I have just started on the fourth and - hopefully - final draft of my novel: Bathory. I want to think that I will be in a position to send it forth into the big bad world sometime at the beginning of 2010 (if time, work and life will allow); I will confess to being just a tad scared at the prospect. After all, it's my baby, and I've nursed it, and humoured it, for the last two years.
But I do have a bit of a dilemma. And this is it.....
I have written a prologue which takes the reader back into the dark barbaric years of the 16th century. I love this piece of writing. It is full of smoky gothic atmosphere. It sets the scene for the rest of the book which takes place in the here and now; the twenty-first century. But? Is it really necessary? The answer is no. Does the story make sense without it? The answer is yes, perfect sense.
I know there are a lot of publishers out there who dislike The Prologue. Who think it is a waste of space; why not just start at Chapter One and have done with it?
I obviously want to give my book every sporting chance to appeal. So do I leave off the prologue?
On the other hand, doffing my writer's hat and donning my reader's hat, I love prologues (and epilogues come to that).
So what do I do?
I know you can't please all of the people all of the time, but I don't want to displease a few of the people a little of the time. Especially when those people may hold my future life as a writer in their ink-stained hands.
So, you can see the dilemma I'm in.
Do you like to read a novel with a prologue, or do you just want to jump, feet first, into the story?