Updated: Jul 8
Originally, Xandon and the King's Scepter had a different prologue. One I had written early on, and removed, as online writing advice was clear:
Don't use prologues.
They go further saying:
Start with the first chapter and dive right into the action....
So, draft #7, I removed the prologue and got to diving.
"But Xandon's first book has a prologue!" you might be saying...
(if you aren't first asking 'Who is Xandon?', 'Why am I reading this?' and 'Where the hell am I?')
...All valid questions.
On Reedsy, I hired a story consultant who read my full story, and offered me a few adjustments. When she finished, she called me. She said, "You know what your story needs? A prologue."
It quite surprised me to hear this after everything I'd read online.
She's an industry professional who works as a story consultant for both big publishing houses and TV scripts for Hollywood, so I trusted her, and wrote a new prologue.
And that's the story of how my first novel got its current prologue, even though everything I read told me not to have one.
* * *
As I'm doing draft #9, the final draft before I turn Xandon and the King's Scepter over to a team of editors for proofreading before physical publishing, I was thinking about that old prologue...
I'm quite fond of it, as it wasn't just a glimpse of Xandon's beginnings, but it also worked as a hidden promise, to the reader, about the entire series they were about to engage in...
* * *
Prologue A Bedtime Story
"You are about to be told a wonderful story," a father read aloud to his son at his bedside. Xandon, a young boy, listened, intrigued, from outside the open bedroom window, for he had never been read a story before. As Xandon leaned in closer for a better listen, he accidentally rustled a nearby bush. The boy laying in the bed shot a glance at the window, but Xandon was sure he'd ducked away in time not to be seen. "It started long ago,” continued the father, "but everything that has happened has led up to now." "Father," interrupted the boy, "I'm cold." Xandon could hear the father’s footsteps coming closer. He slid back into the shadows as the window slammed shut.
Looking back through the window, seeing the father's heavy backside walking back to the bed, Xandon saw the blond-haired boy grinning at the window, at Xandon. Xandon went to the barn, without a nighttime story, without a wish goodnight, where he slept on a pile of straw, nestled in with the animals. It was his sixth birthday.
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