View Full Version : Prologue

August 17th, 2014, 08:37 PM
I actually wasn't going to post this; I feel a bit uncomfortable sharing something I plan to publish one day. However, the prologue I have here is very raw and will have major revisions done. Maybe not the action or gore you probably wanted, but the prologue, something I have a huge trouble with writing. Any critique or comments are welcomed. I promise I won't cringe.

The last day of summer it rained for six hours straight.
This was not particularly unexpected for Blackrock; often to not, you were more likely to see clouds than sun. The constant shower storms were infamous for making me drowsy, but that day, an overwhelming uneasiness prevented my catnap from ever taking effect. I couldn’t quite put a finger on the sudden anxiety, but I assumed the ever-approaching school year had caused it.
Of course, there was no real reason for me to fret over senior year. I already knew I was doomed to another miserable nine months consisting of observation and not conversation. For as long as I could remember I had always been a quiet kid; my best talent was listening. I knew everybody at school, but nobody knew me. While they were waisting their breath on idle chat, I sat in the back of the room, taking in the noise and breathing it out.
You could say I’m a very dull person. Five years in Blackjack, Maine, has that effect on you. I pride myself on reading books and contemplating the purpose of life, while most girls my age simply live for the existence of makeup and boys to ogle. I don’t discredit them, I just envy them. I cannot understand why such things fail to interest me.
My home-life is no better. My father died when I was only three, and my mother…well, my mother is never around. She has spent most of her life working two jobs to support us. At first, this struck me heroic—but with time, I realized her constant work schedule meant little mother-daughter time. I practically raised myself. Sometimes I wonder if she really loves me. Am I worth the effort? Or am I just an painful reminder of my father? “You look just like him,” she says at the most inappropriate times, “the same chocolate hair, and those hazel eyes, the little crinkles when you smile. You are your father, Lilith.” She always smiles afterwards, but I can sense her sadness.
Now, I suppose many good stories start off this way: an ordinary girl with an even more ordinary life, watching the rain drizzle outside her window with an old copy of Moby Dick clutched in her hands, uneasy but equally unaware everything's about to change.
The jaded words of my third grade Us History teacher are all that come to mind when I express the beginning: ‘nothing in life is permanent.’
How right she was.

August 17th, 2014, 08:47 PM
If it makes you feel better Pudding we're not all into blood and gore. I personally am trying to write fairly realistic fiction myself. Anyway don't be afraid to put some of your work out there. Most of the people here I notice are very constructive with their critiques.

August 27th, 2014, 05:13 AM
Well since you wrote this it automatically is copyrighted to you. So don't worry, plus hopefully no one would do that here. I like the beginning sentence. It sets up a dreary scene right off the bat, which is great. So I feel like there's too much character building in this scene. I know. That sounds odd but don't drop it all on us in one part like an info dump, spread it around the first chapter so information about him isn't being instantly shoved down my throat. I want to get to know this character but at a good pace. This sounds kinda interesting, no idea where this is going but there isn't much of a hook. After reading the first sentence I was psyched honestly, I figured the next sentence would start building me up to something and it did, for sec, and then the story is bogged down with story life. Try and smoothly put the information in, like incorporate it into an action the character is doing. That way I feel like I'm there instead of listening to some narrator, which I am, but try and make me feel more invested in the story by showing the character doing human actions. All in all, I like this but it can certainly be polished. Hope this helps and it doesn't offend, all of my suggestions are just that and are meant to be helpful.

August 29th, 2014, 02:44 AM
I really like the beginning, it really sets the scene and the gloom is very much there. The ending made me want to read on and find out what was going to happen. The line; "‘nothing in life is permanent.’ How right she was. ", really hits the mark. However, I have to agree with Luna, that the character progression and back story should be woven a bit more seamlessly, at a slower pace. I would probably stick to one area of the characters history, as throughout the prologue, you go through school life, family life. interests and relationships (or lack thereof). The rest could be revealed, maybe, through future chapters, or extend the prologue and pace it all out between the character performing some action.

Keep up the good work!

- Miles

August 29th, 2014, 06:55 AM
So first off I will agree with everything that has been said so far. You plunge to far into character development. This is a prologue and the only part of it that feels that way is the last sentence or two. A prologue should feel separate from the story. The way you present this piece I envision this as the moment when you start telling us your story. You intentionally break the fourth wall here, pretty much talking to the audience and foreshadowing the future changes to come. That is what most of this prologue should be. You can start out setting the scene a bit, but when you do give it the same voice you give the last few sentences make it feel like you are talking to the audience when you set the scene. I would almost suggest starting off the with a direct address of the audience from your character.

as for more specific suggestions. I believe the expression is "often as not" instead of "often to not". I feel like that sentence is a bit awkward. cat naps don't seem like something that would "take effect" so much as just happen.

Other than that I feel like you have a good grasp of what your writing. Lighten up on the character background stuff and bring us some more bait to hook us on the story and really give it a prologue feeling, and I think you'll have it.

August 31st, 2014, 09:49 AM
I rather like it, but as said before by others, there's too much character building in one paragraph. In this case you should refer to the old mantra, "show don't tell", and have some action with the character building tied into it. The action itself doesn't need to be very "actiony", but maybe just references to the main character reading his book and looking outside and such. Which brings up another point; the book needs to have a setup. To me, from the start, there was a character who was looking through a window, and then in the last couple of lines he/she suddenly has a copy of Moby Dick in his/her hands. I don't know if it's just a personal problem, but it jumped out at me a little.

For the more minor stuff; "Often or not" I don't really understand what that's supposed to mean

"The constant shower storms were infamous for making me drowsy" I think the word infamous is a little too strong of a word to use in this situation. To me, infamous sounds like the whole town knows that shower storms make the character drowsy, which is probably not what you're trying to say.

At the start you mention the name of the town as "Blackrock", and later you say it's "Blackjack".

At the second last line, you should probably write it US history or American history instead of Us History

Well, that's my two cents, hope you can finish your story!