I recently joined an online critique group, and gave them my latest rewrite of the first 4 pages of WiP #1. The latest rewrite has seen me scrapping the first 3 chapters, and starting at the height of the initial action. But there was one catch.
What's going on? Where does this take place? Is this our world or another one?
Yeowch! Too many questions are left outstanding, but need to be answered earlier.
I don't want to reintroduce three chapters (approx. 10K words) of backtory. So, the question is, what do I do to make things clear early enough in the story while still avoiding large paragraphs of exposition?
Here was my thought, and I don't know how much I like it. A prologue. Now, everyone and their agent's mother says not to prologue, so I'm torn. At the moment I have 1 page of prologue, approx. 260 words, introducing one key historical moment of background, still trying to capture the reader's attention.
One potential problem is that the prologue has to be told through a 3rd person omniscient narrator. The rest of the story is (currently) 1st person. I recently read a book that did this, and it didn't feel problematic to me, but my hubby (the lit PhD) was concerned about the transition.
Of course, the other problem seems to be that prologues are loathed and, by some, seem to be considered a sign of bad writing. I don't exactly want to introduce myself that way, that's for sure. I'm just not sure what else to do.
So, folks, what do you think? Do you prologue? Do you hate prologues? How do you feel about the narrator transition from one to the other? Am I committing a mortal literary sin here?