Reply To: Student: Cynthia Young Homework Thread

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Linnea Sinclair

2- I feel at times opening can have more than one category of openings.

Absolutely, and I think somewhere in my writerly fog I said that in the lesson, but if not, let me say it here: most opening scenes and chapters are a smorgasbord. There might be ONE flavor that rules them all, but it’s kind of tough to have some kind of solitary opening of only one flavor (unless you’re doing experimental literary fiction where you can write the word ‘sponge’ for ten pages over and over again because it obviously has some deep esoteric significance that the rest of us base humans can’t grasp…)

If a novel has a prologue would that be considered the opening for the story?

Wonderful question! The long answer is we’ve touched on this a bit in others’ comments and the long answer is marginally likely maybe yes. The short answer is I don’t know. The problem is–as previously noted–many readers don’t read prologues. So given THAT it’s tough from a writer’s perspective to craft it as the opener…and people don’t read it.

Prologues are not in vogue at the moment/current two decades (except in certain genres). So many readers have been trained to ignore them or to be ignorant of them.  I did a prologue in GAMES OF COMMAND (RITA finalist, USA Today Best Seller List) but the SFF genre is more kind to prologues.

My personal feeling is WRITE ONE if that’s what it feels is best but then bow to your house’s editor’s expertise in whether to rename it Chapter One.

If you’re self-pubbing, then I strongly suggest you do a lot of homework in analyzing whether YOUR genre uses prologues effectively. (Note: I did say USES them, I said EFFECTIVELY.)

I personally will always read a prologue. But I’m in the minority.

//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//


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