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Author: Subject: To Prologue Or Not To Prologue
RobertArend
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[*] posted on 2/21/2015 at 02:47 PM
To Prologue Or Not To Prologue


Excerpt from the Kathy Temean blog "Writing and Illustrating":

"Do I Need a Prologue? Simply ask yourself:
1. What if I just call the prologue Chapter 1? Will the story flow smoothly from that point anyway? (If the answer is “yes”, ditch the prologue.)
2. Do I need to give the readers a fair bit of background information for the story to make sense? (If “yes”, then use the prologue before the ‘real’ story starts.)
3. Am I thinking of using a prologue just to hook the reader? (If “yes”, then ask yourself why you can’t do this just as effectively in Chapter 1 anyway. Do you need to brush up on your technique for creating suspense and conflict? Does your plot need revising? Are you starting your story too early?)

But that’s hardly enough. After all, every chapter delivers key facts, which ultimately amount to the plot."....

Link: https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/to-prologue-or-not-to-p...




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[*] posted on 2/22/2015 at 01:02 AM


I love prologues and epilogues.
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Michy
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[*] posted on 2/22/2015 at 02:17 PM


LOL Farah, most sci-fi and fantasy writers do!

I think, with the exception of perhaps memoir-style and sci-fi/fantasy, prologues are absolutely not necessary.

This was a good article though. I like the way it doesn't automatically rule out the necessity of a prologue like so many other 'advice' columns do.... but it gives practical reasons for considering or not considering them.

I think most of the time, prologues happen because people don't know how to weave backstory into the story properly and they don't want to do an info-dump. Most of the time, it's likely because they're starting the story in the wrong place. Not always, but a big chunk of the time, when I'm editing, that's what I find.




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[*] posted on 2/23/2015 at 02:20 AM


Agreed. Because in those 3 genres, it has profound function. There probably are exception, depending on the writer and how good they are. I've read a paranormal/fantasy-ish book once that used a prologue where nothing really happened. I mean, it didn't add much but it was somehow still kinda fun to see what the character was doing before he embarked on his journey. I can't remember which book this was but that bit stuck with me for some reason.
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[*] posted on 2/23/2015 at 08:10 AM


People saying, "I just skip the prologues!" ticks me off. Why bother reading a book if you're not going to read the whole thing?


I have 2 first drafts that currently have prologues, and one has an epilogue too. Of course they're both fantasy. I'm glad prologues are more acceptable in these genres!




Melanie
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