“Old longings nomadic leap,The problem, is, does anyone else read them? What happens if the reader doesn't, will they lose the plot? Feedback from the competition told me to concentrate on boosting the historical strand of the book, so I did, but I also found lots of bits of useless but fascinating facts that made the setting more real for me, so I thought I would stick some of them in epigraphs for the Dee chapters. Having written more chapters, I had to write more epigraphs. Giving them an apparent historical presence was fun too - I pinched references from old demonologies, a Myles Coverdale translation of the Bible (1535) and the German school of swordfighting. I just hope someone reads them. I have an epilogue, too, to round off the Dee strand, returning to his 'olde englishe' way of writing.
Chafing at custom’s chain;
Again from its brumal sleep
Wakens the ferine strain.”
During the MA prologues and epigraphs were given short shrift, and for good reason. They can be info dumps, just filled with backstory the writer is too lazy to feed through the book, they can distract from the main story or take the focus from it. They can sometimes be more usefully called 'chapter 1' to be honest. I hope mine sets the scene for the historical strand.
I'm hoping the epigraphs add verisimilitude, the truthful details that make a fiction more convincing. I hope they are 'hooks' that keep the reader reading. But they aren't necessary for the plot. I'll be interested if anyone else likes them!
PS. On a sobering note, my book is being shown around to people. I'm feeling strangely tense and nervous. The book, which for more than a year was just mine, was somehow a private obsession and hardly anyone knew about it or read any of it. Letting it go feels weird. Not bad, but as if some secret of mine was being gossiped about. I feel exposed. It's a good job I don't know any of them!