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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Zeff View Post
    You just don't get it, do you Gary? I'm trying to get some of the posters here to think about prologues in a different, better way that might show them how effective they can be, but you'd rather be as literal as you possibly can and keep them from learning.
    No, I was just pointing out that your prologue example isn't a prologue (it could be if it was set up to be one, but it wasn't) and that you sent us searching for it on false information. What you have shown--beyond what I already said about the danger of citing pages rather than wordage--is that prologues and first chapters often are interchangable (and subject to author's choice). Genesis is a good example of that. It would have been an acceptable--and effective--prologue (but for all elements and inhabitants of the earth, not just Moses), if it had been set up as one. But it wasn't; it was set up as book one of the Pentateuch.



  2. #52
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    Joe, you said: Try using your imagination a little, and think of the Torah as literature, not as scriptures because that's what I've been doing.

    That, my friend, may be your problem.

    Is there ANY way you can drop it so that we can get back to discussing the original post?

    If an author wants to use a damn prologue, he or she will; if they don't, they won't.

  3. #53
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    Oh, my. This is way out of control. Everybody knows rules are made to be broken; the question is are you good enough to get away with it?

  4. #54
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    I suspect, Gary, that that's only true because the concept of a prologue hadn't been thought up yet.

  5. #55
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    Exactly, Alice. And, of course, there's no rule against using a prologue if you want.

  6. #56
    Dana
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    Puristic views can stymie the creative process. There is nothing wrong with prologues.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Young View Post
    In my opinion, you can cut this down and get to the man and child quicker. Take out some details that describe his every move. My suggestions are just suggestions and feel free to disagree. Good luck!

    "Well I'm not going out again until I've downed this," he said as he took a huge gulp of the steaming coffee. HE CAN'T SAY ANYTHING AS HE'S TAKING A GULP. WOULD IT BE HARD TO GULP STEAMING COFFEE? IT'S HOT. He slid his chair back and stood up, wrapping his jacket and scarf tight around as he opened the door to the howling wind outside. IS HE WRAPPING HIS JACKET AND SCARF TIGHT AROUND HIM WHILE STANDING UP AND OPENING THE DOOR?

    "Tell him he has ten minutes and then I'm coming back with a bucket of snowballs." James made a playful salute and went to get dressed. THIS SEEMS LIKE JAMES IS SAYING THIS, WHICH HE ISN'T.

    Will shut the door NOT NEEDED? and walked down wooden stairs to the lookout landing. HIS WOOL SCARFThe woolen warmth of his scarf kept out the worst of the cold, but the wind found every part of him not fully covered and stung skin that had just finished thawing. He shivered, NO COMMA and paced around the outside of the landing's circle, staring into the various shades of white that served as a landscape around the outpost. I'D CHANGE THIS STARING PART. I KNOW IT'S SNOWY AND COLD OUT.

    Then Will noticed that something conspicuously less than white was moving near the edge of his vision. He took out his pair of binoculars, suspecting it was just a wyant lost from its herd. THIS COULD BE BETTER. HERE'S A CHANCE TO CREATE TENSION. SOMETHING MOVED.

    I hope this helps. It just needs to be tighter, I think.
    Thank you for this, although initially I read the CAPS as yelling and was laughing at the first comment I think you've caught the thing that was making me uncomfortable about the excerpt, which is the pacing and "looseness" that seems a little meandering. Are you thinking that just focusing on the action part right away would help? My goal was to try and give some personality to the characters before getting there, but if that's too much for a prologue it makes sense.

    @alice: Another helpful comment. Do you have any suggestions for how to "introduce" the world as a fantasy/sci fi setting? My favorite series of all time (His Dark Materials) made me fall in love with the idea of just throwing readers into the environment and learning about the world through the characters. Nothing is really explained there and it lends a feeling of "discovery" to the entire work. Not a good idea in this case?

    It wasn't my intention to spark a debate about the validity of prologues though I think I'll keep it until the work is finished and see whether it is important enough to keep around or not. Thanks for all the input!

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