I have a bit of a dilemma, and having spent half the day reading all manner of articles by ‘published authors’ of varying types I’m none the wiser.
In my novel I have two main protagonists. The plot starts with them as adults, but one important subplot involves back-references to one of them as a young child (and also the intervening years). Her psychological history is critical to her character development arc. Thinking it might help me cogitate, I wrote a backstory scene which introduces her as a young child.
This scene also includes another character (male) from the novel at roughly the same age, but this other character, although significant, is not a protagonist.
There is conflicting advice out there as to the wisdom of starting a novel with a prologue, and further conflicting advice as to whether a backstory is appropriate as a prologue.
I know there is no ‘proper’ answer. I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the matter? I think the choices I have are:
- No prologue, dump the backstory scene in its current form and borrow from/allude to it in brief flashbacks.
- Have the backstory scene as a prologue, thus reinforcinging subsequent backreferences to the characters.
If there is a third option, I’d be very interested to hear it. Also any thoughts on the subject of prologues and/or backstory scenes in general.
Sadly, I’m rather attached to the scene I wrote. I know that’s a cardinal sin
If it helps, I’d be quite happy to post the backstory text in question.