I've got thick skin, so be brutally honest. Especially if it should be a prologue or a chapter one. This is little information to go off of, but I'll be posting the five pages soon in the appropriate thread.
Eight Years Ago
“Quilla, make a wish,” my big sister, Amy, signs. She holds out a fluffy white dandelion and looks at our back porch. Daddy is inside cooking, and Mommy is reading in a rocking chair.
“A wish?” I ask and sit next to her on the cool grass. I stretch my legs out, grass tickling my bare feet. “What should I wish for?” I sign and grin. I hold the dandelion up and squint through the sun. “A big sucker?”
Mommy says my kindergarten teacher won’t give me suckers like my old teacher did. But school doesn’t start for a lot more days, and I hope she’s wrong.
Amy shakes her head and puts her darker hand, just like Daddy’s, on my lighter brown one, just like Mommy’s. “No, silly. Something way better than a sucker. You’re such a little kid sometimes.”
I pout and yank my hand away. “You’re only eight,” I sign. She’s not Mommy. I don’t have to listen to her.
“Wishes should be big,” she signs and spreads her arm wide when she’s done. “Besides what if your wish came true? You don’t want to waste a wish on something like a sucker.”
I look at the dandelion and at her. “But wishes on dandelions don’t come true.”
She shrugs and picks another dandelion from the ground. She looks at the forest way behind us, the place where Mommy and Daddy say we can’t go too far in without them. Never out of sight.
The problem with some prologues/past scenes is that you are trying to identify with a character who you really aren't meant to identify with. The 'Mommy' references may turn MG readers off before they get into the main part of the story.
Is whole scene enough to be necessary? Can't it be revealed that (I'm assuming) the sister disappeared (or whatever) during the chapter in the present?
'squint through the sun'? I think there's a word missing.
For me, I know they are signing everything so I'd reduce 'she signs and spreads her arm wide when she’s done' down to just 'She spreads her arms wide' I'd assume she waited until after she was done signing. P.S. 'arm' should be 'arms' unless she only has one.
Post by valeriepepper on Feb 4, 2017 13:07:02 GMT -5
It's hard to figure out whether prologues should happen or not. An idea to consider is dropping the reader into the present action of the book (presumably your Chapter 1) and give us a glimpse back at this prologue in one or two sentences of memory, that are doled out in the right spots. The forest sounds nice and creepy.