Uhh-uh, by the way, speaking of Blackout, we have the prologue ready~ Thanks to two of my friends, we’re also at the second chapter right now, but it will need to be translated before that. 

I’ll post the prologue here atm, since I want to change some things on the project blog.

——————————————————————-

Summer 2027l

 Tokyo, Japan.

  Eos HQ

      Ayame sighed, shifting through the papers on her desk. Everything seemed to be in order - the last thing she wanted would be to find out she lost or forgot something in her haste. She’d never visited the Director’s office before, nor had she visited that floor in her time working at Eos, so she had no idea what to expect. But she’d been summoned to meet with the Director, and she didn’t want to be late over something so simple as nerves or the lack of care caused by such a state, and eventually forced herself to stand and leave - refusing to glance back lest she become caught up in double, triple, and quadruple checking her work again - shutting the door behind her as she exited. 

     After what seemed like an eternity, Ayame stood before a large, automatic door at the end of a long, brightly lit corridor. Eyeing the intercom, she shifted her weight from foot to foot and checked herself over. Had she really prepared herself for this? How could she be sure she hadn’t forgotten anything? What if she entered the office, only to find that she’d brought the wrong documents? What if the Director suddenly decided he was too busy for her? What if -

      She shook her head and chased the thoughts away, at least for the moment. Focus, Ayame! There was no time left to fuss over details. She had to be confident and trust that she’d done everything necessary before hand, and if not, well…She’d accept the consequences as any good worker would. Finally summoning up the courage, Ayame poked one of buttons on the intercom, which emitted a rather unpleasant noise and sent a shiver down her spine.

     After a couple seconds, a man’s voice crackled out from within the black dynamic:

      “Miss Saito? Come on in, I was waiting for you!”

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Feels Like Every Other Morning Before | Hong-Joo Jin | Open

Hong-Joo Jin, figurative prince and beloved idol, was not a pushover. He was not one to be told what to do, not one to follow orders. He was a leader- and a SHSL one, at that, and he was not easily controlled.

So he figured, waking up in an unfamiliar place, that he’d fallen asleep after a concert and was placed into a hotel. He felt around for his phone, about to call one of the other members of his group, when he realized it was no longer there.

Had someone mugged him?

He figured it was a maid, so he opened the door, ready to storm out to the front desk and beg for his things back, when…

Why were all these teenagers here?

Hong-Joo peered nervously at them, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. This was not a familiar situation.

So he continued walking, looking at the others. They were all confused and upset… Well, that just wouldn’t do. He was an idol, for God’s sake.

His entire job was making people happy.

So, the pink-haired idol flashed a brilliant smile, approaching the nearest person with a toss of his hair.

“Hello~! Why so sad, darling? Did something happen?” He purred, trying to ignore the tremble in his hands.

After all. He was Prince Jin, and he was made for this.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter may or may not have seen this last week:

The more I do this interning stuff, the more I see why agents advise against prologues. 9/10 times you really don’t need it. #pubtip
— Ava Jae (@Ava_Jae) April 29, 2014

Ah, the joy of the prologue debate.

The thing is, I’ve been finding more often than not, people need their prologues much less than they think they do. And it’s understandable—I mean, it’s tough to be able to look at your work objectively and decide what scenes you need and don’t need, and it can be even tougher when you’re talking about the opening of your book.

So without further ado, I thought I’d share seven signs that you may want to consider cutting your prologue.

  1. Your prologue is your main character’s birth. Listen, I know people say to start where you story starts, but we don’t mean literally. I can’t think of a time when I read a prologue recounting the protagonist’s birth that I didn’t think it wasn’t unnecessary. I promise you, we don’t need to know the details of your protagonist’s birth. We really, really don’t.

    Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did this with my first manuscript. And it wasn’t necessary then, either (I just didn’t know it at the time).

  2. Your prologue is all (or mostly) exposition. Nope. Don’t start your book with exposition. Why? Because you’re telling. And if you start your book off with a load of telling, then readers are immediately going to think the rest of your manuscript has tons of telling. Not only that, but exposition tends to be a really slow way to start a book and not an incredibly effective hook.

    I understand that you want to get information across—you should! But there are way more effective ways to get information across than with an expository opening. Consider sprinkling that information throughout your prose, instead—not only will it help you avoid the evils of info-dumping, but it’ll be much more interesting to read.

  3. Your prologue features not your main character. I’m not saying this never works—in fact, I’ve seen it work. However, this can be a very confusing way to open a book.

    Think about it—a reader who opens up your book, knowing little to nothing about it, is going to read the first few pages and think that the character it’s focused on is, indeed, your protagonist. When they finish the prologue and learn that the character is in fact not your protagonist, it can be a little jarring. Very jarring, if we’re being honest.

  4. Your prologue isn’t directly related to your main character. If it isn’t clear how the events that unfold in your prologue affect your main character (and thus the main plot), then your prologue is going to not only be confusing, but most will consider it unnecessary (and so should you).

  5. Your prologue is a false start. I’ve seen prologues that are full of action and mystery and intrigue…and then the first chapter is incredibly slow and has little to do with the prologue. Don’t do this.

    The reason you want to avoid false starts is it doesn’t accomplish what you think it does—sure, it might get people reading through the prologue, but once they reach the first chapter they’ll realize that the prologue was really just a bait-and-switch hook.

    I get that you want to start with an interesting hook, and you should start with an interesting hook. But the answer isn’t through a super exciting and mostly unrelated prologue–the answer is to look at your real opening (that is, your first chapter) and figuring out whether you’re starting in the right place and how to include your hook in that opening scene.

  6. Your prologue features your antagonist doing something super evil. I’m not saying this never works, but it’s so painfully overdone, especially in fantasy novels. For me, they don’t give the dramatic affect they may have when this trope first started—now I just tend to roll my eyes and think thoughts that rhyme with “melodramatic.” And that’s not how you want people reacting to your opening.

    And again, full disclosure, my first ever manuscript’s prologue did this, too…yes it committed two grave sins. 

  7. You’re not sure whether or not to include your prologue when querying or submitting. So this isn’t something you’ll see in your manuscript—this is actually your subconscious letting you know you don’t need your prologue.

    If your book doesn’t absolutely 100% need the prologue to be understood, then you don’t need it. Period. Which means if you’re even considering sending your query off without your prologue, then your inner writer is tapping you on the shoulder and letting you know it’s time to get the scissors.

What signs can you think of to add to the list?

Watch on tumblr.ifistaymovie.net

If I Stay - Prologue

Prologue
  • Prologue
  • Jeremy Jordan
  • Finding Neverland (8/10/14)
Play

THE NEW Prologue from Finding Neverland

side note: if you’re wondering what the crashing sound is towards the beginning and middle of the song, the ensemble was spinning pocket watches to the music as part of their choreography, and three of the watches broke throughout the course of the number. so the crashing sound is the watch hitting the floor (this was the first performance with this number)

another side note: sorry for the rough cut off at the end. the song led right into the opening scene and I tried not to have any of the dialogue in there 

Readers relish prologues when:

  • they show us something important that is out of the main story’s timeline, for instance something that would otherwise have to be shown in flashbacks or cumbersome exposition
  • they show action or characterisation that the reader needs to understand chapter 1, for instance the start of a war or a quest
  • they are vivid and entertaining in their own right

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Setting Off & Underestimating the Enemy

Arcanae Limarin was happy…despite her situation. “Her situation?” you ask? She sought revenge on something that didn’t exist. She wanted the blood of the bloodless, the demons brought  to life by a false god and equally false prophets. The Fireheads told her it was Nosikeet responsible for the Unmentionable, not a roaming band of raiders. Anna, grief-stricken and lost, had had no other choice but to believe them.  In the months that followed the Unmentionable, she made herself forget. It was always easier to forget. Still, the empty lust for revenge was left like an unexplainable scar, prompting questions and answering none. Of course, she still remembered the Event, but buried it so deep that it would take a team of dwarves ten years to uncover it. The elf held her head high, smiled without guilt, and went about her life. She fed Beyrluk, hunted, and taught the children how to survive out in the wide world. Her life was good. She was numb.

To her familiars, though, she was anything but. When her cousin and current Engspäni, Aithia Krydat, summoned her, Anna spent the day ignoring her instead, rushing about the Mountains on her bear-like wolf, Beyrluk. Two rabbits, tied together by strings around their back legs, were slung over her shoulder by the time the Engspäni could convince three warriors to seek her out in the forests. A dark bearskin cloak was pulled up over her hair, light as dead wood and just as bleached by the sun, proving to be poor camouflage against the pines she hunted in. The usual midafternoon snow had yet to take the patch of deep green needles and cold, dark shadows had yet to be frosted with white. Usually, it was too cold for the sun to melt the snow as it was, but the past week had seen the forest dripping with snowmelt. Anna, always looking for an opportunity to leave the City, has decided to take advantage of the fact to pick off a few rabbits that inhabited the valley.

The warriors caught her mid-hunt; snowy fingers drawing her bow back with a red feathered arrow notched and poised to strike.

“Limarin!” The leading warrior yelled, “The Engspäni wishes to see you!”

The rabbit Anna was tracking bounded off through the forest, much to the elf’s despair. “Dammit, Huric! You scared off your wife’s dinner!”

She lowered her bow and snarled at the man, cloak falling away to reveal the distorted, angry face beneath it. The elf was a stark contrast to the dark wood, the normal gray marbling or striping that usually mixed with the pale whites of her race were absent on her face, leaving it snowy and plain. The earliest signs of patterning were splashes of light gray on her neck and ears, as well as stripes hidden beneath her clothes. She decorated her face in elaborate paint to make up for her bareness; red and blue adorned her chin, deep red on her upper lip, grey lining her eyes, and wolf-like markings of the same shade elsewhere. Sharp teeth bared, she brought Beyrluk around to meet the warriors. Huric, Ailitha’s husband, gave his companions, Melkat and Turin, a desperate look as if to say, Don’t let her kill me!

“What does the Engspäni wish to see me so desperately for?” Anna growled, crossing her arms across her chest.

“It was not my business to ask,” Hurik responded, a sigh withheld on his voice. “She wants to talk to you and I volunteered to find you. Here you are. Now go. Ailitha may not be able to order you, but I am your elder and you will go.”

Anna scoffed and turned away, urging Beyrluk off into the ravine below them. Of course, Huric was right and, not too long after she was out of sight, the elf was away to the City.

~

The sun was high in the sky by the time Anna finally made her way to the Engspäni’s home. She strode along the broken stone streets, flipping a coin to a bard singing the Exile chant, his nimble fingers plucking a small harp. Her Ulvsik padded along beside her, Anna’s rabbits across his back. Two small children played outside Ailitha’s door and greeted the new arrival with gusto.

“Arcanae! Arcanae! Isapai made us toy swords to play with! Look! Watch!” The boys clacked their wooden weapons together a few times, but they were scuffling in the dirt before too long.

 “Boys, boys. What will your Mornai say when she sees you two covered in dirt?” Anna gave them a smile and ruffled their hair as she passed them without needing an answer. They had stopped and began to clean up. The elf knocked on the door, but the younger child piped up. “Mornai said to let you in, min gospina.”

“Thank you, Loril.” Anna nodded and stepped past the door into a warm, inviting room. A fire crackled in a fireplace on the right and the Engspäni sat writing at a table on the opposite side of the room.

Anna stood hesitant and silent for a moment, the scratch of a quill pen and the crackling firewood the only sounds in the room. “Min gospina?” she prompted after a minute, “You wanted to see me?”

The other woman stopped her writing and left the chair to greet her cousin. Anna had always been jealous of Ailitha. With her snowy white hair falling in ringlets at her shoulders, and perfect grey freckles adorning her painted face, she was the face everyone wanted to see running the City. The older elf was the definition of soft. Her brown eyes offered empathy to whomever they looked upon, and even the tarnished ring hanging under her nose seemed to be there for the “people’s best interest.” Anna’s sour mood vanished under her cousin’s soft smile.

“Anna, min gospina. How are you today? I trust my husband did not trouble you too greatly. You know men, after all.” She laughed a warm, light laugh and the smile brightened.

“No, I don’t actually. All the men were too busy going after you in our Times. Something about you being gorgeous turned them off me. Didn’t help I stuck to you like pine pitch, did it?” Anna laughed along, her crossed arms falling at her sides. “You called me, though. We can save our chatter for dinner.”

Ailitha hesitated, playing with her hands and turning her gaze toward the door.

“I have children now, Anna. Obligations. People I care about dearly in my heart. If…If there is one thing I have learned by my position, it is that one must not be tied down if they wish be fair and just. And, despite what our elders tell us, I think a young Engspäni will do our people good. We live so long, it is nice to get a fresh opinion. Think you the same?”

“Well, of course, Thia. But the people trust you t-“

“They trust our family, Anna. The Limarins have been Engspäni for centuries.”

“If you haven’t noticed, Cousin, we are limited on qualified family members.”

“No, we are not. You, Anna. You must lead our people so that I may raise my boys without worrying where the next hunt will occur or what trades are being made. Please, for your cousin.”

The younger elf just laughed and shook her head, hands firmly placed on her hips. “No way! I’m trained for fighting, not peacemaking! Let another family take the burden!”

“The people do not trust another family. They trust us.”

“No.”

“I cannot believe you would let my –our- family suffer for your stubbornness.”

“Loril and Terimun will be fine. They’ll grow up learning about peace and compromising. Surely that will benefit them.”

“At the cost of never seeing their Mornai….” Ailitha sighed and gave Anna a sad look. “I am sad it must come to this, cousin, but I have been forced to come to a decision.” She signed the paper on her desk and turned back to her younger relative. “You are now wed to Kori’Aenen of our woodland brothers. I am sorry. The people want you to lead, Anna. With this agreement, we will be uniting our clans again and they will force you to take my position.”

Anna took a step toward the documents, her mouth gaping open in shock. Her own cousin would betray her in such a way? She would rather die than marry a dark skinned forest elf!

“How dare you!” she spat at Ailitha, reaching for the paper to tear it to shreds. The other elf snatched it away and gave Anna another sad gaze.

“It is for your own good, my cousin. You will be wed, bear a child to him, and be a sign of peace between the two races.”

“Kiss my arse!”

Anna stormed out the door and away on Beyrluk, rushing away toward her house. How dare she! How bloody dare she! Everyone knew Anna hated even the thought of marriage. And to be married to a wood elf? Disgraceful! She wouldn’t do it. She couldn’t. She would rather slay Nosikeet with her bare hands than bear a child with a wood elf! She would rather eat fire and cut her hair short and drink muddy water for the rest of her life! She felt sick. There were very few powers the Engspäni actually had, and one of them was marriage. Dammit. She had to get away.

The elf grabbed rucksacks from her quarters and shoved into them everything she would need. A short sword, more arrows for the quiver strapped to her back, a knife, food, water sack, pelts for warmth, extra clothing. Ulvsik could carry a great many things. When she was finished, the small house looked bare and empty and Beyrluk was starting to get anxious. He wanted to know where they were going and why.

“We need to leave,” Anna spoke to him, “Unless you want to live in a courtyard for the rest of your life and eat nothing but house mice.”

The wolf growled and lay down for her to mount his back. Away they were into the dusky night, headed east away from Anna’s beloved mountains and the world she knew.

~

It was the middle of the night by the time Anna made camp in a clearing near the entrance to the Southern Pass. She was already farther away from home than she’d ever been and the thought was taking a toll. Beyrluk had gone to hunt. A fire lit at her feet, she huddled around it, cloak drawn up over her head. She sang softly as she roasted a rabbit on the fire, her voice dampened by the snow that fell slowly around her.

Cold as the northern winds

In December mornings,

Cold is the cry that rings

From this far distant shore.

Winter has come too late

Too close beside me.

How can I chase away

All these fears deep inside.

Anna felt her voice rise above the snow, the ancient song gripping her heart like it did all her people.

I’ll wait the signs to come!

I’ll find a way!

I will wait a time to come!

I’ll find a way home!

My light shall be the moon

And my path – the pines!

My guide the mornings star

As I walk home to-

“Well men, we’ve got ourselves a bard.”

Anna’s skin turned to ice and she brought her head up as five armored men stepped from the shadows to slink toward her. The one that she assumed had spoken (for he appeared to be their captain or leader, having an confident air about him the others did not), scoffed and let out a chuckle. “An elf! Away from her mountain! Well, knife-ears, we just heard you singin’ and thought we’d say hello.”

The elf stood and gave a cold laugh. “And I would want greetings from Men why? I’m surprised I didn’t smell your stinking hides from the moment you came in range.”

“Oh look, a feisty one,” a sandy-haired man joined in, sheathing his sword, “What should we do with her, Ser Marshall? An elf out of her territory would bring in quite a bounty! We should bring her back with us.”

The others agreed, much to Anna’s dismay. She did her best to look unimpressed, crossing her arms and offering them a sharptoothed yawn. “Or you could walk away with your lives, you simple fools.”

The humans laughed up a storm at this one and suddenly the one called Marshall was at her, hand gripping her chin and nails digging into her cheeks. “You’ll watch what you say, elf bitch. We knights ain’t afraid of usin’ our swords.”

“Oh yes,” Anna managed to say with a roll of her eyes, “I’m very certain you lack the intelligence to fear a weapon. Idiots, you people worship mine! You will surely be stoned for killing such a rare and beautiful creature, yes?”

That was apparently the wrong thing to say. The knight slapped her across the face with a gloved hand, the metal cutting across her face and instantly bruising. She fell to the ground with a thump and was grounded with a kick to her side.

“Stupid bitch,” another man spat, his hands balled into fists. “I say we kill her, Ser.”

The leader chucked and kicked Anna again, the steel boot colliding with her stomach. “You know…I rather fancy teachin’ her a bitch’s place, first, don’t you, men?”

There were shouts of ‘aye!’ and the elf girl scrambled to her feet, backing away with her hands outstretched. “Only if you want to die, cretins!”

“Hear that men? The bitch is gonna kill us! Hahahahaha!” Marshall pointed his sword at Anna and smirked. “Take off your clothes, elf.”

“W-What? You do you think I am? Some easy wench who’ll sleep with a man for nothing at all?” She laughed, though her heart was racing and she wanted desperately to cry out for help.

“No,” the sandy-haired one jeered, “We think you don’t have a choice in the matter.”

She turned to run, but Ser Marshall caught her around the stomach and pressed her to him, letting his hands roughly move over her body. Anna was going to be sick. She fought him, elbowing and kicking and thrashing back, but two more of the humans grabbed her feet while the other two secured her arms. Marshall released her while she desperately tried to jerk away, the tears of frustration already coming. They were stripping her down into nothing, the cold air making her shiver beyond control. They forced her onto her knees as she silently sobbed, the air of defiance and calm still plastered upon her face. Anna spat on the ground at Marshall’s feet and raised her head to glare at him. “You will release me,” she commanded, “Release me, now!”

“Look at you,” the man muttered, holding her chin between two fingers as he ignored her, “Wild. Fighting. We’ll soon see an end to that.” He began taking off his armor and chainmail, much to the whoops and hollers of the other men, and much to Anna’s horror.

“Please,” she whispered, “Please. Let me go.”

Marshall once again ignored her, instead gripping her hair and pulling her up by it, issuing a scream from the elf. “No!” she demanded, openly sobbing, “No!”

“Shut up, elf!” he yelled back, slapping her again. He shoved her down into the dead leaves and replaced himself over her.

Her screams grew louder as she tried to get away from him, clawing at the ground until another knight kicked her side and surely broke a rib or two. Then, Marshall silenced her with a hand clamped over her mouth and forced her legs open, insuring his own death sentence. 

When to Cut Your Prologue

Nowadays, it’s not really necessary to include a prologue. If you feel like you’ve created one that adds something significant and interesting to your story, that’s great, but it’s not something you need to figure out in order to tell a good story.

Here are a few personal pet peeves I have regarding prologues and a few signs you should cut it:

If it’s used as a hook

You don’t need to come up with a gimmick in order to tell a great story. Sure, the beginning of your story should do something to captivate your readers, but you don’t need to include a prologue as a hook. If you’re writing your prologue with the intention of drawing in your readers, maybe that should just be the first chapter. Take the time to determine whether or not your prologue needs to be there.

If it’s used to info-dump

Your prologue shouldn’t be used to tell your readers all you possible can about your upcoming story. Sharing too much information in your prologue is still info-dumping. When you tell a good story, there’s no set-up necessary. Let your readers learn more about your world and characters as they go along and reveal what’s necessary to the story at the time. You don’t need to use a prologue to put it all out there right in the beginning. Pacing is important!

If it doesn’t tie into your main story

This should be clear, but your prologue really needs to have something to do with your main story. You might really like what you wrote, but it should help explain something about your plot or your characters. Your audience shouldn’t be left wondering what your prologue was all about. Your prologue also shouldn’t confuse your readers! Decide beforehand what your what your prologue to accomplish and make sure it has a point.

-Kris Noel

Prologue:

5…4…3…
The entire class join
As the clock creeps forward,
Everyone anticipating
The bell ringing
Releasing them
From their prison
And to the freedoms of summer.

As the bell rings out,
Everyone cheers,
Then rushes to get
Out of the doors
As soon as they can,
I follow behind them.

"College, here I come!"
My sister gleefully screems,
As we walk home,
She continues to drone on,
It is at this point where
She manages to bring up
A topic that always
Seems to surface
“So, Carina…
When will you-“
“STOP”
I can already guess
Where she is heading with this
“GET YO MAN!”
She giggles,
Admired by herself,
“I don’t need a boyfriend,
Ly-Ly!”
I blush,
Like I do every time
“Well TO BAD!
Because you’re going to get one!”
She announced with determination,
Sometimes my sister scared me,
“I’m not going to be
Around FOREVER, you know!”
She pokes at me
“Of course not! You have college!”
If I only knew
How right she was

Written by Savannah
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