Today I wanted to talk about prologues and introducing your characters for the first time. Before researching for this blog, I had little to no knowledge on both of these subjects.
Prologues, to me, was like the stocks app on my iphone. It was always there, but a) I never used it and b) I didn’t really know how to use it. Well let me try to clear it up a bit for my sake as well as yours.
Prologues are there for a reason. You don’t have to write a prologue, but if you do, there should always be a reason for it. Prologues can be there to give some backstory before diving into the story, they can be written out of chronological order of your novel to add some needed info or be written in another time setting/ era than your novel. Prologues can also be written in another characters perspective (either a secondary character or anyone that is not your main character). This being said, you should always have a good reason for your prologue if you choose to add one. It should be vital to your story, not just an extra few pages that readers skip.
Introducing your characters for the first time
First impressions are crucial. Just think of it this way – you have been creating your character for months now. You are constantly giving them quirks and traits and developing their backstory. You have a great love for this character and after all this you introduce them with a bland paragraph. How would that make your character feel? Your character would probably want to jump out of the pages and give you a slap. “I deserve better than this,” They would say.
So give them a damn good introduction. For example, think of how Pirates introduced Jack Sparrow. His first scene started out as him seeming like a brilliantly composed, confident pirate and quickly turned to him jumping down into his tiny boat and bucketing water out. Even these couple seconds captured the essence of Jack – a compelling yet quirky pirate. Watch this scene here.
So next time you write an introduction for your characters, make sure it captures the true essence of them wether you want them to seem smart, confidant, weird, or whatever else. Just give them justice.
p.s – Even with your secondary characters, their introduction could be only one line but even with that, you can still truly capture their essence.