after. Its relevance may be made clear in the course of Chapter One, or Chapter Thirty-four. However, it must have a relevance, which will affect the plot substantially in some way (otherwise it’s idling away). A different POV prologue should be written in third-person, even if the novel is in first-person. (end quote)

This simply leaves me knowing i have more work to do but not knowing if i should go back to the original chapter 1 and delete failing prologue or keep trying to make the prologue work? Though i’m leaning towards making the prologue work because in the end simply deleting it is an easy way out and really involves no work so i’ll keep at the prologue until someone slaps me and say’s ‘i’ll publish it but ditch the prologue’ or something similar (would be nice 🙂

Advertisements