Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Help With a Novel

I am mostly finished with Brothers, my third novel, a sequel to Salamander. My editor is worried that the beginning is too slow. One possible solution to that problem is a prolog, a brief passage at the beginning not part of the main plot. I have written two very different ones and would like to get blog readers, in particular ones who have not been beta readers for the book, to look at one or the other, possibly both, and tell me whether reading that would be a reason to keep reading. 


12 Comments:

At 3:36 PM, August 22, 2018, Blogger Jay Maynard said...

Th first doesn't feel like prologue at all, but perhaps chapter 1 or 2.

The second has me wanting more.

I'd say go with the second.

 
At 8:06 PM, August 22, 2018, Blogger John Dougan said...

?rolog 2 is just a section of Salamander?

 
At 8:37 PM, August 22, 2018, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The second -short, has action, somewhat enigmatic, so you want to get more info.

 
At 2:06 AM, August 23, 2018, Blogger David Friedman said...

The second is an extract from near the end of _Salamander_, relevant to things that come up in _Brothers_.

 
At 5:13 AM, August 23, 2018, Blogger Jonathan said...

I like the first, which contributes some useful background to "Brothers" and feels interesting.

The second will surely seem weird and cryptic to people who haven't read "Salamander" (Who are these people? What's going on? -- questions that "Brothers" isn't designed to answer); and, if they have read "Salamander", they've read it already.

 
At 8:31 AM, August 23, 2018, Blogger Denver said...

I also like the first, but I would question whether or not you even need a prologue. Is there some important information that these prologues would give the reader that you think is important for them to have? If not, then it might be worthwhile just to skip straight into the story.

 
At 1:42 AM, August 24, 2018, Blogger David Friedman said...

Denver:

My editor thinks the beginning of the story is too slow, and I am at risk of losing readers as a result. The idea is to add a prolog that will get the reader's attention.

Whether it's a good idea I am not sure. Also whether either of my prologs works for that purpose.

 
At 3:52 PM, August 24, 2018, Blogger Jonathan said...

Prolog 1 seems to me an interesting beginning to a story, enough to gain the reader's attention; but, as far as I remember, its relevance to the rest of the novel only gradually becomes clear. In particular, the reader who consumes Prolog 1 followed by Chapter 1 may wonder what they have to do with each other.

It's not unusual to find such discontinuities in novels, so this is not necessarily a flaw, but it could disconcert some readers.

Prolog 2 is immediately relevant because it provides background for Chapter 1. However, some readers will have read it already in "Salamander", and those who haven't read "Salamander" may not understand it.

 
At 7:39 PM, August 24, 2018, Blogger blink said...

While I liked the action in the first, the barrage of unfamiliar names and terms disoriented me. It might work for readers familiar with the first book, but was off-putting to me. The less dramatic second did not captivate me to the same degree, but remained enticing. More importantly, it left me with a sense that I could enjoy reading the book.

 
At 8:30 PM, August 25, 2018, Anonymous Wolf said...

Haven't read any of your fiction (yet). The first one got me more interested. Longer, yes, but the world building and questions it spurred in that piece got me more interested in reading further than the second one.

 
At 3:46 PM, August 29, 2018, Blogger Samuel Millerick said...

I like Prolog 1 better. The second seems a bit confusing. The first makes me interested in whats going on.

 
At 7:40 PM, August 29, 2018, Anonymous William H. Stoddard said...

Having read only the two prologs, I found the first prolog thought-provoking, but the second more accessible. But I have to say that a book's having a prolog tends to put me off from reading it, and I may skip over the prolog and start with the actual story. I have no problem with reading about the preparations for Mr. Baggins's eleventy-first birthday while the narrative leads up to the revelation of the secret of his magical ring. . . .

 

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