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Skip the prologue?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by druidofwinter, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. druidofwinter

    druidofwinter Sage

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    Found this post on prologues on the blog of author K.M. Weiland. Skip the Prologue! - Helping Writers Become Authors

    I own a few of her books on writing and think they are a great resource. What do you guys think of prologues? Do you like or dislike them? Do you put them in your books? Do you think they add our retract from your overall story?
    Share your thoughts.
     
    Alexandra likes this.
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Don't like them, and don't use them. I've been known not to buy a book because of one, and even if I do buy it I may well just skip the prologue and get on to the #$&! story :)
     
  3. MFreako

    MFreako Troubadour

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    That depends on the prologue.

    I'll never quit on a book just because it has "Prologue" written in big letters in the very beginning instead of "Chapter 1". But if it's one of them "In the first days of Middle Earth-lookalike-fantasy-land there was..." type of prologue, then I'm out of there double-time.

    I'm a big fan of the Chapter Zero type of prologue. Where something happens to a relevant character or characters, something just before the main action starts. Kind of like the 3 first minutes of a TV show before the opening sequence. If done well, in my opinion, this kind of prologue can really serve to kick you into the author's world and into his character's mind with a bang.
     
  4. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    I just skim them. Look to see if there's any dialogue, a mention of the main character's name, anything that isn't just flavour text and foreshadowing, and then move on to Chapter One. Rarely is anything of actual importance only mentioned in the prologue. A classic prologue scene - a woman running from something, holding a baby to her chest, managing to escape capture long enough to leave the child with a farmer couple, then escapes into the night and/or dies. Alright, yes, that happens long before the story and is a relevant part of their character, because he's probably secretly the heir prince or whatever...

    But that's never the only mention of it. Chapter One, all but invariably, will include a scene with the farmer couple sitting their son down and telling him that he's adopted. Or him already knowing that and musing about who his parents were. Or him man-angsting about being abandoned. It's always brought up again, usually in full detail, over the course of the first few chapters. And I don't really need to hear that story twice because it isn't that relevant, knowing that he's an orphan whose mother died/abandoned him is enough to set up the actual story, I don't need to see the little narrative details of that night with her bare feet bleeding on the grass and the sound of horses in the distance.
     
  5. Alexandra

    Alexandra Troubadour

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    I've never considered using a prologue (I do read them) but I found Weiland's article interesting, thank you.
     

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