Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The importance of a Prologue.

That's right, I said (wrote) it! The IMPORTANCE of a PROLOGUE.

Yep. That ugly thing that can sometime be found sticking to the front of your MS. Yes, that.

Now, I know that the poor, unfortunate Prologue has been called some ugly names before. Unnecessary, pointless, distracting, a waste of time. And while it sometimes can live up to those names, it's important to keep things in perspective. While a prologue is the wrong way to go most of the time, there certainly are times when a prologue is not only useful, but completely necessary.

"WHAT?" you say.

"You're absolutely out of your mind!"

Well, yes, that's true too... But hear me out!

It's all about beginnings (well duh, that's why it's called a prologue). But really, it is! Look at it this way... How many published authors have had to completely rewrite their beginnings? As in, a totally new, nothing like the original, good wholesome rewrite. A lot, right?

It's a way to get started. If you're anything like me (ok, so maybe you're not. For your sake, lets hope not) then you have a hard time getting started. It's even worse when there are all of these rules and tips you are trying to adhere to when writing. Start with action! No prologues! No info dumping! Etc!!!!

Sometimes you get so wrapped up in trying to be perfect the first time, you fail to remember that most people don't get it perfect the first time. So go ahead. Write a prologue. Set up the story, not for whoever will be reading it once it's published, but for yourself. Let yourself break the rules, because hey, you shouldn't be too attached to your original beginning anyways, right?

Letting myself type out those useless, ugly words was a great help. It let me get started. It gave me somewhere to build my foundation from. It let me get to know the world I was creating, and the characters in it. I know it's not an awesome way to the begin my story, but at least it lets me begin. And several thousand words later, I'm working on a better, stronger beginning, which will cut out the prologue all together.

But I'm still glad I wrote it.

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