2. Please make sure the information is interesting. For example, please don’t start with a prologue about how the worlds were created and/or epic wars that happened thousands of years ago without really making the information distinct and/or fresh. Faceless Evil Hordes getting (temporarily) thwarted by Faceless Good Armies with Elven Allies? Probably not so interesting. Unless there’s something so unique to this history that it really sets the tone for the work, I’d recommend just cutting to the story or somehow making it more lively. For example, if the universe was created by gods on a drunken dare, that will probably intrigue readers more than hundreds of words about how the evil gods created the orcs and how the good gods created the elves.
3. Keep the main character(s) as involved as possible. In almost every case, the main character is a better hook into the story than the setting/backstory. To the extent that the backstory/setting is a hook, you can cover that in the backcover blurb (“In a city where even the pizza boys have superpowers and the Canadian Mafia sells cocaine-laced mayonnaise on every corner, a schizophrenic bartender and his possibly-sentient goldfish must…”). In your story, please show interesting characters doing interesting things (e.g. trying to accomplish urgent goals) as quickly as possible. If main goals are not immediately available, you can use intermediate goals–for example, before Luke Skywalker fights against the Empire, he fights with his uncle about becoming a pilot, which develops his personality and his urgent goal to pursue adventure. If the main character(s) is not present in your prologue, I would highly recommend keeping the prologue as short as possible or eliminating it.
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