1. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    I'm struggling with the prologue to my new novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Inspired writer, Feb 20, 2012.

    Is the first few chapters of the prologue just as important as the first few chapters of the story itself?
    Or are most readers, like me, just usually skip the prologue to get to the story?
    It's a terrible habit, I must admit, but unfortunately it's one I find hard to shake.
     
  2. Jowettc
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    Jowettc Contributing Member

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    If you think that you need to skip it, or that anyone else is going to skip it - why do it? Maybe you don't need it and should just let the events unfold in the story - prologue be damned!!
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I suppose there's no rule as to how long it should or shouldn't be, but even I would be hesitant to call something with several chapters a prologue. But yes, every part of the book you write is every bit as important as the other parts or it shouldn't be in the book. (I won't get into your habit of skipping prologues as that's been done to death in other discussions.)
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Most books don't have prologues because most books don't need them. Examine your story, very honestly, and ask yourself, "Is this prologue really necessary?" You'll probably find that it isn't.

    My personal theory is that readers don't like prologues and writers do like them, and for the same reason. It's all about the writer's ego. The writer thinks, "I spent all this time and effort coming up with this irrelevant background information, Reader, and I'm damn well going to shove it down your throat whether it's necessary or not!"

    The fact that you skip prologues as a reader, and are questioning whether they're as important as the first chapters of the story in your own book, indicates that you probably hold a similar opinion. Do you?
     
  5. Jeeves
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    Jeeves Member

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    There is probably a way to accomplish what it is you are trying to do within the main chapters of your story. My opinion is, in order to keep the reader's attention you want to grab the readers attention right off and avoid shifting gears too rapidly.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    First few CHAPTERS of the prologue?

    Most novels are better off with no prologue. A mulitple chapter prologue is excessive by any standards.

    Get into the story, the sooner the better.
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm hoping that you mistyped and you mean "first few pages" or "first few lines" of the prologue.

    But either way, I'd say don't write a prologue. A prologue may not always be a mistake, but offhand I can't think of a book that was better because of its prologue.
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess I misunderstood what was being asked. I thought, for some reason, the OP was asking if he should take as much care writing the prologue as the rest of the story. Apparently it was that oft-asked and oft-argued "Are prologues evil that should be forever banned from writing?" - which is again nothing but individual opinions.

    But I stand by my original statement. I think "chapters" is too long for a prologue, but if one has a prologue it should be written with just as much care as any other part of the story.
     
  9. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    Thank you all for your input. I think it'll be best to leave out the Prologue. I was just concerned whether it fit well with the nature of the story but I guess I don't need it. Thanks again.
     

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