Everybody hates prologues.

Why?

Someone, please, tell me why.

I’ve heard it before. I read it somewhere a long time ago and have seen multiple things on that subject over the last several years. What’s bringing it up right now is that I read an article about it again a few days ago. I can’t remember from where, though I’m assuming I somehow found it by tap-tapping away on Twitter, as Twitter and Instagram are really the only things I check somewhat consistently. They’re both right next to each other on my phone, what can I say?

Anyway, I’m not really one to take things that I read on the internet at face value (WTF does that even mean? I’ve never even questioned the saying until right this second. Maybe it’s the Writer in me, but seeing something in front of your face doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re looking at it in the right way. Just saying!), but there seems to be some general consensus that agents, and the like, hate prologues.

Again, I ask anyone out there in the vast expanses of internetdom who can actually communicate back with me . . . WHY?

As a reader, I have no issue with them if they’re done well enough. The only one that’s ever made me stop, tilt my head, and make some sound that Scooby Doo tends to make (at least in my head), is the book that I was complaining about in a previous entry, which you can find here. It was out of place and made no sense whatsoever to what I actually got through in the book, but that’s neither here nor there and is only relevant whatsoever right now in me saying that, as a reader, I’ve never had an issue with them (apart from that one instance, at least that I can remember, which – knowing my memory – isn’t saying very much).

In fact, AS A READER, I tend to like prologues.

Take for example the beginning of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. The first few words in the actual BOOK part of the book are, The demon exploded in. That’s enough to get my point across, I think. That was enough right there to make me smile and think, “Yeah, I’m gonna like this book.”

Prologue.

Don’t smack me if I’m wrong in saying that it was a prologue, but I’m almost positive that it was. That book is currently in a box right now so I can’t take two steps and check for sure. I’d rather make an as– *cough* . . . butt out of myself.

Anyway, perfect use of a prologue right there. That scene was extremely relevant, but did not fit perfectly with the beginning of the STORY story.

I loved it.

Now, as a writer, I will also say that I CANNOT understand the issue with prologues.

When I was sitting down several years ago, writing the first scene of my first book . . . Well, um, I wrote it. I wrote it, and then I went to the next CHAPTER and, after the fact, realized that – while one could not be done without the other – they did not exactly . . . mesh, you could say. Hence my first prologue was written into existence.

Every single book that I have ever written has a prologue, and an epilogue.

In my (we’ll say HUMBLE) opinion, I think they’re great. And that has absolutely nothing at all to do with the fact that I write them, and everything to do with WHY I write them.

I can understand the issue with them when they’re used for info-dumping, but at the same time . . . I don’t know.

Maybe I’m the only person seeing a difference between bringing a story up to speed in a way that doesn’t fit 100% WITH the story and info-dumping. I know some people are fond of flashbacks (one of my very good friends is fond of them, in fact), but I only am to a certain extent. The first book in my first series has flashbacks out the as– *cough* wazoo. I hated it. I absolutely hated it. I would rather have a prologue with JUST THE RIGHT information than those flashbacks. That’s personal preference, both in writing, and reading.

I just don’t understand why a book would be entirely disregarded (as that was the statement made in the article I read) for having a prologue. A prologue doesn’t mean that it’s info-dumping. A prologue doesn’t mean that the story will be horrible, or the writing atrocious. Where in the world is that stigma coming from? Can anyone out there fill me in? Because, honestly? I just think it’s a load of bulllll- *cough* bologna.

Am I the only one that thinks bologna is a funny word?

I’m giggling a little right now, I’m not gonna lie.

My Point:

When written well, and done well, a prologue can add fantastic things to a story, in my opinion.

That’s all.

And did anybody get the whole Lost reference? Or no?

Lions, and tigers, and sex sc – Wait…what?

Ah, the dreaded three letter word that starts with S, ends in X, and rhymes with HEX.

It’s not such a dreaded word in reality (at least not for most people under whichever circumstances), but for writers who are not Romance novelists? Oh yes, that word is SO dreaded. I’m not sticking all of you other writers out there into that little box with me, but I’m definitely in it and I know I’m not the only one.

I have to keep in mind that most of you who read my blog have had zero interaction with me off of here. I email with a few people. I’ve talked on the phone to one person a few times. So yes, the only way most of us all know one another is through interactions on WordPress. In a way, that can almost give you deeper insight to a person than you’d normally get – at least in my opinion. We share our hopes and dreams on here – our pains (not paints, way to ruin a moment with a typo, C), our struggles, and our ambitions. We share our WRITING. I know you all get me on that level, which is fantastic.

I’ve said on here before that I’m a pretty closed off person in some ways. If I know you, I’ll spill my deepest secrets (or the next level above the deepest) to you in a heartbeat. I can be a very open person. But let me give you a little insight . . .

If I did NOT know you, and you came up to me on the street and started rattling off about sex scenes, one or both of my eyes would likely start twitching. I would sweat profusely. I would be polite and say, “Hey, Random Person, this is somewhat inappropriate.” At least I would want it to come out of my mouth that way. It would probably be more like, “Whoa dude, wtf are you doing?”

That’s me.

I’ve written a lot, alright? That type of stuff HAPPENS when you write books, because that type of stuff HAPPENS in real life. I’m a fan of The Cut-Off. If I lead up to something happening well enough, I’m PRETTY SURE your mind can fill in the gaps. It’s my goal as a writer to make that happen. It’s better that way, I think (just my opinion). At least I am better at it that way, which . . . sometime you out there can be the judge of that, if you ever want to be. When writing Young Adult, it’s almost better to do it that way, again in my opinion. And I don’t want to feel like I’d be responsible for a crapton of sexually deviant teenagers running around doing things that they do. Hey, they do it, but I don’t want to feel responsible for it. And I would feel responsible, even if nobody ever accused me of it.

Oh my GOD, ALL THE EVILS IN THE WORLD ARE MY FAULT!!

That’s how my brain works, okay?

There’s a part of me that’s not comfortable writing YA at all, as I cover a lot of subjects in my books that I’m not sure the younger end of YA readers . . . I’m stopping myself there, as I cannot say who should and should not (or would and would not be able to) handle whatever. But I’m less comfortable writing in the adult genre, in ways.

I’ll give you a scenario – it’s a truthful scenario that happens quite often with me while I’m writing (or editing) a book.

I’m sitting there in my shed (I have every intention of posting an entry about my shed on here, so let’s leave the shed at that for now), writing (or editing). Sexy scene comes up. I type (or read/write) a few words. I giggle. I type a few more, put my hand over my face, and start talking to myself (“Oh my god,” for example. “I can’t believe I just wrote that,” for another). I type a few more and giggle again.

It happens.

There are some scenes in some of my books that – I kid you not – will have me nearly rolling around on the ground giggling in uncomfortableness. I do weird things when I’m uncomfortable, if you haven’t gathered.

So yes, adult books have their downside, as The Cut-Off is generally not wanted or accepted.

But I’ll tell you something I learned . . . yesterday? Two days ago? The days blur . . .

I knew that I’d done a relatively decent job with the more ‘intimate’ scenes (not sex scenes) in the book that my editor HAS IN HER HANDS RIGHT NOW. I knew that I had because my husband’s response after reading one of them in particular was, “I felt like I was intruding.”

That’s one of those things where you think about it for a little while, and then nod your head in satisfaction when you’re alone. It must’ve been good, in some way.

I’ve never really felt like that – at least no more than I usually feel when I’m writing. I already feel a level of intrusion into the character’s stories that I’m telling because I feel like I’m telling the life story of some person that has no business being told. I’m giving words to their lives for other people to read.

I have to be honest and say that I finished writing this new trilogy last week. I didn’t want to say anything on here – partially because I’ve been busy (writing and now editing), and partially because I read on a blog awhile back that talking about writing prolifically can make other authors feel bad. I’ve actually been struggling a lot with both that, and the fact that I write full-time (without pay because I have no books released yet . . . give me some time to get everything in place and they will be out there, I promise). I don’t want to make anyone feel any negative thing due to what I’m doing, so I haven’t wanted to be like, “HEY, I FINISHED ANOTHER BOOK!” And then another one a few weeks later. But hey. I have.

Guilty feelings come to me again now.

So anyway, I had to say it so that what I say next will make sense.

I was editing the first book in that trilogy and came upon the actual first legitimate sex scene that I’ve ever written. It was torture writing it, let me tell you. I was pleased with it afterward. I thought I kept it classy (as classy as they can get). I postponed writing it for as long as I freaking could, let me tell you.

Anyway, came upon it when editing.

And by god, if I didn’t feel like I was intruding then I don’t know what that was. Well, uncomfortable, yes. But intrusive. I felt so unbelievably intrusive.

So, after getting through editing it and taking a few minute break afterward to try and fix my brain back into its normal – un-uncomfortable – mode, I sat there and I thought about it.

I’ll never be a Romance novelist. Not ever. Well, I can’t know that for certain, but I know for certain that I don’t want to be. I love the natural romance that happens between characters, but I’m not trying to turn love stories into the pornographacation (*ding* new Non-Word) of a character’s life. I will write and write (and write and write) about things that don’t happen, but I like my books to be realistic enough that the other things can make those unrealistic things believable. And throwing in a bunch of words that people DO NOT THINK into scenarios and DO NOT HAPPEN . . . Where is the believability there?

I’m not writing this to get into a debate about Romance novels. People like them, and that’s cool. I just don’t write them.

What I’m trying to say is that I learned, finally, that I CAN actually write a sex scene if I feel that I absolutely must – if the story, or the characters say, “Dammit, woman, TELL THE STORY!”.

And I’m proud of myself for that because it was such a freaking struggle for me.

But hey, I’m a bigger fan of the leading-up-to anyhow. For the most part . . . I think I’ll stick to what I’m good at when it comes to that sort of thing with writing. I’ll venture out of my box to grow, but . . . yep, done that. Check.

Sorry this was so long, but I haven’t been blogging very much. Pretty poor way of making up for it, come to think about it.

Anyway, if anyone else has had the same struggles – or similar ones – feel free to share. Maybe I won’t feel so ridiculous.

Hope everyone is wonderful out there.

🙂

Now if only I can get over the thought of my mom reading these new books of mine that she’s been asking to read . . .

A new journey is nigh . . .

It’s time to start writing again . . .

The realization that the time was here again hit me a few days ago – Friday night/Saturday morning (depending on your opinion as to whether a new day actually starts until you’ve slept or not). Husband and I had spent a little time with my sister, which was nice, but somewhere along the way I started talking about my books (I’ve just recently began calling it ‘soapboxing’). At some point, Husband went inside and left Sister and I standing out in my driveway. Talk of books slowly bled over into my anxieties – both in general, and where they pertain to my work.

I don’t generally do a lot of talking when I interact with my sister. More of it now than I used to, for sure. But I think that was the most talking that I’ve ever done with her about myself . . . possibly ever. It was nice.

Anyway, there are a few points to this. She basically told me that I’m being irrational about things, which is something I’ve been aware of for an extremely long time. I know when my reactions aren’t ‘normal’, but . . . it’s me.

My realization was that it was finally time. I’ve been losing my mind, and writing is . . . Well, it keeps me sane.

I haven’t been able to write a new story – despite my attempts – since I finished The Big 2 (which is my second series and, after looking through my first yesterday, is the only one worth mentioning). I blamed it on needing to get this series going somewhere – to be able to set it free, or lay it to rest, or do something FINAL with it. Realizing that it is now in the hands of Editor and all that I’m doing is waiting to hear back . . . Well . . . that’s pretty final. I have nothing else to do with it – at least not the first book, which is the only one that I can focus on until it’s OUT THERE (until I get it back, that is).

So I’m finally – in a way – feeling that sense of finality with it. Not with the world, but with those four books and their part in it. I’m torn about that, but it had to happen eventually.

I’ve been going back and forth about WHAT I want to write next. I have a few ideas swirling around in my head, and one of them that I’d started (those attempts at writing I mentioned earlier). But after doing some major self-evaluation where it pertains to my writing – playing to strengths, etc. – I’m just not so sure that I could do a more contemporary-based-in-this-world sort of book, and do it well. I don’t know.

Which is making me look at tonight and my adventure out into my writing shed in a new light. I have about as much idea-wise as I’ve always had when starting out . . . just the basis of SOMETHING. But . . . I’m looking at it as a completely new journey. Not into a new world, which will naturally happen once I get one set up, but a journey into my own abilities and limits with writing. I just might try an experiment – solely for myself.

I’m thinking I might try this absolutely mad concept of working on multiple things at one time. Possibly that experiment while working on an entirely new story. Who knows?

I’m going to have to get much better at multitasking. I’ve already fallen behind (AGAIN) with reading on here, and I’m one day late with my three-day-limit. Could be worse.

I’ll figure something out. Some sort of schedule, or something. We’ll see how that goes.

Either way, it will be new. And no matter the apprehension I feel towards leaving the world that I’m familiar with and love so completely . . . I can’t help but be excited about going on a new journey.

It will have to be good in order to hold a candle (in my heart) next to the old one.

We’ll see. 😉