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Prologue to [Untitled Novel In Progress] (1 Viewer)

LexPlays

Senior Member
~I'll make it clear that this is a prologue. Questions will be left unanswered for now, until later on in the story. To let the reader find out more about the character as time goes on, just like we find out more about people as time goes on, we don't find everything out right away. Feel free to give feedback or simply read. It's a work in progress and one I really have a good feeling about. Thank you :love_heart:~



Prologue


‘Every book has a beginning, a climax and an end. Every book also has its high points and its low points.

Life isn’t that much different.


Our beginning, our birth. Our climax, achieving the goals and dreams we’ve had for the longest time. Our end, our death, our last breaths.


The only difference? We’re in control. We control our lives and what we do. We make our own goals and our own dreams. We have the power to not let anyone else create our goals and dreams for us. We have control over our own lives, no one else can control it for you.


No one else
should control it for you.’
Blaire shut her old, tattered notebook with a satisfied hum, her fingertips grazing over the bent and torn corners of the leather cover she had stared at every day for the past year. It was a birthday present for her Sweet 16. Sure, some ‘normal’ girls want a new car, a ton of clothes and a big, extravagant birthday party. She didn’t seem to be one of those girls, she never has been.

She had gone to her father a few weeks before her 16[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday, a list of things she wanted in her hands. It wasn’t a long list. It was rather short for a birthday gift list, actually.

On it, she had organized the gifts in order of price, the ones she really wanted were written in bold pen and underlined. Though only a couple were big, bold and underlined, out of the six things she had put down.

One was more of a hopeful request than a gift. Money into her college fund. At 15, that’s what she always thought about. What college she wanted to go to, what she wanted to major in, how much it would cost and if it was something her father would approve of.

The last gift listed that was written in big, bold letters and underlined, was a journal. Or a diary, however you want to look at it. She wanted to document her year as a sixteen-year-old, so it could be something she can look back on in later years and smile, maybe even laugh. She was sure she would laugh at her teen ramblings in the future.

Blaire ended up getting both. 1,000 dollars into her college fund and a simple, yet beautiful in her eyes, ivory colored leather journal. When she flipped through the pages, she realized that some of the pages had been torn out. She asked her father about it the next day, confused as to why a new, pristine looking journal already had pages torn out.

He admitted, almost sheepishly that he had counted the pages before he wrapped it up and disliked the fact that there were 400 pages. Knowing her intentions for the journal without her having to say anything about it, he ripped out the last 35 pages to make it only 365 pages instead. She was speechless. All these years of thinking her father never truly understood her and he ended up understanding her even more than she even did.

Blaire wrote in her journal every single day starting from the night of her 16[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday to the night of her 17[SUP]th[/SUP]. It was her way of venting without feeling like she was bothering her friends or her father. And she loved it.

That year, she didn’t ask for any gifts for her 17[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday, she didn’t need any.

Ah…but she did ask for one thing, she hoped for one last thing, she wished.

She just wanted her father, her best friend, to live long enough to see her achieve her dreams, being by her side every step of the way.
 

LeeC

WF Veterans
I don't trust my grammatical knowledge, so if anything in that department is wanting, I hope others will speak up. I do however have some sense of storytelling, so I'll offer the following.


I like how the thread begins with what Blaire writes and corrects, then transitions into a narrative, leaving the reader wondering whether desires or regrets are being expressed.


The problem, I feel, is that this isn't (shouldn't be) a prologue, but rather something integral to a chapter.


The prologue has its roots as a frame of reference, in works such as plays, where the setting of the plot, significance of connections, whatever, might otherwise be lost on the audience. As such, and in the same sense, it can be effectively employed in any storytelling where needed. Along the course of literary expression though, it has fallen on extensive misuse, where a succinct preface would suffice, if anything at all.


Just for example (I'm not assuming or suggesting your plot), say a chapter begins at a funeral for her father, and later that evening (or maybe even down the road), this would be nice insight into her feelings.


I hope this is helpful,
Lee C
 

LexPlays

Senior Member
The problem, I feel, is that this isn't (shouldn't be) a prologue, but rather something integral to a chapter.

I mainly put it as a prologue because of a couple things. One, this was one of her most memorable moments, when she was 16. Once it actually starts, she's 22. And two, because it's a little insight of her passion, her past, her family, etc. Like how a movie or TV show can start off with the main character's past. Even if it was just that summer and it's now fall, it's a way to show the character's past and an important plot point without giving it away or having it take up too much time later on. If that makes any sense. It's really just a way to get people intrigued before beginning the first chapter, making them want to read more if they want some of their questions to be answered.

Thank you for your comment :D
 

dmontague

Senior Member
‘Every book has a beginning, a climax and an end. Every book also has its high points and its low points.

Life isn’t that much different.


Our beginning, our birth. Our climax, achieving the goals and dreams we’ve had for the longest time. Our end, our death, our last breaths.


The only difference? We’re in control. We control our lives and what we do. We make our own goals and our own dreams. We have the power to not let anyone else create our goals and dreams for us. We have control over our own lives, no one else can control it for you.


No one else
should control it for you.’
Lamentably, this is somewhat cliched. As a person of letters, you want to avoid cliches as much as possible. That said, however, you can turn this to your advantage. Every good dramatic scene has a gap between expectation and result, between what the reader expects to occur and what actually happens. You can make this beginning work. Make it into a false start. Start with this stuff about life being a story, and then suddenly have Blaire shut the book and say how it's all nonsense. You need to figure out what your readers expect, then give it to them in a form they didn't see coming.
Blaire shut her old, tattered notebook
I would cut "old" and just use "tattered" because it's more descriptive and you always want to shave off as many words as possible. It's up to you, though.
with a satisfied hum, her fingertips grazing over the bent and torn corners of the leather cover she had stared at every day for the past year. It was a birthday present for her Sweet 16.
You could just have written on the book "Happy Sweet 16!" or something like that so you don't have to narrate it. That might work.
She didn’t seem to be one of those girls, she never has been.
When you want to combine two complete sentences (they have both a subject and a verb), you want to use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) or use a semicolon. As Vonnegut says, semicolons are transvestite hermaphrodites that mean nothing, so I would stick to using the comma and conjunction method.
She had gone to her father a few weeks before her 16[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday, a list of things she wanted in her hands. It wasn’t a long list. It was rather short for a birthday gift list, actually.
I would cut "actually" because it diminishes the ending of your sentence. You want sentences to climax with their strongest word/phrase.
On it, she had organized the gifts in order of price, the ones she really wanted were written in bold pen and underlined.
The actual boldness and underlining: don't do that.
One was more of a hopeful request than a gift. Money into her college fund. At 15, that’s what she always thought about. What college she wanted to go to, what she wanted to major in, how much it would cost and if it was something her father would approve of.
Okay, we have a character with a desire. That's good. That's how you start a story. Now we need obstacles in the way of her desire so that we get conflict, which makes a plot.
When she flipped through the pages, she realized that some of the pages had been torn out. She asked her father about it the next day, confused as to why a new, pristine looking journal already had pages torn out.
You're leaving out details so the reader becomes curious and keeps reading. Good. Do that more often.
He admitted, almost sheepishly
Try not to use adverbs. Use more descriptive verbs instead.
That year, she didn’t ask for any gifts for her 17[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday, she didn’t need any.
This is one of those comma splices I mentioned before. You could separate this into two sentences with a period.
Ah…but she did ask for one thing, she hoped for one last thing, she wished.
Repetition is good. This particular kind is called anaphora, which can be a useful technique. You also omitted a conjunction before "she wished," which is another technique called asyndeton.
She just wanted her father, her best friend, to live long enough to see her achieve her dreams, being by her side every step of the way.
You need conflict. Make Blaire suffer, so that the reader feels bad for her and she learns something in the process. Have her father say the family can't afford college, have her lose her journal, make her boyfriend dump her—hell, give Blaire cancer and make her start selling methamphetamine to pay for her hospital bills. Anything that makes your characters suffer, grow, and change will make your story stronger. Read stories, watch films: see how they work. And keep at it. It comes with practice.
 

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