Life’s Funny Like That

I don’t really have much to say tonight for the blog, but I wanted to share this amusing moment I had yesterday in regards to feedback I’ve received on my fiction writing. Brief background for context: I’m currently hard at work editing and rewriting a novel manuscript in the hopes of publishing. I’ve sent it out to a few publishers, but haven’t had any bites yet.

The last publisher I sent it to had a few bits of feedback for me, including “drop the prologue. Nobody writes prologues anymore. If it’s important enough to the story, it’s chapter one.”

Never one to ignore advice, even when that advice contradicts my own experience, I dutifully made the changes and the Prologue became Chapter One. Now we come to last night; I’ve been meeting with a writer’s group for the past few months to talk shop and offer critiques of each other’s work. There was somebody new there tonight and what’s the very first comment she offers after reading my Prologue Chapter One?

“This reads more like a prologue to me,” she says. “I don’t think this should be Chapter One. It should be a prologue.”

At that point, I can’t help but smile. It really does amuse me. Will I change it back? Hard to say; I think it’s ultimately a minor thing to worry about at the moment, especially when I have so many other, larger problems.

Still, I think it nicely illustrates the futility of trying to follow any offered “rules” when it comes to writing. There’s always going to be something or someone who exists in opposition to your rule. Just something to keep in mind.