Today's post will be in two parts. The first is an observation about "How-To" books on writing and the second is of a personal nature.
I recently received the first two chapters of a story from a new person in our critique group. His first comment was that he'd read a "How-To" book on writing that said prologues are no longer accepted in modern fiction, so he had changed his prologue to chapter one and wondered how it read that way. I'm reminded of the saying, "Don't believe everything you read." Granted, new writers are discouraged from writing prologues because they haven't learned how to write them effectively. They usually end up as an info dump that detracts from the story beginning.
Prologues, if written properly, serve the purpose of setting the tone of the story and/or the foundation. It should be short, to the point, and briefly describe an event that gives the reader a starting point. A significant historical event, the actual crime as it's being committed, or a decision made by a forefather, are all good prologues. It's like a newspaper front page headline and then you go on to read the rest of the story.
His first chapter was actually such a well written prologue, I recommended he change it back to a prologue and start his story after that.
The other part of this post is that I have decided to go back to work. At 65, I don't have that many years left to be able to handle a working environment. With the cost of living continuously rising and my Social Security staying the same, I can no longer afford to pay my bills. I will continue to write, but my stories will take even longer than they do now. I will also try to keep up with my blog, but that all depends on what kind of a work schedule I end up with.
Also, since no one has ever commented on the short examples of my writing I usually post here, I have to assume they are not being read so I will no longer continue to do so.
Thanks for reading.