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  1. #1
    Howard Schwartz
    Guest

    Prologue or 1st chapter?

    This is the start of my novel, Return to Superior. Let me know what you think and should it be a prologue or a 1st chapter. It is not a fantasy.

    An hour before sunrise, she gave in.

    Trying not to think about what lay ahead, she walked out into the cold, stepped into the boat and started the motor.

    As she drove, the shape of the island grew and so did the voices, all speaking at once, filled her head with

    chatter until she felt dizzy and wounded by its intensity.

    Then the voice she recognized from her dreams spoke and the rest of the clamor stopped, similar to the start of a

    concert when the conductor taps his baton and all instruments grew quiet, as they waited for a sign.

    She waited too.

    Then the voice…“Welcome back, we knew you would return."

    “Sara, we haven’t see you in a while, it almost feels like a lifetime!”

    Then the laughter began again, ominous in its content and surrounding the boat.

    “Don’t you feel comfortable here?” The voice she recognized asked.

    Strangely, a rush of warmth flowed over her body, giving her a peaceful feeling.

    “I don't believe it, but I do! I do feel comfortable here.”

    Her focus softened and she felt herself merging with the mist. The boat seemed to be guided by another hand and

    together they continued out to sea.



  2. #2
    Sam English
    Guest

    Re: Prologue or 1st chapter?

    As she drove, the shape of the island grew and so did the voices, all speaking at once, filled her head with chatter until she felt dizzy and wounded by its intensity.

    Just off the top...it should be "filling"...

  3. #3
    Josh Lemay
    Guest

    Re: Prologue or 1st chapter?

    A prologue is more of an introduction, I think. Basically, ask yourself a couple of questions:

    Is the prologue absolutely necessary to explain things later on in the book or the first chapter, but a separate entity in and of itself?

    Does the first chapter(after what might be the prologue) flow well with the prologue? Is it more of a continuation of the 'prologue' or a separate entity in itself?

    I think if the first part is there to explain something inherently necessary in understanding the rest of the book, or at least a key part of it, then it would be a prologue. I think of it more like backstory to the events that will come after it.

    If the first part combines fluidly with the rest of the book as more of a continuation than an explanation, I'd consider it a first chapter instead of a prologue.

    That's just my understanding of it. I hope my explanation came across clearly. I may be wrong, though.

  4. #4
    Chris Anderson
    Guest

    Re: Prologue or 1st chapter?

    I agree with Josh, I think he put it very well. I am working on a prologue that I was initially thinking of as a first chapter, but since it occurs well before the chronological "plot" I figured it would work better to break it off as a prologue.

    Is this posting your entire "chapter/prologue" or just the first part? It's short enough that I would think of it less as a chapter and more of a 1 page "teaser" prologue, more on an intro. Sometimes you see authors use a page before the story with a quote, poem or other mood setting snippet, and this seems more up that alley (unless there is more to it that you haven't posted).

    Just some personal opinion suggestions on revisions:

    As she drove, the shape of the island grew and so did the laughter and voices. Speaking all at once, they filled her head with chatter until she was dizzy and wounded by its intensity. (added laughter because later you say it started again, but we didn't know it was there to begin with! Also, shouldn't really need to say "felt dizzy", better to get right to it and say she "was dizzy"...it's obvious she felt it that way)

    The Voice she recognized from her dreams spoke and the rest of the chorus stopped. Like instruments growing quiet to the tapping baton of the conductor, they waited for their sign. (capitalize the Voice so you don't have to always repeat "the voice she remembered...)

    Then the Voice…“Welcome back Sara, we knew you would return. We haven’t see you in a while, it almost feels like a lifetime!” (for some reason you ended and restarted your quotes when I assume the same voice was still talking)

    Then the laughter began again, ominous in its content and surrounding the boat.

    “Don’t you feel comfortable here?” asked the Voice. (cleaner, don't repeat "the voice she remembered" every time)

    A strange rush of warmth flowed over her body, filling her with peace. (again, "giving her a peaceful feeling" is ok, but I think being more direct is better)


    * * *

    It's a great setup, and it's filled with tension and possibility, but I think it could be cleaner. Just some minor tweaks, but it feels fairly good already.

  5. #5
    Jean Bonifacios
    Guest

    Re: Prologue or 1st chapter?

    I think prologues are awesome as long as they aren't just a way to plug backstory and they're very original. You hear agents talk about hating prologues but if it's an original idea...you can't go wrong.

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