Today’s Writing Tip

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Sometimes your story may begin years or even centuries before Chapter One. In other words, if it reflects the ramifications or aftereffects of some previous event, it may require some background information to put it into context.

More than likely, this won’t involve the main character. If it does, then it’s really not a problem to start with Chapter One then skip ahead. Another way to handle it is by using a prologue. I’m sure you’ve read prologues before that made no sense. In some cases it may remain a mystery even when you finish the story. In other words, they should tie into the story, even if it takes a while before the reader makes the connection.

The main thing is that you should start Chapter 1 with your protagonist. Essential background information can be easily included as a prologue.

Today’s Writing Tip

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If your story needs some background information essential to the plot, but it doesn’t involve the main character, you can introduce it by using a prologue. That way you can start Chapter 1 with your protagonist, which you should always do, because it immediately tells your reader who the story is about. Otherwise, they’re going to wonder what happened to the character they “met” first and whose story your book is really about.