Saturday, July 1, 2023

Prologues - The On-going Debate

One of the discussions during our in-person meeting with the writing group was prologues.

I have gotten a "reputation" in our writing group for telling writers to get rid of their prologues.  

I write this with a smile.  

In the above video (which I must say, I am enjoying Brandon's videos quite a lot although I do not always agree with what he says), prologues (prologs?) are defended.  

I have read some wonderful prologues, but mostly, the writers I have seen use them artfully have not written them in the last fifty years or so.  Many of the prologues I have read in novice novels seem to fail for all the reasons Brandon McNulty discusses above--but I could probably add a few more reasons to the list.

In the meantime, I challenge the writing group to seriously evaluate the intent of a prologue before they follow this trend--a trend that seems to have lost its punch.  Mostly, prologues seem to promise action or mystery or tension in the pages to follow, but the writer shouldn't need a few pages before the book begins to tell the reader that the book is going to be interesting.  This should be in chapter one.

1 comment:

  1. If I knew how to write a good prologue, then I wouldn't resist trying one out! I am still mixed on creating them for my own stories (I tend to not use them); yet, I understand the desire to 'catch the eye' of the reader and then convince the reader to not give up on the story... or give up on me, the author!