Tuesday, April 17, 2012

To Prologue... or Not To Prologue...

That is the question...

What does this stem from you ask? Don't worry, I'll tell ya... I've been working on a story... for a looooooong time. I love the characters, and they won't let go. I wrote out the story, and had Mysti read the first rough, unedited draft. We both agreed it was too short and needed a lot more detail.

Then, as happens a lot, the story changed a bit. A character I thought was a secondary character took exception to that and pushed to the forefront and what started as a rather sweet, if hot M/F morphed into a much hotter M/F/M - M/M/F story. As I rethought and rewrote and reworked I realized that I needed to tell a bit more backstory. I wanted everyone to know HOW these two amazing guys who may have never looked at another man that way were drawn to each other along the way. But to do that, I figured ... I'll do a Prologue!

Then, recently, while in the midst of refining what I started with I read a blog post by a rather well-known editor. She said that she doesn't even read the prologues of submissions, or if she does, she doesn't really count it toward her opinion of the book as they're not usually something she finds relevant... or something to that effect. Basically, she questioned the need for a Prologue at all. And suddenly I was stopped cold in my writing as I angsted... ask Megan, I'm seriously good at the angsting! (No, I don't care if it's a word, angsting is part of my vocabulary, deal with it!)

As a reader, I actually enjoy the Prologues. I like knowing a bit of the "before all this" story. I love knowing that there are characters in this story that have a decided back history and I feel like the voyeur who knows something the characters to come don't. Now, I'm wondering... if it's such a bad thing that an editor doesn't even really read them... why do I like them so much? And will it hinder this story's possible appeal?

All that aside, I like where my Prologue goes, I like how it gives a hint of what's to come, and doesn't give it all away... so I know it's staying. And as Megan would tell me, "Just finish the damned thing so I can read it before you worry so much!" But, I wonder... and that's my question... As a reader or even a writer... what are your feelings on the usefulness of a Prologue?

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