Prologues

So here’s the question: When should you use a prologue in your story?

I mean, on the one hand, it can help set the scene for the opening chapter. But on the other hand, isn’t that kind of like cheating? Shouldn’t your opening chapter be able to stand on its own?

This isn’t a rhetorical question. I would really like to know what you think. My first story, Dragons at Dawn, didn’t use a prologue. My second story, Finding Valhalla, does. The only reason it does is because the story is being told from the first person perspective of my heroine, and I thought it would be cool to open with a very brief insight into the mind of the villain from a third person perspective. It is actually a completely superfluous scene and I may end up cutting it later.

So please let me know what you think of prologues. Have you ever used one? If so, what were your reasons? Did you regret it later? If you didn’t use one, did you later wish you did?

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1 Comment

Filed under The Writing Experience

One response to “Prologues

  1. That is an interesting question, and I have used prologues in a couple of my books. In both cases, the scene was a snippet from some point in the future and gives the reader a glimpse or tease about where the characters are headed. In those two books, the stories were “saga-like,” in that they covered long periods of time.

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