Yesterday I had the pleasure of another Second Story Series at The Loft in Minneapolis. This is a program volunteer curated by authors Swati Avasthi and Heather Bouwman where they pair an established author with an emerging one. In this case, the established author was A. S. King (author of Please Ignore Vera Dietz and Everybody Sees the Ants). The emerging one was Rebeccal Fjelland Davis (author of Chasing AllieCat).
What I find most enjoyable about these programs is not only the readings, but the writing advice from the authors.
When asked about "writing rules," both Amy and Becky said that they don't give the rules much thought during the first draft writing because it would paralyze their writing. Amy said it's best not to think about the rules until the revision stage, and then to follow them only when they are necessary to making the work better.
One of the rules discussed was the controversial No Prologue Rule. I, for one, have never used a Prologue. I always just figured if the information was so important it could be a legitimate Chapter, maybe even Chapter One. Amy, however, loves Prologues and writes them in such a way that if you skip over them (as so many people do!) you'd be hopelessly lost for the rest of the book. Sneaky!
This was fun advice to hear. I'm toying with the idea of a Prologue to Book 3 in the Lies Beneath trilogy. If I go through with it, it will be my very first one and I may just be heeding Amy's advice.