What makes for an intriguing, attention grabbing story prologue?
On my hubs, I wrote up a prologue for a novel I am writing (Maddox Bellacole...) in hopes of garnering feedback for what makes a compelling read. I want to grab the reader's attention and hold their curiosity, so what does that for you, personally?
Details. Details. Details. In order to hook the reader, you must make him or her see, feel, taste, smell, and live the story.
A good prologue depends on the story itself. It is like an effective and descriptive synopsis of what happened prior to the tale's beginning that gives insight into the main character's life, or his family history mileu, or an action scene that happened several hundred years before that relates to the current story.
The last example is sometimes the first chapter and is short.
In my personal opinion, it depends precisely on the content and theme of your story.
The most common rule is to be descriptive and make your readers feel and live the story by some powerful and intelligent use of words. Another tip - which I often use - is to connect the prologue and the epilogue.
An interesting first sentence which makes the reader want to know more. This is true for all hubs actually. In teaching writing, I have a whole list of different types of introduction ideas ranging from starting in the middle of the action, giving vivid description, citing a startling statistic or even just asking a question. See my hubs on Reader Response and Exploratory essay for the list.
You might try asking the questions that the book answers. The content of the novel surely impacts the prologue.
All very good answers. You are all very smart. Could you review the prologue I wrote and leave comments that will help me refine it? I think that would be very helpful.
Foreshadowing, giving a hint of things to come, a mystery to be solved, etc.
Opening in dialogue, showing a key scene in the thick of the action, leaving it open, leaving the reader questioning, what happened before it to take the characters there, act they way they are? Then needing to read on, seeking answers to the questions raised by the key scene wondering what they mean for the characters and how they will come out of it, what will they do?
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