In my last post, Candace E. Salima said...
Prologue serve a purpose if an extended amount of time takes place between the prologue and the beginning of the story.Dreams serve their purpose in writing, if the writer is very, very careful and doesn't overuse that tool. So I wouldn't necessarily buy into that one.Opening with dialog, is tricky, I agree.
My response to her comment:
I agree, Candace, that Prologues can work, sometimes, but I believe it serves writers better to write their book without the prologue first, and if it's still needed, then add it. I recently rewrote a book that began with a prologue I felt was vital to the story because it showed an event which happened when the main character was a child and affected/motivated her actions through the entire book; yet, after rewriting it, I found I was able to write a stronger, more immediate story without it. I did, however, have to use a flashback or two, another tool that is not always recommended. I guess the moral to this story is: Do whatever you have to do to make sure your story both makes sense and remains "immediate."
As far as dreams as beginning hooks go, I stand with my original statement. But I do want to clarify that I'm talking about dreams that are merely gimmicks to catch the reader's attention. Those dreams, like in Harry Potter when he "dreamt" about Voldemort killing the innocent old man, which turned out to be true and immediate to the story, are not the kind I am discouraging. Only those where the main character is facing something horrible, like a haunted forest, and only escapes when he "wakes up and learns it was all a dream." I believe such tactics only "let down" the reader.