WIP · Writing

Read my prologue

Hi fellow readers and writers!

Today, I thought I would share some of my writing with you. (I’m genuinely having palpitations right now.)

As I’m almost finished with my first draft-seriously, THE END is so close I can hardly breathe-I thought it would be fun to let you read my prologue.

I know, I know, prologues are a controversial topic. I’ve even read that some agents and publishers won’t even read a submission if it includes a prologue (I’m hoping this is just an exaggeration, if only because they would miss out on so many amazing novels.)

Some of the most famous and popular books by some of the world’s best authors have prologues. Several of the Harry Potter books have prologues, and if it’s good enough for JK it’s good enough for me.

From what I’ve read, there seem to be a few accepted rules for prologues, for example where there is a large time gap between the prologue and chapter one, and the information from the past is important to the story.

That’s the kind of prologue I have written for The Fair Queen.

OK. Let’s bite the bullet. Here’s my prologue (if you want to check out a brief synopsis for my novel first then here you go):

 


 

PROLOGUE

 

The harsh, fluorescent lights blinked audibly overhead as he slipped unseen into the hospital room. Row upon row of cots stood before him, occupied by pink mewling creatures, the air thick with the heady scent of new life.

The tightly wrapped bundle in his arms squirmed, and a face peered up at him from deep within the folds. He looked down at the child, his heart breaking inside his chest.

This was the only way.

The only way to keep his new born daughter safe. The only way to protect his people and ensure the future of his kingdom.

Footsteps in the corridor brought him out of his reverie and he tore his eyes away from the face of his child, scanning the cots until his eyes fell on a bundle wrapped in a pink blanket.

Holding his precious cargo in the crook of one arm, he lifted the small human out of the cot with his other hand. He carefully removed the hospital-issue cellular blanket, wrapping it lovingly around his own daughter before placing her in the empty cot.

He bowed to bestow one last kiss on her forehead, and watched as the shimmering lights in her bronze eyes faded, leaving them an unremarkable shade of brown.

“Be safe,” he whispered, “I’ll be watching over you, my child.”

Another sound in the corridor made himΒ take a step back, thrusting the spare human child inside his cloak and stepping behind the door just as it opened and a plump woman in nurse’s scrubs bustled in. She cooed as she picked up the King’s daughter from the cot, chattering about feeding time.

With one last look over his shoulder, the King slipped soundlessly from the room.

 


 

What did you think? Leave me your thoughts and suggestions in the comments, I’d love to hear what you liked and disliked.

Do you love or hate prologues in books? Are you one of those readers who (heaven forbid) skips the prologue? Let me know!

 

Lyndsey

x

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Read my prologue

  1. Thanks for sharing this! It’s so brave and fantastic to share your work with others. It’s always a bit scary. I loved your first sentence. I especially appreciated the description “occupied by pink mewling creatures.” I was left feeling intrigued, and I am very interested in discovering why there is a person like a King here in an ordinary word. I’m also curious to learn more about this child’s changing eyes. I would like some more clarity in the paragraphs where you described the King placing the baby in the cradle. I wasn’t 100% sure if he switched babies, or if he was only cradling his own or another person’s baby, so I think it would be helpful to look at that section again. Overall, though I am curious to learn more and looking forward to reading more!

    PS: I don’t mind prologues. :o)

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    1. Thanks so much for your comments! I felt like that section was a bit clunky myself, I think sometimes you just need someone else to say it as well before you know it’s definitely not working. I’ll try to smooth it out in my second draft (hopefully very soon!). I’m glad you enjoyed it and feel like you want to know more, I think it’s important for prologues to really hook readers so I’m glad it’s doing a good job of that so far πŸ™‚ I’ll share some more snippets soon! Lyndsey x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh…intriguing! You really painted the scene quite well! ^_^ And I’m definitely interested now in finding out what’s going on and what’s about to happen! Namely, what’s with the changing eye color, and what’s happening to their people? 😱

    Also, I’m perfectly ok with prologues if the story calls for one (R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books had some good ones). And if there’s a prologue, I’m reading it! I have this curiosity about the events that led up to what happens in the story being told, so of course I would read a prologue (what kind of monster would skip it? ;P).

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    1. Thank you so much Lizanne! I completely agree about prologues, if I love the author I would read anything they wrote, why would I deliberately skip something that could be important to the story?? My prologue isn’t essential reading but it definitely foreshadows things that happen later on so it’s a fun extra bit that gives readers an early peek into the story and an insight into a very mysterious character πŸ™‚ Lyndsey x

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  3. Hey Lindsey,
    You set a beautiful scene and have piqued my interest. I am a fan of prologues actually and write with them as well. This does seem a bit short, If there is ample reason to need this pre-story scene then I think you need to flesh it out a bit. Lastly, your own comment about it seeming choppy is, I believe, owing to your short one and two sentence paragraphs; too much stopping and going for the reader, make it flow . . . hope this helps. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Russ, thank you so much for your feedback, that’s really helpful! I’m going to give it a good rewriting when I start draft two very soon so I’ll flesh it out a bit now I know what happens later on in the story πŸ™‚ I’ll share version two when it’s ready and hopefully get some more comments because these have been so useful! Lyndsey x

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  4. Hi Lyndsey! Great to meet you earlier today, hope to see you again at Fosseway Writers in a few weeks.
    OK, so I’ll give my thoughts on your prologue. πŸ™‚
    1) I wouldn’t worry too much about whether it’s formally called a Prologue or not. If publishers don’t like them, simply call it Chapter One. I don’t mind them at all & lots of great authors have used them.
    2) Ah, it’s a baby-switching plot. A royal baby, argh! (I have republican tendencies, forgive me). This is the bit I am not so keen on because they have been done to death. But what makes this version intriguing is the potential split dimensions/worlds element. The King seems relatively normal but 2 things pop out to make you wonder what’s going on: the baby’s eye colour thing and the reference to ‘human’ child. So. Hmm. For me, this needs more focus on the King. If he’s not human I need some more indication of who he is and where he’s from (not detail, just hints). Is there something magical? I hope so, because what would work best is really making the most of his appearance into the ward (besides which, hospitals tend to be quite security conscious). Whatever doorway exists between his Kingdom & this reality needs to be the first line of this prologue. He then slips through into a darkened corridor, flicks the switch & you’re into the fluorescent lights line. The same goes for his exit. Make use of the fantasy elements from the absolute beginning to grab our interest into where this story is going to end up. And it will give more texture (and potentially length) to the prologue.
    3) The actual writing seems perfectly fine, so no worries there. The only thing that struck me was, again, related to the King. Towards the end of the prologue we find out he’s wearing a cloak. Bring the whole initial focus of the start of the prologue onto his appearance (both how he gets there and what he looks like, including his anxiety, fear, heartache & determination).
    Hope all that makes sense!
    Cheers
    Nick

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nick, it was lovely to meet you tonight! Thank you so much for reading and giving me some feedback, I’ll definitely work on your suggestions, it does need some thickening out with details. Sorry, yes it is a baby switching plot! Lol, she’s a changeling, but hopefully (fingers crossed) I’ve done it slightly differently… πŸ€” we’ll see I suppose! Hope to see you again at the group!

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