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Authors helping writers > I need serious help with my introduction

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message 1: by Shay (new)

Shay Fowler | 27 comments Here's my dilemma. I'm writing a series. I figured out that the first story was going to be very long, so I decided to break it into two distinct books. I've finished the first book with several cliff hangers (it came to 388 pages). Now I'm getting into book two.

The beginning of book two is 15 pages and it outlines what happens to the two main characters during the month between the two books. (Hiding in a cabin) It's not heavy in action, but there are a few conversations that will be of vital importance later and it deepens and formalizes the relationship between the two primaries. (This is also where romance meets reality and they settle into 'married life' without all the swooning and with a just a little irritation. I left them in a precarious situation in the first book, but madly in love and optimistic.)

After this intro, we skip forward a month. At this point, I've got three storylines that all happen simultaneously and I bring in all of the other players from the first book. Then we're off and running with the continuation of a murder mystery, efforts to free an imprisoned queen, and our heroine's physical transformation into a monster.

I'm not sure if I should present that first part as a prologue or the first chapter. It's a quick jump through over several weeks. Most of the scenes are relatively short. I'm starting to feel like 6000 words is way too long for a prologue, but it's distinctly different from the other writing.

Should it just be 'chapter one'? Is there a traditional length to the prologue that would make this unwieldy? I pride myself on making things 'flow' and this doesn't flow. It's not my normal fast pace. I've considered eliminating it, but it's too vital for character development and lays the groundwork for too many issues that will be coming later.

Any ideas?

message 2: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Forster (rebeccaforster) | 59 comments I have a seven book series that ends with cliff hangers and each successive book calls for 'reminders' of where we have been, character motivations, etc. I've used a number of different techniques. Prologues are a favorite. Sometimes I weave the information in and out as we go along with the book. I have used diary entries and news reports to give the reader a sense of things happening at different times int eh story. All this to say, I think if your book reads smoothly the technique you use will right. You might have to try one or two different ways before your satisfied. I don't think there is one right answer when it comes to storytelling. (however, I would opt for a prologue shortened if there were only 2 options - chap 1 or prologue).

message 3: by Shay (new)

Shay Fowler | 27 comments Thank you, Rebecca!

I finally quit obsessing about it and just started writing. Two people who've read the first book have read my first 100 pages of book two and said that there's no problem with the flow, so I guess I got it right. (While reading it off my computer, one woman actually let out a short scream and bounced when she caught up with our two protagonists, so I guess that went well.)

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