Author Topic: Prologue/Opening Feedback  (Read 252 times)

Offline kidquid

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Prologue/Opening Feedback
« on: July 25, 2022, 02:13:13 PM »
Hello fellow QT’ers! While I’m out here getting slapped around like Glass Joe in Mike Tyson’s punchout, I wanted to ask for your feedback in two ways. Some of the critiques I’ve received have been that not much happens early on (it’s a slow burn character driven type of book) so I thought about adding a very short prologue, roughly 100 words just to set the mood.

I know some people hate them, but for me, I like a short mood/stakes setting prologue. It perks me up as a reader. I know, I know, a great story doesn’t need a prologue, but I’m a glutton for punishment!

If I was a lawyer I would argue while it might not be a great idea in some circumstances your honor, in these specific cases, the reader is only reading a very short piece of the story and maybe, just maybe, this could tip them to ask for more. Ok, judge, no need to repeat yourself, I heard you the first time, 'motion denied.'

I’ll admit 100% I made the mistake of querying way too early! My editor told me not to of course. But us idiots do what us idiots want to do, that's why we're idiots. No joy in mudville so far, shocking I know. (see stats below)

I'm a member in good standing of the ‘not for me’ club.

Since the first batch of queries my editor and I have worked really hard to sharpen the writing/focus of book, shedding roughly 6K (86 down to 80K) words so it flows much better, each word cut is like a dagger, but it really is about the story and not my precious words.

Editors impress me, savages all, but the clinical eye is something this semi-creative dude just doesn't have.

I sent 55 queries, have another list of agents/small presses I’m going to begin spamming soon, total of about 150ish.

Go ahead and mock me haha! My tween daughter does, she says, “who writes two novels and doesn’t publish them” I try to tell her it’s not that easy, even for super talented ppl and well, you know, I’m just your Faddah!

Stats

30- CNR (ghosted)
17- Semi-immediate not for me club
5- Partials (delayed not for me club)
3- Fulls (delayed not for me club)

Didn't tell my editor about this idea in advance, I don't think he loves it, but he digs the writing, that's something I guess.

Prologue:

The ink black water began to rise as a swell became a rip curl. One after another the waves crashed onto the shore. The constant pounding transformed the white sugary mix into a hard-packed surface at its edge. In a matter of hours thousands of people would be playing in the shore break, riding the waves on rafts, surfboards and boogie boards or even good old fashioned inner tubes. Now though, just before sunrise, the beach was empty. The body tossed and tumbled in the waves. One final surge and the ocean deposited the dead man onto the shore.

On the other side of town, Gibb woke up with a start.

---
You fine folks always seem to give insightful feedback.
TY!

Offline jcwrites

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Re: Prologue/Opening Feedback
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2022, 07:31:24 AM »
Seems to me this breaches the old "don't open with a character waking up" maxim.

Offline kidquid

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Re: Prologue/Opening Feedback
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2022, 11:11:25 AM »
That's not my line haha! But I didn't object when added, so I'm just as guilty and I've never been good at following rules, prob goes for a lot of us around here I'd imagine.

Thanks for jumping in!

Offline Jub666

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Re: Prologue/Opening Feedback
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2022, 09:14:20 AM »
I added some thoughts below. Hope it helps. Ignore if not :)

Jx


Prologue:

The ink black water began to rise as a swell became a rip curl. One after another the waves crashed onto the shore. The constant pounding transformed the white sugary mix (I had to read this twice to understand you mean sand. I think sand sounds better) into a hard-packed surface at its edge. In a matter of hours thousands of people would be playing in the shore break, riding the waves on rafts, surfboards and boogie boards or even good old fashioned inner tubes. I don't think you need the scored out part Now though, just before sunrise, the beach was empty. The body tossed and tumbled (they pretty much mean the same thing, maybe pick just one) in the waves. One final surge and the ocean deposited the dead man onto the shore. You use 'shore' and 'waves' three times in a small space. Could you find other words?

On the other side of town, Gibb woke up with a start. As mentioned by jcwrites, perhaps find a different beginning.

Offline kidquid

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Re: Prologue/Opening Feedback
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2022, 10:16:27 AM »
Gah! It really is great flinging something out there after you played with it and banged your head against the computer for hours and just lose sight of everything. I woulda swore on a stack of bibles I paid close attention to not repeat words haha! Here's a quick redux without the dupes, you've gave good thoughts/insights, def helpful Jub, TY! This might suck worse, but hey I'm trying folks:

The ink black water began to rise as a swell became a rip curl. One after another the waves crashed onto the shore. The constant pounding transformed the sand into a hard-packed surface at its edge. In a matter of hours thousands of people will be out riding surfboards and boogie boards or even good old fashioned inner tubes. Now though, just before sunrise, the place is empty. The body tossed about in the breakers. One final surge and the ocean deposited the dead man onto the beach. 

Offline Jub666

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Re: Prologue/Opening Feedback
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2022, 06:03:24 AM »
I think your re-worked version reads much better. Best of luck with it :)

Jx