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(Fark)   Do you write about things close to home or far away? Do you ever write about places you've never been? Wherever you are, you are here. THIS is your Fark Writer's Thread   (fark.com ) divider line
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421 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 11 Jan 2017 at 9:00 AM (8 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-01-11 06:27:15 AM  
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.
 
2017-01-11 06:31:46 AM  
Had a character from India in my books, never been there.

It's been read by a bunch of Indians and none have ever said "wtf?", so I guess I did a passable job ...
 
2017-01-11 09:16:40 AM  
For the most part, I don't write about real places. Instead, I use them as springboards, maps to work from, or something to play the reader's expectations against.
 
2017-01-11 09:37:43 AM  
If I write, my descriptions can probably be found in Seattle.  Never thought there was much sense in writing about places I have never been to.  Otherwise, it gets all sci-fi
 
2017-01-11 09:42:36 AM  
According to the adage, The best fiction contains a little bit of truth.

So yes, I tend to right about places I'm familiar with. All of my characters have a fraction of me in them.
But that's the best thing about fiction. you can remodel your hometown/state whatever, into what ever you want it to be.
I put segments of my own dark side into villains, and sometimes heroes. I try to give them both benevolent motivations. The line gets crossed in pursuit of said goals. Usually, my protagonists have more self-serving goals, like "Don't die," and the like.
 
2017-01-11 09:52:36 AM  
I tend to write science fiction and fantasy, with some brief forays into mysteries and horror.

The mysteries and horror I tend to base around places I know. Details are important, and sometimes it's nice to be able to nail a place down from an insider's POV.

The fantasy stuff is mostly alternate history with a blend of fantasy, so there is a mighty Aztec Empire still, but modernized and with a blend of science and magic. I've never been to Mexico save a few forays across the border while I lived in Texas. My science fiction...I gotta say, I'm not sure what the sooper seekrit base on Ceres looks like, but MINE is working class miner chic IN SPACE!

puffy999: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.


Have you ever read Hardcase by Dan Simmons? His Joe Kurtz is a fun slice of Buffalo crime.
 
2017-01-11 09:52:54 AM  
All the time.  I write fantasy and science fiction, so I make up cities (and worlds) as I go along.  I especially like creating a new city completely out of my imagination and making it real.  OTOH, most of my scenes take place indoors, so it doesn't matter.

One exception is the novel I'm currently working on, which is set in New York in the 1930s, Paris in the 1880s, and in ancient Egypt.  Visited NY many times (but not in the 1930s). Paris once (but not in th 1880s).  Haven't gotten to ancient Egypt.

But, in any case, that's what research is for.  You have to take enough to make the background seen real. It can only be the equivalent of a painted backdrop in a play, but as long as the readers are concentrating on other things, it doesn't matter.

On the writing front, finally got the suggestions from my agent, who loved the book.  I'm going over it all, adding her revisions and making a couple of my own to set up the sequel.

I've discovered four factual errors in the narrative.  Three are trivial, so I'm not changing them (One I could easily change, but I don't want to).  One is a big one (I misread a map), but the scene is so damn good that screw anyone who complains (and there won't be many).
 
2017-01-11 10:15:29 AM  

hubiestubert: I tend to write science fiction and fantasy, with some brief forays into mysteries and horror.

The mysteries and horror I tend to base around places I know. Details are important, and sometimes it's nice to be able to nail a place down from an insider's POV.

The fantasy stuff is mostly alternate history with a blend of fantasy, so there is a mighty Aztec Empire still, but modernized and with a blend of science and magic. I've never been to Mexico save a few forays across the border while I lived in Texas. My science fiction...I gotta say, I'm not sure what the sooper seekrit base on Ceres looks like, but MINE is working class miner chic IN SPACE!


You sound like someone that might enjoy Kelly McCullough's Web Mage series, as it modernizes Greek mythology with computers and magic.
 
2017-01-11 10:25:15 AM  
Currently writing a little space opera piece, so it's kind of inevitably about a place I haven't been since it's not set on Earth...

I'm also writing a piece about an entirely fictional coffee shop in Paris. I've been to Paris, so I have a decent enough grasp of the geography of the area, but I'm keeping the location somewhat nebulous to be on the safe side. Plus the inspiration for the shop description came from some stock photos of a coffee shop out in Portland, OR as far as I can tell from the descriptions.

Also, my last "alt-history" project was written around the Trinity project in Los alamos, which I've never been to. My 2016 NaNo (which fell by the wayside with the wrist injury) was set around the battle of Valcour Island, and I've never been there either, so was doing quite a bit of research reading.

I'd probably want to visit some locations eventually, but if they're not set contemporarily, then I'm not sure it's that helpful. the past is another country after all, they do things differently there.
 
2017-01-11 10:27:53 AM  
I write historical fiction, mostly set in the Classical Era but I have have short fiction ranging from Old Testament days to post WWII.  Doing the research and reading about the times are what inspire me.
 
2017-01-11 10:28:34 AM  
I always wanted to write but realized i dont have a lot to say
 
2017-01-11 10:56:08 AM  

harleyquinnical: hubiestubert: I tend to write science fiction and fantasy, with some brief forays into mysteries and horror.

The mysteries and horror I tend to base around places I know. Details are important, and sometimes it's nice to be able to nail a place down from an insider's POV.

The fantasy stuff is mostly alternate history with a blend of fantasy, so there is a mighty Aztec Empire still, but modernized and with a blend of science and magic. I've never been to Mexico save a few forays across the border while I lived in Texas. My science fiction...I gotta say, I'm not sure what the sooper seekrit base on Ceres looks like, but MINE is working class miner chic IN SPACE!

You sound like someone that might enjoy Kelly McCullough's Web Mage series, as it modernizes Greek mythology with computers and magic.


I thought it would be fun to so a fantasy, where Europeans based their "tech" on Hermetic Magic, the classical stuff of legends, with all the formula and alchemy and circles and adherence to form and structure, and create a "modern" society where THAT became the base for their technology. Airships and the like, weapons based on spells locked up in crystals, mages who were academics first, and doling out industrialization based on THAT as a base.

And a New World, where they set aside the tribal magics and medicines as their religion, and Meso-America and South America became invested in physics and science, with a technologically powerful and advanced Aztec Empire. The Europeans STILL landed in 1492, but in this world, the natives killed them and things sort of got off to a rocky start, with European colonies still warring with a powerful Iroquois Nation, backed by the guns and technology of the Aztecs, and throughout the Americas, it's the Natives who have conventional technology, while the Europeans have magic as their basis for tech. And of course, ALL sides consider the others to be backwards and clinging to superstitions...

It has a China and Japan and Korea that have a blend of Eastern sort of magics and technology, and an advanced magical Middle East, and powerful African empires as well, and the Russians trying to piece together BOTH European mysticism and the New World's technology. It's a blend, where it all works, but few have thought about mixing the traditions, because they're tied intrinsically to cultures.

And of course, Miami Outpost is f*cking weird, as a crossroads for European powers, and the forces from the South. Florida NEEDS to be weird, no matter what.
 
2017-01-11 11:19:17 AM  
Yeah I write scifi, so the settings aren't real places, or are they?
*Lifts pinky like Dr. Evil*

Here's my update:
Finished with the revisions that the agent wanted and sent it back to them, and they emailed me back to let me know they got it.

If they don't need anything else from me before it goes out to publishers, I can start working on the sequel.
 
2017-01-11 12:48:24 PM  

harleyquinnical: You sound like someone that might enjoy Kelly McCullough's Web Mage series, as it modernizes Greek mythology with computers and magic.


Stealing this recommendation for myself and updating my to-read list on Goodreads. Thanks! :)

Just finished my third draft of a flash fiction apocalypse story I'm doing for Chunk Wendig's challenge. Going to bring it to my writers' group tonight and see what they say, then submit it.

For anyone who's interested, Barrelhouse Mag is looking for nonfiction pieces of novella-length. Not my cup of tea but thought some might have something to fit the bill.
 
2017-01-11 01:04:23 PM  
Bad news/good news

Bad news: I got a rejection at 1 pm from a story I submitted last night at 10 pm.

Good news:It was a personal rejection. The magazine gets a lot of submissions, so this means that the editor saw my name on the story and it was one of the first ones he read.
 
2017-01-11 01:29:00 PM  
So the binaural beats thing seems to be working. Its keeping me focused while I write. Progress is still slow going due to time constraints but I feel like progress is being made.
 
2017-01-11 01:29:14 PM  
The novels I'm working on are set in the city I live in, or at least a fictionalized version of it: the City of Bothell became the City of Bath Hill specifically since there's a great bit of police corruption and brutality in the books, and I figured needlessly pissing off the cops in the town you live in isn't one of Life's Great Decisions.

Most of the locations are real-world, although I've added a Miskatonic University expy and switched around a few things: the climax of the story happens in an abandoned missile silo, which actually exists, only in a different city.  There's a cold-war era Nike missile silo here in Bothell as well, but that's actually the local FEMA headquarters and I don't the story would have worked out quite as well if the protagonists all ended up being arrested for trespassing on federal land.
 
2017-01-11 01:32:05 PM  
As for the two novels I'm working on, both are set in fictional cities in real states. Corvall, Oklahoma in "Ten Minutes in Hell" (working title) and Red Plains, Texas in "Terror in the Night" (also working title)
 
2017-01-11 02:15:08 PM  
I like doing my settings as somewhat vague. I try to give a flavor to a city or place I know, but only with a smattering of details so the reader can fill in the rest with their own experiences and knowledge. I've played with different genres in flash fiction, and the brevity of the form doesn't really give you the space for a lot of descriptors anyway. So if it's not absolutely vital to the story it gets cut.

I also just bought these for gaming:
img.fark.net
But figured they'd be good if I ever need a random location for a story too. (Dungeon Morph also makes dice too!)
 
2017-01-11 02:43:20 PM  
I've written about where I live, a place I've never been, a place I've never been to exactly but in the same state, and where I live with a twist.

Living in Vermont provides me with a lot to work with.

I wrote a novel set in Homer, Alaska. I've never been but used "The company that screwed Drew" Maps help me get around town. I had brochures coming to the house as I was planning a trip to Alaska too. I never made it to Homer but did make it to Ketchikan. At least I was in the same state and I had a friend who lived in Anchorage who helped me out.

I sometimes read real estate listings to help me put together how I want a characters house to look or a neighborhood. I will sometimes do research when putting my location together.  In some cases making actual maps so my characters don't get lost.
 
2017-01-11 02:48:23 PM  
when i was writing it was a bit of both.  some of it was based on small town life in Kentucky and some of it was about people that lived in Britain or comic book heroes or alien life forms.  i once wrote about a cop's retirement.  most of these were on assignment for college classes but none of them were topics chosen for me. i was never able to focus on a theme or genre.  i have a couple ideas that the only reason i dont write them is because of all the research i'd have to do.  i have a mystical kung fu kind of story that i'd probably need a year to read and get informed on before even trying to write it.  they are both delusions and dilutions of grandeur.  maybe one day i'll find the motivations to try again.
 
2017-01-11 02:55:57 PM  

KimJ: Stealing this recommendation for myself and updating my to-read list on Goodreads. Thanks! :)


Always happy to recommend a series.  I have yet to start on McCullough's other series, so.no review on thst yet
 
2017-01-11 03:43:12 PM  

hubiestubert: harleyquinnical: hubiestubert: I tend to write science fiction and fantasy, with some brief forays into mysteries and horror.

The mysteries and horror I tend to base around places I know. Details are important, and sometimes it's nice to be able to nail a place down from an insider's POV.

The fantasy stuff is mostly alternate history with a blend of fantasy, so there is a mighty Aztec Empire still, but modernized and with a blend of science and magic. I've never been to Mexico save a few forays across the border while I lived in Texas. My science fiction...I gotta say, I'm not sure what the sooper seekrit base on Ceres looks like, but MINE is working class miner chic IN SPACE!

You sound like someone that might enjoy Kelly McCullough's Web Mage series, as it modernizes Greek mythology with computers and magic.

I thought it would be fun to so a fantasy, where Europeans based their "tech" on Hermetic Magic, the classical stuff of legends, with all the formula and alchemy and circles and adherence to form and structure, and create a "modern" society where THAT became the base for their technology. Airships and the like, weapons based on spells locked up in crystals, mages who were academics first, and doling out industrialization based on THAT as a base.

And a New World, where they set aside the tribal magics and medicines as their religion, and Meso-America and South America became invested in physics and science, with a technologically powerful and advanced Aztec Empire. The Europeans STILL landed in 1492, but in this world, the natives killed them and things sort of got off to a rocky start, with European colonies still warring with a powerful Iroquois Nation, backed by the guns and technology of the Aztecs, and throughout the Americas, it's the Natives who have conventional technology, while the Europeans have magic as their basis for tech. And of course, ALL sides consider the others to be backwards and clinging to superstitions...

It has a China and Japan an ...


I want to read this!  I'm also working on an alternate history with the Aztecs winning and taking over the world.  Mine is a bit steam punky.
 
2017-01-11 03:49:14 PM  
I'm still working on my tile-placement tabletop game, if anyone wants to help playtest it.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/391608531174836/

I had to write a complete story in 20 minutes last week for a class.  Ended up being just under 800 words, a stream-of-consciousness about a psycho who wants to kill a nun.  My best friend said that she's scared of me now after reading it.  Another friend, who works in a psych ward, said it's disturbing how well I captured that mindset.

When I'm done with my MFA I'm going to put together a little e-book of all the short horror fiction I wrote for it.  Two of the pieces have already been published (one in Heart of Farkness, one in an upcoming horror anthology).
 
2017-01-11 03:52:16 PM  
Does anyone have any tips for stretching things out while writing a novel? I keep running into the problem of getting to the point too quickly. More description? More background? I feel like I should be better at this at this point.
 
2017-01-11 04:00:18 PM  

Professor Farksworth: Does anyone have any tips for stretching things out while writing a novel? I keep running into the problem of getting to the point too quickly. More description? More background? I feel like I should be better at this at this point.


More plot.

I often worry about this, but I usually discover as I give the characters things to do, the story works better.  Don't try to pad it, though; readers don't like padding.  A subplot involving another characters is useful, too.
 
2017-01-11 04:05:22 PM  
Hmmm,

I have major scenes set in China, Bangladesh and India, minor ones in South Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria none of which I have visited, as well as a few in Europe which I have. Domestically, scenes across the US, states I have been to but not those specific locations. All of the locations are actual places. The internet is a wonderful research tool and the trick, in the end, is to give the reader, as D_PaulAngel says above, the impression of being there.

On a side note, I'm now over 105k words and, thanks to fellow Farker claudius,who has read pretty much the whole thing, I have my ending scene, I've expanded one of the minor characters into a major one, and can wrap it all up with just a few more scenes of massive death and destruction and a couple of impending economic collapse and incipient civil war.

(Does happy dance)
 
2017-01-11 06:03:53 PM  
Spawn_of_Cthulhu:I want to read this!  I'm also working on an alternate history with the Aztecs winning and taking over the world.  Mine is a bit steam punky.

Mine has Aztecs with slightly more advanced tech than today, and the Iroquois Nations taking a step back to about even with modern tech, and the Algonquins doing pretty much the same. South America and Meso-America are high tech wonderlands, with slightly less bloodthirsty ways. And the borders between the areas where the Europeans have moved in, is an odd blend of magic and technology, with Miami as a sort of Casablanca feel of a confluence of powers sort of watching each other warily.

The first book is a story about a bounty hunter who deals in some Iroquois mysticism leading his apprentice on a merry goose chase so that he can get his affairs in order before she and their friends have to put him down. The second is political fallout from the first, and how far those echo.
 
2017-01-11 07:05:42 PM  
... I wrote the Butt headline a couple weeks ago. So I got that going for me, which is nice.
 
2017-01-11 07:58:36 PM  

hubiestubert: Spawn_of_Cthulhu:I want to read this!  I'm also working on an alternate history with the Aztecs winning and taking over the world.  Mine is a bit steam punky.

Mine has Aztecs with slightly more advanced tech than today, and the Iroquois Nations taking a step back to about even with modern tech, and the Algonquins doing pretty much the same. South America and Meso-America are high tech wonderlands, with slightly less bloodthirsty ways. And the borders between the areas where the Europeans have moved in, is an odd blend of magic and technology, with Miami as a sort of Casablanca feel of a confluence of powers sort of watching each other warily.

The first book is a story about a bounty hunter who deals in some Iroquois mysticism leading his apprentice on a merry goose chase so that he can get his affairs in order before she and their friends have to put him down. The second is political fallout from the first, and how far those echo.


Sounds interesting!
 
2017-01-11 08:41:33 PM  
I love writing about places that are far away (sometimes just geographically, but sometimes culturally distant).

But I keep getting told this is cultural appropriation and the worse crime ever, so I tend to do less of it now than I used to.
 
2017-01-11 09:33:17 PM  
I usually stick to places I'm very familiar with, which is why many of my stories feature Oahu, as well as France and Utah.

That said, I'm working on something based in Oahu, sort of harking back to my Navy days and a mid-air plane mishap (it's based on an actual event that I was witness to), but with a bit of a weird otherworldly twist. Hard to explain, but I've got roughly 5,000 words in, so we'll see.  Maybe I'll submit it for the next Heart of Farkness.
 
2017-01-12 12:24:58 AM  
I am actually getting paid to be a ghostwriter. Workin oN my 3rd book. This one is a memoir from recordings of a 90 year old Polish man who lived under Nazis, then communists, escaped, got to America in 1948, spent 3 years in a TB ward, etc. I've never been any of those places. Lots of plot, too many characters, difficult to give a narrative arc/theme greater than, well I survived, but then... I want to make it more than a collection of anecdotes while keeping it real. This is not easy. The first one I did was a memoir of a voyage around Cape Horn from interviews & logbooks, but the author was clear on what he wanted, so it was easier. Suggestions?
 
2017-01-12 05:38:35 AM  

GRCooper: Had a character from India in my books, never been there.

It's been read by a bunch of Indians and none have ever said "wtf?", so I guess I did a passable job ...

All my characters are virgins, so I just write about my own lack of experience.
 
2017-01-12 09:15:10 AM  
Far away. I had to do research on my stuff. I flooded my world. An entire set of characters are named after flooded cities to honor those who died there. One of those main characters has panic attacks, during which we see her recalling factoids she was previously taught about her "name city".

When I was doing research about the main location for this first book in the trilogy (we're launching before the end of the month!) I discovered a highway tunnel through a mountain and so used that in the book. My main character has to hike it over the mountain when the people he's surreptitiously following go through it.
The location for the other opposing factions are on islands that are currently mountains. I have software to see how things look if you flood the world with 4000 feet of water. (Global Mapper at first, now a different one, Outerra) I have screenshots of these locations and hopefully some folks will be interested enough to want to see this.

pre press book is free to Farkers until we launch (link in my profile)
 
2017-01-12 09:53:16 AM  
If you don't mind a comment:  Drop the prologue.  It's not necessary.  Get the information across through the story, not by laying it out like a patient anesthetized on a table.
 
6 days ago  

RealityChuck: If you don't mind a comment:  Drop the prologue.  It's not necessary.  Get the information across through the story, not by laying it out like a patient anesthetized on a table.


If this is to me, I'll consider it.
 
6 days ago  

Professor Farksworth: Does anyone have any tips for stretching things out while writing a novel? I keep running into the problem of getting to the point too quickly. More description? More background? I feel like I should be better at this at this point.


I think it depends on the kind of story you are writing and the pace you wish to set.  I don't think there is anything wrong with getting to the point. In some cases it's okay to drag it out a little but not so much that the reader goes to sleep. It really depends on what you want to get across.

Personally, I like when authors get to the point. When they stretch out a description it can get annoying but that's just me.  Read a book once where the author took three pages to describe a yellow school bus. Let's just say I don't read their books anymore.

I say go with your gut. You'll know if something is or isn't working.
 
6 days ago  

KumquatMay: I am actually getting paid to be a ghostwriter. Workin oN my 3rd book. This one is a memoir from recordings of a 90 year old Polish man who lived under Nazis, then communists, escaped, got to America in 1948, spent 3 years in a TB ward, etc. I've never been any of those places. Lots of plot, too many characters, difficult to give a narrative arc/theme greater than, well I survived, but then... I want to make it more than a collection of anecdotes while keeping it real. This is not easy. ...
 Suggestions?



I'm assuming the man you're ghostwriting for wants this memoir to be of interest to others outside his family and not just something the great-grandkids can leaf through after his funeral.

Because if it's the latter, make it a picture book full of lots of photos with detailed captions of where he'd been.  You may even be able to wrangle a trip to Poland out of this to get location shots for then vs. now comparisons. Include lots of pictures of him with his family.  Any European relatives you can add would be a plus there.  As far as the writing, keep the pre-America stuff to how he survived and fill the rest of the book with his anecdotes about his family.  It will become more of a genealogy for later generations than strictly a memoir but at least the family will have something to remember him by.

If it's the former or if the man is a war nut, pull a Victor Hugo & wax nostalgic about WWII and how Communism wanted to improve the lives of everybody by equalizing them (that was how it was being propagandized even if that was never the reality) instead of continuing the antiquated feudal system they were under before the war.  There was a vast difference between the haves and have-nots back then, find out which side the man was on and work from there to create the arc by using his stories to tie it all together and personalize the events of the war that directly affected him.  Don't forget the propaganda and hardships he endured during WWII and subsequent changeover as the country went from independence to becoming a Soviet territory.

The part about wanting to leave Poland can be tied to the drastic changes Communist life put on people when the methodoolgy changed to totalitarianism and everyone spying on their neighbors and families to keep on the government's good side.  How the only equalization became the line waiting for bread, etc.

Once past the horrors of surviving a life-threatening disease and becoming an American citizen (I assume), give him the happy ending:  he gets a job/career, a wife, a family, and retirement.  That should take all of two-three chapters depending on how many anecdotes you want to include about his post-Europe life.


OR you could make it into a story where things from the man's present keeps reminding him about the past he'd survived so he relates his anecdotes about it to his wife/children/grandchildren until they roll their eyes and wander off to live their own lives, leaving him with just his memories for company.  Having no idea what the man is like, I can't say whether to make him a wise character everybody ignores or a sad man who can't get anyone to listen.  That part will have to be up to you.  Either way, you can end it with everyone getting together for his 90th birthday party.


Good luck!
 
6 days ago  
Late to the FARKing party, because I kept looking for this thread on the Main page.

grumblegrumblebiatchwhinemoanI'llgetoveritkvetchmumble

To answer the question in TFH, pretty much all space opera or fantasy authors are writing about places they've never been. I'm reasonably certain there has never been a Kingdom of Northmarch, which is a major trading route between the Elves of the Shallow Sea and the Dwarves of the Ironreach Mountains. Even if those places existed, I've never been there. Hasn't stopped me from writing about these places.

Now, the primary conflict-resolution sequence at the end of my story? THAT has (for the moment) stopped me from writing about those places. Grrrrr.

Working on it. Currently resorting to a detailed outline of events in order to properly convey the feel of the scene when I write it down. I figure the whole magical battle royale and denoument ought to run a few thousand more words. End product ought to be a bit over 120k.
 
6 days ago  

softspoken: Professor Farksworth: Does anyone have any tips for stretching things out while writing a novel? I keep running into the problem of getting to the point too quickly. More description? More background? I feel like I should be better at this at this point.

I think it depends on the kind of story you are writing and the pace you wish to set.  I don't think there is anything wrong with getting to the point. In some cases it's okay to drag it out a little but not so much that the reader goes to sleep. It really depends on what you want to get across.

Personally, I like when authors get to the point. When they stretch out a description it can get annoying but that's just me.  Read a book once where the author took three pages to describe a yellow school bus. Let's just say I don't read their books anymore.

I say go with your gut. You'll know if something is or isn't working.


Have you considered writing it as a novella instead? If your style is that direct and you're trying to add things just to pad a wordcount, there's nothing wrong with a shorter format. You might even be able to do sequels which can then be combined as a novel length book down the road.
 
6 days ago  

SVenus: RealityChuck: If you don't mind a comment:  Drop the prologue.  It's not necessary.  Get the information across through the story, not by laying it out like a patient anesthetized on a table.

If this is to me, I'll consider it.


Personally, I think it depends on the prologue. I really like prolugues that gives glimpses and a feel for the story to come because it sets the mood and tone. They can also provide a mystery which carries through the story too.
 
6 days ago  

D_PaulAngel: SVenus: RealityChuck: If you don't mind a comment:  Drop the prologue.  It's not necessary.  Get the information across through the story, not by laying it out like a patient anesthetized on a table.

If this is to me, I'll consider it.

Personally, I think it depends on the prologue. I really like prolugues that gives glimpses and a feel for the story to come because it sets the mood and tone. They can also provide a mystery which carries through the story too.


I've been asking for assistance in the pre press version that is available.
So, to those interested: Please go to the link in my profile, download the book, read a hundred pages and tell me what you think. I'm figuratively on the fence on this.
An early reviewer posted a very cool summary of the book over on Goodreads.
If I pull the prologue, I'll probably put it on the website as an extra.
 
6 days ago  

D_PaulAngel: SVenus: RealityChuck: If you don't mind a comment:  Drop the prologue.  It's not necessary.  Get the information across through the story, not by laying it out like a patient anesthetized on a table.

If this is to me, I'll consider it.

Personally, I think it depends on the prologue. I really like prolugues that gives glimpses and a feel for the story to come because it sets the mood and tone. They can also provide a mystery which carries through the story too.


The received wisdom is not to do a prologue, but that's debated.  The key is that the prologue needs to show something happening -- preferably something that makes sense later in the story.

In the case of this novel, it's just dumping information about the background.  That's bad form:  readers learn the background as they are drawn into the story.  I only read a little of the story, but I'm betting everything in the prologue is explained later.  There is a strong urge by new fantasy and science fiction writers to explain the world they've built in the first pages; the urge should be suppressed.
 
6 days ago  
RealityChuck:

Most of the time I agree, but George RR Martin and James SA Corey both use them.

Course they are in the same writing group.
 
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