Personally I like a prologue as it jumps starts me into the story, but I gather the general feeling is no. The reason I raise this is because for my submissions (yes, I did do as I said I would and subbed) I ditched mine. Why you ask? Was it badly written? No, in fact it contained some of the tightest prose in the novel. Was it needed? Now there is the question. What was contained in the two pages of the prologue is central to the main conflict for the heroine so it is definately needed. But is it needed on page one? I thought long and hard about this. I thought about the comments by from the crits. What type of story was I writing? What type of market am I aiming for? My MWS reader asked me to put myself along side another writer in my chosen genre to help an agent place me. She gave me a few suggestions, but I hadn't read most of them or not in many years anyway. Needless to said their books are now on my tbr. I don't yet know where to place myself as my writing is changing and evolving. This is a problem, I know.
So where am I going with this? Well, while in Cape Town I thought about ACH. I thought about where it had come from and how on this last rewrite I turned the book around and balanced it out. It became Maddie's story and not Serena's. In order to do this the stakes rose dramatically. The issues became heavier. It was no longer a book of team angst and light romance. It had pain on the type of pain alot of people don't want to look at or talk about. I stopped and thought about where I found this as I am a glass half full person. Life is good even when it stinks because that's life. Yet the words of one of my first readers spoke to me - 'I was disappointed because I wanted to see you deal with more because it's in you.' (This was about August Rock) So I did with ACH. ACH is a book about letting love and forgiveness back in your life when you can't forgive yourself. It's about hating what you've done so much that you shut down part of what you are. It's about faith and it's about redemption. So I had a choice. Do I do another rewrite and make it lighter? Just focus on the relationship between the two women with a romance thrown in or do I let the book stand as I want it? Do I want to get published or let this sit in the drawer?
I want to find a publisher, but in my heart I knew that ACH must stay pretty much as it stands which more than likely means in these depressed times it will be rejected again and again, but you know what that's okay. Odd to say that, but ACH's message is important and one day it will find a way out.
Having said the above ACH won't get any where if I don't send it out. Which I confess I had thought of doing. I debated leaving it for another year to see if my writing or the world had changed. But then I thought no. I really like the book and my characters and lets put them to the test. So they are out in the big bad world as I write and in someways it is a freeing experience.
Now back to the prologue - so when looking at the script I realized that the prologue was there for me. It was there to keep me focused on what caused all the things that subsequently happened in the novel. I needed the reminder right in my face so that I couldn't back off from the issues, but the reader doesn't. So the two pages of prolugue will now appear 3/4's of the way through the book and I think it will be much stronger for the reader there. I hope it will be the point where the reader think okay, I see where she's coming from now.
I am also hoping that by pulling the prologue out I won't be confronting my reader on the first page. I want them drawn into the world of these to women. To laugh with them and to cry as them stumble and fall along their way to a happy ending because, of course, with me writing there will always be a happy ending - I just may have dragged the reader through hell to get there though.
Where do you stand on prologues? Have you written them? Have you kept them? The ones you've read did they add or detract from the story?