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Novelty forum • View topic - How to make a decent prologue?

How to make a decent prologue?

Discuss story ideas and the art of writing.

How to make a decent prologue?

Postby kenxisonline » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:56 am

I've noticed that all people had chosen to start all their novels with, somewhat romantic sayings, so i wondered if i should be doing it too... But the only problem is that i don't know what to write about. Me and my buddies are currently making a love VN ('Sorrowed Smiles', remember that name, i'll post it once we're finished :mrgreen: ) and me as the leader (and a writer)keeps on skipping to discuss about the prologue recently... :cry:

Here's what the other writer in my team suggested:

I have a story for you...
A love story...
This isn't a mere, everyday love story...
This is a story, of pure love...
This story smiles of a boy, whom meets a girl, and the boy falls in love...
But little did he know, it was unrequited love, cursing him cruelly into a sorrowed state of mind...
As the boy struggle helplessly for his true love, he finds himself surrounded by his dearest friends....
and of course, what good is a story without his worst enemies...
The boy's sorrowed smile lingers everlastingly for the girl of his dreams...
But, I suppose, love only waits for one thing...
The right moment...

I told him that using the words that's used in the title (sorrowed) would kinda sound, weird, so it's up to me to try and fix this, but i'm totally blank... Could anyone give some tips to this rookie writer? :cry:

Thnx in advance! :D

(Also, unrelated to the plead of help above, does anyone know any good place i can find free legit BGMs and BG :?: )
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Re: How to make a decent prologue?

Postby Crusher » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:28 pm

I'm not a pro at this, but my thoughts:

In general, the first part of a novel is the key moment. Whether a reader finishes it or not is often decided in the first seconds. Most of the time you will see either a part near the ending, words that can only be said after everything has ended (such as someone already dying, reminiscing about what happened) or a strong moment that marks a dramatic change in the protagonist's life.
The most important thing is not to start with the beginning without knowing what you are doing. Start with a concept, make sure you know where your story is leading to. Sometimes it's even the best decision to write the prologue last.

As for the suggestion:
The first words are far too typical in my opinion. Pure love, blahblah. That's nothing unique, nothing special. It could get better if you questioned this things right from the start, saying everybody keeps talking about pure love, but in the end it doesn't seem to exist. So the reader starts to think "What could have made him so bitter?". However, that's just a quick thing that came into my mind because of the "sorrowed-line" and I don't know what your story is about.
It may help to watch a few different anime intros to see how they are doing it, I always liked that for inspiration. Most of the time you will see what I was talking about and in some animes those are even the best scenes from the whole series. Example: Wolf's Rain. "They say there's no such place as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, there's nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it's always the same road. It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that... Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls to me. It says, "Search for Paradise." " Simply beautiful, and although you know absolutely nothing about the story you instantly want to know it. Chaos;Head comes into my mind as well where the technique of a near-the-end-scene is used. Don't know how it was in the novel though :D.

But as I already said, the beginning is something very unique for each story, so I wouldn't dare to make a specific one. Always keep in mind: What do I want to tell the reader with my story? What mood is the most dominant and important that I want to show?

You also shouldn't use so many dots. I tend to do that as well because I think it makes everything slower and more sad, but in the end it's something that shouldn't be used so frequently. Try to avoid it and read the text without the dots - in that way you can also see which sentences aren't that good as well.

What I don't like about that idea is that it is like trying to tell the reader what happens in the story. It's like making advertisement for it, saying "He will be rejected, but there will be a surprise!". I don't want to be told what happens, I want to get into the mind of a character, be left with questions unanswered, something like that.

Sorry if the answer is a little bit messy, I just typed what came into my mind :D.

Oh, and as for the word sorrowed: I wouldn't put too much attention to it. Don't try to force it into the text, but don't try to avoid it either.
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Re: How to make a decent prologue?

Postby Avaible » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:20 pm

I agree with Crusher on the overuse of the three dots and that you're giving us too much of the storyline in advance.
'...' can help you set the mood but shouldn't be used often right after each following sentence. Basically, the narrative you've posted would have to be shorter to make this work. Good idea, though, since the reader doesn't need to know what happens, so it would be best left unsaid. It's okay to take some event far into the story and put it at the beginning, but only if that event only makes sense in context so that you don't spoil the story for the reader.
Summarizing the story is not so good an idea.
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Re: How to make a decent prologue?

Postby kenxisonline » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:48 pm

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Re: How to make a decent prologue?

Postby Crusher » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:57 pm

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Re: How to make a decent prologue?

Postby kenxisonline » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:11 pm

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Re: How to make a decent prologue?

Postby EriksBlue » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:50 am

I think the prologue is what sets the tone for the rest of your story also there should be forshadowing in the prologue.
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Re: How to make a decent prologue?

Postby Crusher » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:04 am

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Re: How to make a decent prologue?

Postby gateside0 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:14 pm

I'm going to have to agree with Crusher as well. Although I'm no expert either, it seems very typical and rather bland. I also agree with Availble, as I do use '...' often, but at areas where they would add the most emotion. I often get stuck in these situations as well, but here are a few ways I like to start off sometimes.

1. With a question. Often a big question that is often brought up again and again in the story.

2. Start at the end, to suck in a little interest, and then start the prologue for more info.

3. Start in the very middle, maybe before the climax.

Just a suggestion. I hope it helps. =/
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