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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Prologue Smoke From An Ancient Fire

   
Author Topic: Prologue Smoke From An Ancient Fire
andersonmcdonald
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Ok, here's something new - the dreaded prologue. I'm hoping this will help establish a few things up front, things that play a major part in my story. I just felt it all started too abruptly. (OSC says consider cutting off your fingers before writing a prologue, but...)

Lothian Asmiri hurried up the stairs to his chambers, trembling fingers reaching out to touch the stones of the narrow corridor. His head felt ready to burst - and so it was. If he didn’t reach the safety of his room in time there was going to be quite a mess for the servants to clean up.
Damn headaches, he cursed through clenched teeth. Stumbling like a drunken savage, swaying and mewling and almost pissing himself for the pain swelling in his brain. It was always the same. Messages from God hurt like hell, and if intensity had anything to do with urgency, this must be a very urgent message indeed. He hurled himself into his room, just managing to close and lock the door before falling to his knees. “Alright,” he scowled, pressing his hands into his temples. “I’m ready.”


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andersonmcdonald
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Oh yeah, so as not to offend anyone, this ain't God.
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MrsBrown
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oooh, I'm hooked! Cool opening. (Not sure why it can't just be a short chapter one.)

My only nit: pressed his hands to his temples, not into them. That stopped me cold.


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andersonmcdonald
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Thanks Mrs. Brown! And yes "to" works much better than "into". Dumb mistake.
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Teraen
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Good job. This is a great intro. You've managed to do all the main jobs. You've hooked me, given me setting, characterization, and a mystery to boot. Not a single nit for me.
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andersonmcdonald
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Sorry so late... Thanks Teraen!
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LDWriter2
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quote:

Lothian Asmiri hurried up the stairs to his chambers, trembling fingers reaching out to touch the stones of the narrow corridor. His head felt ready to burst - and so it was. If he didn’t reach the safety of his room in time there was going to be quite a mess for the servants to clean up.
Damn headaches, he cursed through clenched teeth. Stumbling like a drunken savage, swaying and mewling and almost pissing himself for the pain swelling in his brain. It was always the same. Messages from God hurt like hell, and if intensity had anything to do with urgency, this must be a very urgent message indeed. He hurled himself into his room, just managing to close and lock the door before falling to his knees. “Alright,” he scowled, pressing his hands into his temples. “I’m ready.”

I read this a while back but it wasn't until later that realized I never commented on it. Then I got busy and still haven't done it. This is way later but since I read it I want to say something. Only problem there isn't much I can say.

Not too bad at all. Very readable. But one little thing is the sentence that starts with "Stumbling like a drunken savage". It has two ands in it. I think it sounds better with only one. You do seem to like long sentences. I think it wouldn't hurt to cut down or break up the first couple of long sentences.

That's it.


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MAP
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quote:
You've hooked me, given me setting, characterization, and a mystery to boot. Not a single nit for me.

Agreed. Nicely done. Does it have to be a prologue?


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andersonmcdonald
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Thanks guys! LD Writer, I probably do like long sentences too much. Just my style, I guess. What I do is read what I've written out loud, and in this case I liked the way it sort of rambled. Just felt natural to me. But hey it's a rough draft. I'll probably make some more changes later.

Map, no it doesn't have to be a prologue. Prologues just seem the best way to foreshadow events. The chapter that follows this was originally the prologue, where I tried to set the stage for chapter one. This new prologue came about because I felt I didn't give enough info at the beginning of the novel. I wanted to let the reader know right up front what some of the stakes were, without giving too much away of course. I personally have never had a problem with prologues if they were relevant and well-done. (Not to say this is particularly well-done, I might humbly add) Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out how I should structure the beginning. I just hope I can pull it off.

[This message has been edited by andersonmcdonald (edited October 11, 2010).]


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LDWriter2
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quote:

Thanks guys! LD Writer, I probably do like long sentences too much. Just my style, I guess. What I do is read what I've written out loud, and in this case I liked the way it sort of rambled. Just felt natural to me. But hey it's a rough draft. I'll probably make some more changes later.


You're welcome.

I have been told by two pro writers that you should avoid a lot of compound sentences, especially in action scenes. It's become like a pet peeve now. I seem to be the only one who notices here and on another writers site I critique on. (shoulder shrug) I have also noticed that most First sentences are short. And that some of the better non-pro writers I critique usually use shorter sentences or medium ones. So I will keep mentioning them.



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andersonmcdonald
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No problem at all LD Writer. I didn't say I was right about long sentences. I'm sure there's a lot more I'm wrong about. I'm about as amateur as they come.
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