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Prequel or not Prequel ?

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by Rebel.JPEG, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Rebel.JPEG

    Rebel.JPEG Member

    Well, here it is.

    I've been working on a pokemon fic for quite a time now (though it still isn't ready to be posted, sorry) and among many of the problems that plague us writers, there's one in particular that really bugs me: prequels.

    Said fic would be made of three parts: 'Past', 'Present' and 'Future'.
    Although I'm certain that the 'Future' part will be the last one, I'm not sure which order I should post/write the others.

    The 'Present' part starts as a more or less an "normal" trainer fic , somewhat comic and light with some serious and rather creepy parts toward the end. Many characters are, however, trying to atone for some "bad stuff" that happened before the history began ....

    The 'Past' part is exactly about said characters, and said "bad stuff". It's an action/war fic, with several parts that can really be considered at best "morally ambiguous" and, at worse, outright evil from almost everyone. Expect to see human excrement to hit the fan really fast, really hard ...

    Anyway ...

    That said, I'm thinking on first doing the 'Present', showing parts of 'Past' as flashbacks, before actually engaging the first part itself.

    However, I open to suggestions to what would be best. People's advice have always saved me in times of need.

    Anyway, thanks for reading it so far.
    See you guys later.
     
  2. IJuggler

    IJuggler how much words

    Is there any reason you can't 'blend' the past and present into one? Not so much in a jarring way, but the same way a lot of professional fiction tends to reveal background and previous events through things happening in the present. It combines the tenseness of a present state with the supporting information of the past, and is the most common style I see.

    I've also seen the past explained through short bits at the start of chapters, but that relies more on the implications of relatively little information, whereas it sounds like you're trying to tell three different stories/'eras', which might not be enough space for you.

    Prequels seem more like a good idea in theory than in practice, to me. Sure, it might even out the story counts to a round 3/6 (Star Wars), but they don't tend to carry the same intensity in the story that is required to keep an audience. Maybe you've got a world-shattering epic full of character twists and gambits, but the 300k word prequel fully introducing all the characters before anything starts will assure that nobody gets there. That's just my two cents, and not meant to turn anyone away from writing them, though.
     
  3. An Enemy Spy

    An Enemy Spy Well-Known Member

    I'm currently working on a story where events that happened in the distant past are affecting things in the present, though nobody knows or remembers them. Ever several chapters, I wil have a chapter that details the past events, but doesn't give too much away right at the start. It keeps things interesting.
     
  4. Firebrand

    Firebrand Indomitable

    Actually, I think George Martin does a good job with this. For those familiar with the series, Robert's Rebellion, yes? For those who aren't, in Song of Ice and Fire, a war twenty years ago seriously influences the events of the present, and is often alluded to in the text. However, there isn't anything in the books that actually directly address the war itself. There was a brief dream-flashback thing in the first book about one small event, but on the whole, the entirety of what readers know about of Robert's Rebellion and the War of the Trident has been pieced together by what other characters say about it.

    Other writers have done small flashback scenes throughout the text, cutting out the need for a prequel and keeping events shrouded to the reader. From a narrative standpoint, it's a bad idea to write an entire story set in the "present", only to write a second installment set in the past that explains things that weren't clear in the story. The flashback dreams work well if the events in question were traumatic and resulted in PTSD. Likewise, a very positive memory, like falling in love for the first time, a blissful wedding, etc., will also leave a mark and is something a character will recall well.
     
  5. The Daylight Assassin

    The Daylight Assassin Come at me Bro

    I like flashbacks in all, but I would rather go back and explain it all in a little side story after the fic. So as to explain all of the said flashbacks in a cool little story. I like your thoughts on this.

    Im thinking on a fic with a lot of backstory but I wanna tell it at the end. Flashbacks is a good way. But youd bettr have said characters flashbacks explained well. Side story would be a good way to go with that little problem.
     

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