Monday, August 27, 2012

Before the Story....

How many times have you written a story or book and then wondered, what happened before the story began?

Ok I admit, it hasn't happened - yet.

But it can.

I realized that the way my girl zombie novel opens, it offers the perfect opportunity to offer a prequel, the set-up before the actual escalating event when the girl's cousin, who is turning into a zombie, comes home.

I've mapped part of it out but I still question - how much is too much? How much detail takes away from the other story?

Of course, writing a prequel means sticking to just that - the events and facts before the main escalating event in the book. It is a stand-alone story and using only events leading up to the one main event in the other story/book can help limit you so you don't go off on other unrelated tangents.

Some of these thoughts here are to help me as I figure out my prequel, and maybe they will help you if you are writing one.

** If you have written a prequel, share the points you took into consideration.

* What did your prequel contain?
* What is it about?
* How does it relate to the main story/book?

Some pros on writing a prequel:

* You can present some of the details that would have bogged down the beginning of the other book or story.

* You can share more about the main character and what prompted them to do what they did.

* You can show more about a character by the actions they take - or don't take.

* You can show more about the family dynamics before this event.

Cons on writing a prequel:

* You can get bogged down in details that don't matter.

* You can repeat some things already covered in the main story.

* ?

Tell us about your prequel!

* See other fiction by Christine Verstraete


Cellophane Queen said...

I have a series starring a teen witch and covering her adventures. Her sidekick brother became a popular character with my beta readers. Result was a short story prequel about how he got serious about his warlock powers when he's almost killed out on a glacier. It's complicated, but the short story is free from my publisher if you buy the first book in the Witches of Galdorheim series.

Or ask me. I'll give you a free copy in PDF.

Morgan Mandel said...

Great advice in prequels.
Morgan Mandel

Deb Larson said...

Great insight, Christine. I love it when minor characters become so real we need to know more about them. Good luck with your prequel.
DL Larson