What do you think of my prologue?

Do you like it? Why do you like it? What's good about it? Does it make you want to read more and/or buy the book? What could improve?.

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'Time and time again, we're tricked into believing. We're told that the impossible can happen, and children might fly. But then, the age of wonder passes, and as we mature, we come to realise; such foolish fantasies could never come to life, and wishes can never really be granted.'

Scarlett Adams knew that better than anybody. Once, long ago, it had felt like she had ingrained those words in her heart with a scalpel, forcing herself to trust them, believe in them, no matter how much the child within her didn't want to. And now, they were her philosophy; her means of living. In her adult age, such a sensible countenance had gained her the respect of her fellow peers and all those nameless acquaintances.

Yet down here, in the cold holding cells of the courthouse, those words felt like they too, were surely mouldering away. Scarlett put a protective arm around herself, shrugging off the hand of the security guard. She reached another hand downwards, holding tightly onto the golden-haired girl beside her. The roof, dark with the damp and mould, arched high above her, and it felt like there was almost space to soar.

Row upon row of empty holding cell greeted her; metal bars where prisoners had clung, trodden stone floors, worn wooden benches.

"I'll be waiting outside, ma'am."

Snapped back to her senses, Scarlett nodded at the burly man who had accompanied her, and loosened her grip on the child beside her. The girl, little more than seven, looked up at her, a familiar petulant expression crossing that pretty face.

"I want to see him."

Scarlett, grown used to the unpredictable tempers of children, knelt. She did not care to sweep her skirts aside; they served as adequate protection from the cold, broken floor.

"You go wait with the nice man, Abby. He'll take care of you. This is something I've got to do by myself."

Slowly, reluctantly, the girl edged away. Scarlett watched, slowly getting to her feet once more, as the two silhouettes merged into one. She was alone, now, with the darkness.

The woman placed a tentative hand on the metal bars of the cell she stood before, and the rust came away between her fingers. Light hit her face, painful in the gloom, from some long-open window, and Scarlett shielded herself behind pale hands.

In the shadows of the cell, something stirred. Holding her breath, unwilling to hope, Scarlett inched closer. What she had taken for rags, sprawled across the stone ground, had moved, but just only. In the half-light, Scarlett could see colours; the faded green of leaves as the boy's clothes, the dulled sun-kissed bronze of his hair, his fair skin. She pressed herself closer, and the boy, where he lay, turned his eyes towards her. They were empty, devoid of spirit, but as his gaze met hers, something stirred sluggishly within his. He pulled himself upright with a new fervour, the spark dancing in those cobalt eyes, and clinging to the bars, he searched with a certain kind of helplessness, but it was futile.

Scarlett had pulled herself back, blending with the shadows, unable to show her face

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  • 1 decade ago
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    This is all merely suggestion and you can take from it what you will.

    Good opening paragraph, will grab a reader's attention very well and they'll be interested in reading more. My one suggestion is to remove the semi-colon after "realize" and just continue the sentence without punctuation.

    "And now, they were her philosophy; her means of living." Again, remove the semi-colon, it's not needed. Using a comma instead will make the sentence flow much nicer.

    "The roof, dark with the damp and mould, arched high above her, and it felt like there was almost space to soar." That last bit doesn't quite fit the mood I'm sure you're trying to establish for this setting. Try altering it or adding something like "almost enough space to soar and escape".

    "Slowly, reluctantly, the girl edged away. Scarlett watched, slowly getting to her feet once more[...]" Please remove one of those "slowly"s. The repetition is too obvious. It would be better to use a synonym for one of them or get rid of the first one altogether.

    "The woman placed a tentative hand on the metal bars of the cell she stood before[...]" Could you maybe chance that to "The woman reached out to place a tentative hand"? I was a bit confused later on when you write that she moved forward because the wording in this paragraph makes it seem as if she's already standing right up to the bars of the cell.

    "[...]Scarlett shielded herself behind pale hands." Wording is a bit awkward, but that may be just my opinion. Might be a bit better if you say she shielded her eyes so people don't get the image of her shielding some other part of her body.

    "What she had taken for rags, sprawled across the stone ground, had moved, but just only." That seems to be a lot of unnecessary commas. The sentence is fine without being interrupted by punctuation.

    "In the half-light, Scarlett could see colours; [...]" A colon would be the proper punctuation for this.

    In terms of story, this doesn't sound bad so far. If I found this in a bookstore I would probably keep reading.

  • 1 decade ago

    It seemed a little wordy at the beginning but ended very nicely. Makes me want to read the whole book! Great job.

  • 1 decade ago

    I actually really, really liked that.

    It made me curious to know the back story and learn more about what is going on, which is definitely one of the main points of a prologue.

    Good job!

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