Be Careful Who You Collaborate With

Some people just have no appreciation for my ability to adapt.

For the record, that scene will not be the inciting incident, it’ll be a prologue.  And I’ll probably rot in writer’s hell for it.

I know I’ll never hear the last of it from those two weasels.  Geez.

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40 thoughts on “Be Careful Who You Collaborate With

  1. I think most prologues suck, but it depends on how you handle it. The best prologues I’ve read (all two of them) may have had the action in them set before the main story, but then they immediately followed up on what happened in the prologue. They didn’t just pull a “12 hours later” or not get back to the prologue until 3/4 of the way through the book.

    I’m undecided on this year’s NaNo, but one option is to do a bunch of ranty essays again, one being on why most prologues suck and why and how to handle a good one.

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  2. BAH. I will refrain from chuckling mostly because I have no opinion on prologues one way or the other. If they work, they work. If they don’t, they just annoy me. I am convinced that whatever the three of you come up with will work and be brilliant.

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  3. Glad you’re all working together again. I think prologues can work well; although they can definitely be used annoyingly, too. So this just sounds like a good solution to me: proves you’re a flexible thinker, even if it’s more fun not to be.

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  4. My WIP has a prologue, despite all your and Lani’s advice to the contrary. But it does pass one of the other tests – if I take this scene out, does the story change? And it definitely does. If I take the prologue out, you focus on different things in the rest of the story, which means the story is about something different. So for now at least I’m keeping it.

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  5. I am waiting to see if it really happens. You will write it, the word count will be too high, it will be rewritten, it will be rewritten again (repeat this five times), then it will be edited out.

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  6. I don’t read prologues. Period.

    I’m betting I won’t have to forego reading the one under discussion (FIE, by the way), because by time of publication said prologue will have been excised.

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  7. 🙂 I suspect the problem is that it’s not only that you’re collaborators, it’s also that you’re friends. Only friends give this amount of grief when you change your mind 😀

    As a complete aside, Slack is an awesome system to aid collaboration. Initially I got more caught in the recognition of what you were using, than the admission that a prologue was required… (I’m a bit of a tech nerd, I can’t help it 🙂 )

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  8. Prologues are iffy. If the writer(s) is(are) great (Jenny/Toni/Krissie) then it is probably a great one. MOST of the prologues I have read lead on to really average/mediocre books. I am not worried. If it stays, it will be great. If it gone, then the rest will be awesome. No worries! Foreshadowing – NO!

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    1. This was formerly Monday Street. Toni and I were going to write it as one book. Then we decided we’d write it as two books, I’d write Cat and she’d write Keely and there’d be some scenes that repeated between the books, just done from different PoVs. Then we checked back with Krissie because she’d been in at the beginning about three years ago and was so overwhelmed with other stuff that she had to drop out. And she said, “Yes,” so now I’m writing Cat (the first book), Krissie’s writing Sophie (second book), and Toni’s writing Keely (third book). Do not hold your breath on this, but we are having a good time.

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      1. Yes!!! I’m not holding my breath (because you said not to) but I am keeping my fingers crossed. Monday Street is one of my favorites.

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      2. I’m not holding my breath either but I’m happy that something is jostling for top position after this book that you’re not writing is written. 🙂

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  9. Oh. My. Goodness.

    I heard that a lot of Islamic and Christian radicalism was driven by the belief in end times, but I never gave it much credence. Apocalypse? Hah! The end of the world has been predicted many times.

    But now?

    Hear those little crackles? I think I hear hell freezing over . . . .

    (LOL, thanks so much for sharing this. It gave me a lot of giggles, and you ALWAYS said a writer should do what the book demands and that there are many, many roads to Oz. You are the best!)

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  10. I like prologues, I love epilogues and does this mean Paradise Park is back on again?

    I will squeal but only if you haven’t put Nita aside.

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    1. I want to finish Nita by December. Then January go back to Paradise Park and Monday Street. We just co-ordinated on this so we’d all start with the same assumptions about the stories and the world.

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  11. *pats shoulder* There, there. Many Roads to Oz, and rules are made to be broken, and all that, right?

    I’ve never had a problem with prologues/epilogues, personally, but I do find that one of the best uses for them is to help connect/unify multiple books in a series. I can think of at least one romance series off the top of my head with similarly overlapping viewpoints that uses the prologues very effectively.

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  12. As a reader (and not a writer), I like prologues. And although I’ve heard I shouldn’t, I LOVE Epilogues, more than I like prologues. Just sayin’.

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        1. The wrap? The last chapter.
          Bet Me is a fairy tale. It starts out “Once upon a time” and ends “happily ever after.” Since an epilogue is the stuff that comes after the story is finished, the last chapter in Bet Me is not an epilogue, it’s the “happily ever after” chapter.

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          1. Really? That’s what you want to go with?

            ; )

            Name me another chapter of yours where you only have descriptions of action.

            (I love ‘the last chapter.’

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  13. You could always insert each POV as a separate interlude across the narrative at thematically appropriate times…which is worse, prologue or flashbacks? 😛

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    1. I admit I am not crazy about flashbacks inside the story. The ones I remember off the top of my head were lazy writing to save a plot problem.

      Although there are a couple of fantasy/sci fi stories where the flashbacks are actually time flow experiments and those worked for me.

      But I’m willing to read anything.

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      1. If it’s time travel, it’s not a flashback, it’s just non-chronological events happening in real time (yes, I have had this discussion before).
        Flashbacks are when the writer stops the story cold, says, “Let me show you what ACTUALLY HAPPENED in the past,” plays a scene in real time even though it happened twenty years before the now of the story, and then says, “And now back to our regularly scheduled story.” Makes me crazy.

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        1. With the scenario for the prologue you wrote in the opening post, though, flashbacks make sense to me. Do it Devil’s Share style, so that the past perspective only informs the present at the relevant present time. Sticking it in the beginning as prologue means that the reader doesn’t actually get the full impact of what it means to each of them, as compared to after they get a feel for the present day dynamics.

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          1. That’s a good point. Memory is so much better than flashback, though. I hate flashback, it kills the sense of the now, so that one I’ll (probably) never violate. But memory works.

            I think we need to write them as prologues first, just to get them down as the three of us. Then we need to write the first drafts of all three books. Then we can talk about how to put that in. Next summer.

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