To Prologue, or Not to Prologue?

I have written a prologue for my ‘traditional’ fantasy story, and I did it without giving it much thought. Which, ironically, got me thinking. A prologue is very common in fantasy fiction. So common that I wrote one without consciously thinking “I’m going to give this story a prologue”. But is a prologue necessary? Can a prologue be a help or a hindrance? Here are my thoughts…and a photo of a typewriter. 

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The Dragon Reviewed…

I recently decided to undertake the task of re-reading the Wheel of Time. It’s only now, three books in, that the scale of this undertaking has hit me. Three down, eleven to go!

I’ve decided to take a break and read a few other books, lest I over-saturate myself with Wheel of Time. I have also decided that this might be a good time to post my own short review and thoughts on the first three books as a whole.

Anyone who knows me will know I am a massive Wheel of Time fan, though I will happily admit it is certainly not perfect. What follows is a summary of the books’ premise and a very brief review / my thoughts.

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The Dragon Reborn, book 3 of The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan
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Victory Not Vengeance

I have talked about my ‘Big Four’ literary (fan boy) influences on my writing, so now I’m going to talk a bit about other influences. Specifically, music. More specifically, I want to talk about the influence of a criminally overlooked electronic project by the name of VNV Nation.

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VNV Nation logo via Bandcamp

Musically and lyrically, VNV Nation evoke all kinds of thoughts and feelings, managing both melancholy and euphoria simultaneously. The VNV in the name stands for Victory Not Vengeance. As per their website, the “meaning behind this stylised motto is that one should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret.” A good motto to have, wouldn’t you agree?

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The Villain Makes the World

silhouette of man standing against black and red background
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Different authors have different approaches to world building. Some start with maps of their world. Some, like Tolkien, start with the languages of their creation and then built cultures up around the language. While I like drawing maps, I’m not particularly artistic and unlike Tolkien I’m a not an Oxford educated professor of linguistics. Therefore for my main project, I started with a character.

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Introduction

I have been trying to write my own fiction for years. Emphasis on the word trying.

I always liked writing and telling stories, and for around thirteen years I have been toying with several ideas for large-scale projects. They say that everyone has a novel in them. Well, I would very much like to get that novel out of me.

In fact, I have four major ideas that I would just love to follow through to the end; a traditional (ish) fantasy which has been gestating in my mind for thirteen years in one shape or another, an alternate history (with a bit of the fantastic thrown in), a Jack Vance influenced future Earth science-fantasy, and a fantasy comedy. A lot of fantasy fiction, basically.

The problem is that the Angel of Procrastination sits on my shoulder every time I try. I have world built and world destroyed, and built it back up again, but writing the story eludes me. However, I do know that I need to write; hence this blogging venture.

The plan is to review fantasy fiction, discuss tropes, fan theories, themes and my influences (literary, historical and musical), maybe post up some shorter pieces I have worked on in the past, and talk myself through the process of story telling and world building.  All this to coax myself into writing my magnum opus.

Hopefully, I’ll gain some followers along the way who will be happy to discuss these things too.