Out for the Weekend, and Thoughts on Reviews

So, first of all, I’m going to be out of town all weekend. I’m attending a wedding, actually. Not my own. But nonetheless, a wedding that I’ve been looking forward to attending for over a year. It’s going to be great!

Naturally, though, this means I won’t be reacting to anything here for a few days. So if you should perchance to make a comment and find it still awaiting moderation hours later, I apologize. You’ll likely be waiting until I return. Same for attempting to contact me. As soon as I get back, I’ll catch up on everything.

For now though, I’ve got a wedding to look forward to, so I’ll see you all once more when I return!

Now, that said, I had a thought late last night that I wanted to post, so I am going to get this out there before I leave.

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No Being a Better Writer Post Notice

The title is pretty much explanatory, but here’s the gist of it. There will not be a new Being a Better Writer post this week or next week. This week because I’m finishing up Beyond the Borderlands before spending the weekend attending a friends wedding, and next week because I’ll be coming back from said friend’s wedding. The “From the Archives” post will still go up on Friday, however, since I can schedule that in advance (and it’s a rerelease).

Anyway, just giving you all a heads up. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I only have a few chapters left to write on Beyond the Borderlands, and I’m going to get at least one and half of them done today.

Being a Better Writer: The Prologue

This post was originally written and posted January 19th, 2014, and has been touched up and reposted here for archival purposes.

Today we’re tackling one of the most misunderstood (at least in some circles) literary tools in the writer’s arsenal: the prologue.

The question of “what is a prologue?” seems to come up quite a bit in various group forums online, and unfortunately I can tell you that pretty much most things that have been posted in response to those threads have almost always been wrong. For instance, a prologue is not a substitute for the first chapter of a work. You do not title your first chapter “The Prologue” and then “start” with chapter 2. This is not what a prologue is. Nor is it the chapter in which you need to introduce your main character. Nor the chapter where you reveal your plot hook (separate from a narrative hook, a subject for another blog post).

No, a prologue isn’t any of those things. A prologue is actually an introduction, one designed to introduce your reader to a large world and help set the scope of what’s to come. For example, the scrolling text at the beginning of each of the Star Wars films is a quick-and-dirty example of a prologue. Each one catches the viewer up on relevant background information and little bits about the universe that the viewer wouldn’t have known otherwise, before sending them on their way.

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