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hunting the hunter-prologue

by mvb627


Prologue

"Just once more sweety," my mom said, her face glowing. She picked up a thick branch, and held it out. I took a breath, focused as much as a five year old could, and kicked out. with a loud thwack, the branch snapped in two. I smiled, and we went inside for some cookies. As we started eating, my mom suddenly got nervous. She asks me to hide, so I did. As soon as I was well hidden, I listened to someone slam the door. I heard my mom pleading with someone, then gunshots, then silence. I realized she was dead.


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Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:58 pm
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm Knight Hardy here on a mission to ensure that all works on YWS has at least two reviews. You will probably never see this but....Imma do this anyway.

Anyway let's get right to it,

"Just once more sweety," my mom said, her face glowing. She picked up a thick branch, and held it out. I took a breath, focused as much as a five year old could, and kicked out. with a loud thwack, the branch snapped in two. I smiled, and we went inside for some cookies. As we started eating, my mom suddenly got nervous. She asks me to hide, so I did. As soon as I was well hidden, I listened to someone slam the door. I heard my mom pleading with someone, then gunshots, then silence. I realized she was dead.


Okay...well that was a very fast paced prologue there, as a reader you barely have time to breathe and before you know what's going on an actual murder has just occured and there's a child hiding out alone in a house with the mother just having been killed. It totally just slams into you like a ton of bricks, which is definitely a powerful scene and I honestly love this type of very powerful scene being mentioned in a prologue, but I do believe that there is a point or two where slowing down a bit would be beneficial.

This is mostly for the very first few lines here, cause I feel like you can build a lot more of a sense of security and sense of the interaction between the child and the mother. Here it rather abruptly throws two lines of family time, then two lines of murder. The actual killing is very effective at the length it currently is at, but I feel like the first part being a bit longer and showing more of the relationship between the child and the mother would make this whole murder scene be that much more powerful and impactful here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:28 pm
IcyFlame says...



Right I'm back! Here to review the non-technical (is that a word?!) side of your piece.

As I mentioned, and you've no doubt noticed anyway, this was very short. This can be alright for prologues, but in this case you have many opportunities to expand it.

mvb627 wrote:"Just once more sweety," my mom said, her face glowing. She picked up a thick branch, and held it out. I took a breath, focused as much as a five year old could, and kicked out. with a loud thwack, the branchhed snapped in two.
This in itself is a good hook, and doesn't really need much more explanation as no doubt that will be dealt with in the chapters to come.
mvb627 wrote:I smiled, and we went inside for some cookies.
This just sounded a bit abrupt to me. Was your MC tired? (I'm assuming it's a girl hear as there is no indication of otherwise) Is she happy that she has just pleased her mom? Had she perhaps been promised the cookies earlier? Where are they? What's the weather like? You have posed many questions here, but none of the ones I have mentioned sound like they are too important to be kept a secret from the reader in this short section. It doesn't seem as though by telling the reader that the little girl wiped her forehead, glad that the training was over, would give away a massive plot secret in chapter fourteen for example. Of course, I could be wrong but I still think this simple description could be expanded. Perhaps give us a desription of your MC?

mvb627 wrote:As we sterted eating, my mom suddently got nervous.
This is where I begin to have a real problem. Her mom was completely happy (or so you've led us to believe) and now she's suddenly scared although the reader has been given no indication of something out of the ordinary happening? Maybe there could be fierce banging on the door? Or muffled voices outside it? We need something that's going to trigger her fear or it's simply a statement that hasn't been backed up by any real information. The other comment I have here is that this is the perfect opportunity to show, rather than tell. Rather than simply telling us she is nervous, show it in the way she moves her hands, or her eyes dart continuously to the door. This will make the reader more involved in the story.

mvb627 wrote:She asks me to hide, so I do.
Again, we have no indication of why she should do so. No knock at the door, nothing. She needs a reason. And you have yet another great chance to show us how she is feeling. Is she worried? Frightened? Reluctant to do what she is told?

mvb627 wrote:As soon as I was well gone, I listened to someone slam the door.
Does someone step in? Or is is here mom going out? If she doesn't know, does she wonder what is going on?

mvb627 wrote:I heard my mom pleading with someone, then gunshots, then silence. I realized she was dead.
and now we come to my main problem. Everything you have written so far in this chapter builds up to this moment. This great big, life changing moment for the character, and it' over in two sentences? You have so much more to add here! How does she know that her mom is dead? Could she run out into the hall, after the door slams again, calling her mom to ask what happened? Does she find her lying on the floor? A five year old especially, would not recognise the noise of a gunshot, but would still be terrified. Show us that emotion! I know you can do it!

If you need anything else, feel free to pm or write on my wall :)
Icy.




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Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:09 pm
IcyFlame wrote a review...



First off, I want to ask you if you really need a prologue? There are many people who don't lreally ike them, and it's a common fact that unless they're done really well, they can be a bit of a turn off for agents/editors if you want to publish this. Prologues rarely add anything to the story that cannot be given in the chapters, and they prolong the start of the actual book, which is why we're reading.

And while this one is nice and fairly intriguing, it doesn't have the punch a prologue needs to be successful. I don't know how chapter one starts, but most times prologues can be either renumbered to be chapter one or morphed into the actual chapter, if they are necessary.

This was a very short piece, but I'll critique anyway.

mvb627 wrote:With a loud thwack, the branchhed snapped in two.


mvb627 wrote:I smiled, and we went inside for some cookies. As we started eating, my mom suddently got nervous. She asked me to hide, so I did. As soon as I was well gonehidden, I listened to someone slam the door. I heard my mom pleading with someone, then gunshots, then silence. I realized she was dead.


You'll notice I've actually only critiqued the grammer side of things here. *Reserves space below for full review* I'll post this now, and get back to you in a minute. I just have to sort myself out!





Ogres are like onions.
— Shrek