Sunday, November 22, 2009
To Prologue or Not to Prologue, That Is the Question
A prologue to a novel is like an appetizer to a meal. Some writers like to have a prologue and do it well, but not all readers would want to read the prologue. Once I talked to someone who said she and some of her friends picked up a fiction book with a prologue, they skipped it and came right to Chapter 1. As a reader, I read everything. As a writer, I know those writers who do prologues have a good reason behind it; in other words, a prologue is necessary. For example, in Sherlock Holmes, and later, in the TV series Law & Order, the crime scene that opens the story/drama is equivalent to a prologue. Therefore, to prologue or not to prologue is up to the writer, and it also depends on the genre. Certain genre works better with a prologue. My work-in-progress fantasy novel has a prologue, and I know it is needed.