I should probably offer a warning here: for those of you who have not yet read deep into my novel (i.e. well beyond what is available on this blog) the sample below contains something of a spoiler.
This is the original draft of the prologue for The Herald’s Dark Progress. (Although, when I say “original”, I should clarify that I mean it is the first version I deemed worthy of showing to anyone else; even at this stage, I had of course gone over it with a fine-tooth keyboard at least a dozen times.) It contains background material that the current iteration does not provide until much later in the narrative, and for that reason you may want to hold off reading it. By the same token, revealing the additional facts as I had them here is hardly on par with, say, moving the last five pages of an Agatha Christie novel into the first chapter; the events described aren’t terribly extensive, nor are they completely excised from the prologue in the manuscript as it stands now – they’ve merely been cut back and made less explicit. But it was, to my mind, inferior storytelling, and the reason I’ve added this excerpt is precisely to demonstrate my thinking as to why, and how I subsequently improved upon it (which I discuss in this accompanying post).
Therefore, if you haven’t already finished The Herald’s Dark Progress, it’s your choice: hold off on this for now and read the novel exactly as I intend it to be read (pending yet further edits, of course!) and then return here afterwards; or, if you’re more interested in the writer’s process (or at least this writer’s process) and don’t mind a small reveal, continue on!