Prologues – Do or Die?
Yes, I know. I’m still supposed to be taking a bloggiesta. The WIP isn’t done.
BUT, as a writer, I’m treading water trying to decide what to do about a certain plot hiccup. Then, I decided, it wasn’t a hiccup at all.
I always want to slip in a prologue. They’re fun to write! They give us backstory that is needed (so we think) for character development. I’ve been lovingly massaging a prologue on my WIP for what feels like ages. Then, I had a moment of inspiration at 2 AM night before last.
Prologues are a no no. Agents tell us not to write them. Publishers say they’re unnecessary. But, my favorite authors all write prologues. Nora Roberts. Clive Cussler. Prologues! Something of key element to the story, the plot progression, a clue for the climax!
Ah. That’s what I was missing. Plot progression.
My prologue was simply character development. An explanation of WHY my heroine, a maritime archaeologist, was tentative about getting back in the water. But was it essential? Could I show those same elements elsewhere in the story, and not waste a whole 7 pages building up to that?
Instead, now I’m focusing on an event in history (which I’m creative licensing for my own purposes) – and writing a 3 page, exciting historical opening to my contemporary action/romance. I’m not sure if it will stick around, but it’s key to the climax and right now, it’s serving a purpose for me.
Back to writing my 1 k a day on Sapphire Tears – where Maritime Archaeologist is following a historical mystery before time runs out! And now, readers will be privvy to at least a little part of that mystery in the prolouge.
Should it stay? Should I reveal it through conversation/discussion later in the story? We’ll see. But for now, at least, I can stop treading water, and get back to swimming.