THE NEXT TIME YOU WRITE THAT PROLOGUE, DON’T.

Prologue: What does it mean to your story?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the prologue; as if it were a houseguest I’ve booted and now feel terribly about the fact that it’s raining out.

I’ve written three novels and have published two, and each of them —at one point or another—has contained a prologue. In ERAMANE, the prologue ended up being chapter one, with two parts. That’s one heck of a prologue. But the information—although out of sequence with the timeline for my main character—was absolutely pertinent. Under the advice of my editor, I reworked that prologue and formatted it into the two-part chapter, adding a blank page between it and the rest of the book. There is, however, a little sentence on the page that notates a passage of time. It works well no matter how crappy I’m spelling it out here.

In Blood Soaked Ashes, I begin with a short dream sequence that Eramane is remembering, not actually dreaming. It’s not so much a prologue as it is an emotional slap-in-the-face welcome to book two. But when I started drafting book two, it was a prologue.

In my third book, a sci-fi project that I’m querying, I have a combination introduction. During the drafting stages, I had a one page prologue that gave a bit of info about Earth’s history and what happened to my MC’s parents. Then chapter one begins two years prior to the rest of the book. But this didn’t set well with me as I entered the revision stages. It wasn’t pleasing to the eye and it certainly didn’t appeal to me as a reader. I asked advice from an author friend, who also critiqued the MS. Her opinion was this: scrap that prologue. She suggested that I find a way to incorporate the info into the storyline.

But I didn’t want to scrap it and incorporating it would be sooooooooo time consuming! UGGH! Can’t I just leave it and pray that agents will love my words anyway?

That’s a big NO!

Prologues aren’t meant for info dumps because you can’t find a way to layer your story with its purpose. I’m not going to tell you that you should never use a prologue; they obviously serve a purpose and are used by many authors. But do consider the Why and if it’s justified, roll with it.

Something to consider is a quote. At least this was the direction I took. I was staring at my screen and thinking how in the world do I say all this inside of the story? Part of the prologue was absolutely scrap worthy, so I deleted it immediately. But even after that I was left with nearly four lengthy paragraphs that were integral to the story. Or so I thought. I read those paragraphs over and over until it was memorized. I thought about the words and their meaning to my story and that’s when it hit me. I remembered hearing a quote from a person who is renowned for their science brain and since my story is sci-fi it made this connection. So I used the quote instead of the prologue, because that short sentence lent more relevant content to my story than the four paragraphs I thought were so necessary. No, the quote didn’t tell the backstory to what happened to Earth. That part I did incorporate because a good author will take time to shape their story, even if it means doing a week’s worth of rewrites for just that one component.

I read once where an author said something in the way of If you have a long prologue that is needed to convey the story, maybe you should consider starting your story earlier and build it up from there. Not the exact words and I can’t remember who said this, but it has stuck with me. So, thanks to you, whoever you are.

There are all sorts of opinions on prologues and tips and tricks for writing them. But doesn’t every story begin with a prologue? Even if it’s just one you brainstorm all to yourself?

The Word “Poop” is in This Post. You’re Welcome.

I sat down this morning to write. Whoa, before I get ahead of myself, let me recap the morning.

I woke up promptly at 7:23 a.m.

I let the dog out to pee.

I let myself out to pee.

I made coffee.

I walked into my office.

I sat down to write.

Details of morning happenings complete.

I’ve been working on a new book project (WIP- work in progress) for about three weeks. It’s a different genre than what I normally write—SF/F—so, I was stupid excited when I started it. I played with some plot ideas for the first few days, and then landed on a solid direction. About 10k into the project, I decided I didn’t like the environment/setting/character development (all the essential crap for creating a great story, or, at least, a plausible one.)

So, I scrapped it.

Ouch. And F yeah it hurt! But, I said to myself, “Listen crybaby. It’s only 10K. Get your thumb out of your mouth and begin again!”

So, I brought out my dry erase board and scribble away on it until I was loopy on marker fumes. This process (fun as it was) took precious writing time from me, but I ended up with an even better angle. A super awesome, make your head spin, hell of a twist, angle.

I was stoked.

I was ready to write again. Or so I thought.

In the chair, blank page and flashing cursor staring back at me, I realized I wasn’t quite ready to throw down words.

I had a problem with the location of my story and the setting. So, I did what any writer would do, (Hey! Get out of the corner and lose the security blanket.) I opened Google and started researching a new place. I had one in mind, so I started there. I searched the first area through the town’s website. I researched the community, the police department, the SCENE (you know, it’s most important), the nearby university, and local restaurants and such. I even did a real estate search to find a home in the area I could visualize while writing. That was actually a reverse process. I had an idea of what I wanted the home to look like and where I wanted it. It just so happened that the first house that popped up matched it perfectly. So, I took virtual tours and researched the immediate area the home was built on, side roads, nearest neighbors, you get the picture.

Once I felt like I had a grip on my character’s world, I begin with the wordage again. This time, (up to last night’s work, precisely) I reached nearly 8K. I was happy to have a new direction and be almost back to my drop off point from the earlier draft.

Then, this morning happened.

I sat down to write, and my love for the project had vanished. Even as I write this blog post (which BTW, the whole disappearing love thing is why I’m writing this post and not working on my book project) I have no desire to continue with my WIP.

This is new to me. I’ve completed three novels this far and I’ve not felt this way about any of them. Sure, I had writer’s block a few times, but that’ different. Or is it? I don’t know.

But, I also know that I don’t just let days go without writing something, anything. It keeps me in practice. It helps me short crap out. In a way, this post is doing just that. It’s sorting my poop-coiled brain.

poop brain

While I don’t know if this project will see completion, I’m not devastated. I have other book ideas/sequels to write, and this is a great time to get those started.

If you guys have experienced this, I’d love to hear your story. How did you handle the story divorce? Did you ever rekindle your relationship? Or, did you post nasty things about it on the Internets so that no one else would date your story? My biggest question is… did you ever get your CDs back????

Day Six of Book Tour for Blood Soaked Ashes

IceyDesigns
IceyDesigns

Happy Monday!

This is the last week for the Blood Soaked Ashes book tour. I will post daily this week with links to the host sites. The giveaway is redonkulous!

So, today BSA is over at Such A Novel Idea. It’s a lovely site with many other book giveaways. Head on over and check it out.

BOOK TOUR

Happy Saturday, peeps!

My book tour has been officially…booked! Wha pow! Below is the schedule. If you would like a chance to win signed copies, eBooks, some swag and more, hit these sites up and enter. These hosts have agreed to do a review only tour which means that they will have a review of Blood Soaked Ashes up the day they host. So, not only will you be able to enter, but you also get the chance to see what others think about the book! Yay!

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Tour Schedule

WEEK ONE
March 2nd: CiCi’s Theories REVIEW + TENS LIST
March 3rd: TTC Books and More REVIEW + MUSIC PLAYLIST
March 4th: Geek Heaven REVIEW
March 5th: Sunrise Avenue REVIEW
March 6th: LuLo Fangirl REVIEW

WEEK TWO
March 9th: Such A Novel Idea REVIEW
March 10th: Winterhaven Books REVIEW + WHAT’S IN FRANKIE’S BAG?
March 11th: Imagine A World REVIEW
March 12th: Petrichor REVIEW
March 13th: Her Book Thoughts REVIEW + INSPIRATION BOARD

BLOOD SOAKED ASHES BOOK TOUR SIGNS UPS

 

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Since BLOOD SOAKED ASHES is available for all to smack their eye holes against, I must pimp it while the pimping is good. BSA will be on tour in March with a two-week stretch to offer lots o’ flexibility for blogger that would love to participate. The first segment is March 2-6 and then again on  9-13! It is a review only tour (because reviews help authors!) and the giveaway is BuhDam! So, if you’d like, you can click this link to sign up, or you can click that cute little widget button over on the left that says “me & my shelf.” Or something or other. I only put it there because my tour organizer’s site said “Grab this!” so I did, because that sounded like an order.  Plus I’ve never grabbed something (without getting into trouble) so it made me feel techno savvy. Not in that  lazor-light, twirl an object (real or pretend) in your hand kind of way, (not that techno isn’t inspirational if you’re, let’s say…well let’s just say and leave it at that.) Just savvy in the way that…(choose your adventure here.)

So sign up, or remember to enter the giveaway, or share this post, or like it, or comment on my savvy grabbing buttons skillz. Cheeze!

 

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