To Prologue or Not to Prologue

That is certainly the question. To epilogue for that matter. As a reader, I confess I often skip over prologues when I start a book. I’m also prone to skip the epilogue. The idea of gripping the reader with something of a trailer or preview of something that is going to happen later in the story seems a little unnecessary. Along those same lines, if an author has more to say, to tie up the end of a story, add another chapter. Skip the epilogue!

Yet when inspiration struck the other night, I found myself tapping away at my keyboard, drafting a prologue. I will say it was nice to interact with my characters, imagine their interactions with each other. It gave me a chance to understand their personalities, better than a character profile could allow me to do. It’s a piece of writing that probably will not make it into the final manuscript of the book. Mostly because I’ve since come up with an idea that focuses primarily on one character that I happen to like better than my current draft. But more on that later.

I welcome your feedback on this topic. Do you read the prologue when starting a new book? Leave me a comment!

4 Comments on “To Prologue or Not to Prologue

  1. As a general rule I don’t read the prologue but usually will listen to it if I am listening to an audio book. Sometimes the author will reveal reasons they wrote what they created but my genre leans more to business or self help books.

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  2. Here’s the deal – The prologue is where the story truly begins. It is a short story unto itself. The prologue sets the tone, introduces essential elements for the story that follows. The prologue is a reader’s first glimpse into the characters, places, and events the author wants to share. I feel the prologue is similar to a picture on a billboard that makes you want to buy a product. It draws you in. It makes you want to turn the page.
    As a reader, the prologue advises you of what awaits in the forthcoming pages. As I like to say, a good prologue is the beginning of a good story 🙂

    If you were to ask me if you should write a prologue – the answer would be a resounding yes! Gather your thoughts, set the scene, lay the groundwork for the pages to follow. Use the prologue to guide not only the reader, but yourself through the long and winding road of storytelling. A prologue is where you showcase your craft…use it to create your own remarkable story.

    Look forward to reading more of your work….keep posting!

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