P. Thomas. Piche

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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The Efficacy of Prologues vs. Starting in the Middle

Novels, especially in the genre of Fantasy have long relied on prologues which give exposition for the reader so that they can understand the fictional world’s origins and major conflicts. There is another approach which has been used which is to start in the middle of the conflict, and explain origins later as the action is moving.

Explore the pros and cons of both approaches, and make suggestions for what kind of stories work best with the two approaches.

  • I've been thinking about this in the context of mystery/ thrillers, where there is often a prologue from the POV of the killer, and then the main part of the book is taken up with having the detective catch up with the character with that POV. In both cases, I think the prologue throws up a wall that allows the writer to violate the old rule that you can't switch points of view-- because readers process the prologue and the main narrative as two separate-but-related texts. If that makes sense. – MattDube 8 years ago

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Latest Comments

While I think that more and better female representation is wanting in the Zelda series, I do find some of your criticism rather uncharitable and would like to temper it by making a few corrections on your interpretation of the lore of the game.
Firstly, you claim that the oracles of ages, seasons, and secrets are in fact the golden goddesses who created Hyrule. The Hyrule Historia makes no mention of this connection and it seems more likely that the oracles are merely named after the goddesses. Therefore it seems that the omnipotence of the golden goddesses is in fact intact; the most powerful entities in Hylean history are 3 women.
Secondly, Hylia actually has lower jurisdiction than the golden goddesses. They leave her in charge after they leave. I am assuming she is more or less a part of their creation rather than being their peer.

Next, I agree with your analysis of Skyward Sword Zelda. She is my favorite Zelda because she is actually on her own quest, and in fact she beats temples faster than Link. This still isn’t as ideal as having Zelda as a playable character, but it is the closest Zelda has gotten.
Finally, I wanted to comment on Zelda as a damsel in distress. It is a regrettable trope, and they have kept using it for far too long, but I would say that there is one merit to the Zelda franchise’s use of it. Zelda is a monarch and her well-being represents the well-being of the land. She is the most important and powerful person in the kingdom, so her being captured is the doom of the kingdom. That is what we can salvage from it anyway.

The Legend of Zelda: Female Representation

An interesting developmental history of music in video games. It evolved over-time from “beeps and boops” to being fully orchestrated or even dynamic as you mentioned earlier. Some video game music composers such as Koji Kondo have actually achieved an astounding level of fame because their music is good enough to listen to on its own, without the game.

The Role of Music in Videogames

This article is a very good primer on Tolkien’s medieval influences. Tolkien had an incredible grasp of the medieval world and I hope that this article is leading more people to delve further into the world that Tolkien created. LOTR is infinitely more interesting when you can understand the dialogue he’s having with medieval sources.

The Origins of Middle-Earth: Gods, Poems, and Dragons