Saturday, February 26, 2011
To Prologue or not to Prologue
I have a three page prologue at the beginning of my current manuscript which covers approximately twenty years of family history for the lead character. It gives a bit of a world setting and sets up for some of the conflict to come.
Some beta readers love it, others hate it, so I have decided it should not stand as it is. I think the problem many readers have is that I kept it intentionally short because I didn't want to put readers off with an expansive prologue. Now I am finding that nearly all the spots in my manuscript where I breeze over things because I think the audience won't be interested in the finer details are the biggest stumbling blocks. When I go back and flesh them out into fully realized scenes the readers enjoy them much more. In my attempt to shorten things, to keep from boring my readers I have created parts that bore the readers...
So, back to the prologue. I need to figure out if it's having the same problem, perhaps instead of three pages it should be ten, or twelve. The only way to find out is to write it. Then I'll cross my fingers and hope people like it so I don't have to cut it entirely.
Anyhow, that's where I am. I hate this stage of writing, it's all second guessing myself, hoping that the changes I make are for the better. It's frustrating, because I feel sometimes like I am making less improvement to the manuscript each day that passes, but occasionally I will have a big breakthrough, or a beta reader will point to a problem I hadn't noticed before. Then I'm thankful I'm taking my time and going through it all thoroughly.