View Full Version : Prologue troubles

June 25th, 2008, 2:51 PM
Well you see, I wrote the first chapter and in the middle, i found a part that a i thought would make a nice prologue. So if I put the prologue, and then start chapter one saying earlier that day... When i get to the part in the chapter that overlaps the prologue do i put the prologue in again? make a smaller version of the prologue to put in? or just put little stars saying prologue goes here?

If u understood me please help XD

June 25th, 2008, 2:54 PM
I'd tell the prologue from a different point of view. For instance: say a city blows up. You could have the prologue be from the crowd's perspective, and have the reader be as mystified as the screaming citizens as to what's happening.

Then, when you get to that part in the actual chapter, you could show why the city blew up from the point of view of the characters immediately involved. Think "Vantage Point," if you've ever seen it.

JX Valentine
June 25th, 2008, 3:39 PM
I agree with txteclipse, but to add/clarify, this doesn't necessarily mean literally tell the prologue in a different point of view from the rest of the story. For example, it's not necessary to have one character tell the prologue and the rest of the story be in third person. In fact, doing this would probably be a bad idea because the rift in points of view would probably be too jarring for the reader.

Instead, limit the details of your prologue so that you're only revealing what one character might notice, but you're still telling the prologue in the same point of view as the rest of the story. For example, if you're telling it in third person (where no character is telling the story -- rather, the story's told with the use of he, she, and it, rather than I or we), try limiting what the audience is seeing by only letting them see what your main character (for example) sees. So, if your main character might see the lights suddenly go out and hear a scream, you might just tell the audience from using third-person POV that the lights went out and someone screamed. Meanwhile, in that part of the story, you might shift things so that your audience can see another character stab someone else in the dark, so the mystery that's brought up in the prologue is finally revealed.

That's all a prologue really is about: mystery. It sets up for the main story by presenting the readers with a set of questions. If you can tailor your prologue into a piece that can ask questions that are answered by the main story, then you should be able to pull a scene from the main story out without a problem and answer the questions the prologue brought up by retelling the same scene with a different spin on things.

Alternatively, if you can't figure it out, then don't write a prologue. Remember that not every story needs a prologue, so if you don't think you can rewrite that scene, then don't. It's probably better if you put that scene back into the first chapter as it is, rather than attempt to turn it or a version of it into a prologue and accompanying scene in its corresponding chapter, if that makes sense.

June 25th, 2008, 4:02 PM
I see, well in the prologue i centralised around the main character, so I guess in the story i can tell it from the point of view of his friend...

JX Valentine
June 25th, 2008, 4:23 PM
Or even the objective narrator, the third-person, often all-knowing being that tells the story. That way, you're going from a limited perspective to a complete one, like lifting a veil to reveal an entire picture.