1. ojduffelworth
    Offline

    ojduffelworth New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    2

    Prologue or Introduction?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ojduffelworth, Jan 16, 2010.

    What is the difference between a prologue and an introduction?

    Register to remove this ad

  2. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye New Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,224
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Denmark
    I'd say that an introduction is a presentation of how things are at the time of the story's starts, while a prologue is a summary of events that lead up to it.
  3. InkDream
    Offline

    InkDream New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    the Evergreen State
    The prologue is meant to set up the story where as the intro is the beginning of the story.
  4. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,395
    Likes Received:
    912
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    try a dictionary! ;-)
  5. Nilfiry
    Offline

    Nilfiry Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Eternal Stream
    Depends on how you look at them. In a way, prologues and introductions are the same thing. Prologues introduce settings. See what I did there? :p
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,395
    Likes Received:
    912
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    google is your best friend! [5.5 million hits in a split second!]... saves a lot of thread-watching time...

    Search term: prologue vs introduction
  7. JonathanMaberry
    Offline

    JonathanMaberry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    Fiction generally doesn't use an introduction. Those are typically short essays useful for helping the reader of a nonfiction book get a sense of the content, direction, scope, tone, resources and overall usefullness of the material.

    A prologue, on the other hand, is a device of fiction in which the author presents one or more scenes that take place prior to the start of the narrative and which are not (usually) directly connected. For example, the thriller author James Rollins front-loads his book with several short scenes set days, months, years or even centuries before the priamry narrative. The protagnonists are seldom in these scenes in Rollins' novels. Often they are set in historical events that will relate to plot backstory; and sometimes they involve characters whose actions need to be shown so that the novel itself can make sense from the beginning.

    Sometimes the prlogue is used to establish something about the protagonist, but in a situation not otherwise directly tied to the main plot. If you remember the opening scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indy is in South America looking for the golden statue. We learn a lot about the character in those action-packed minutes so that when the novel starts and we meet him as a bookish college teacher, we know that this isn't WHO he really is.

    Take a tip, though. Except in historical novels, some horror and some thrillers, editors generally don't want to see a prologue. The editorial view these days is: give us the protagonist on the first page and get right into the story.
Similar Threads: Prologue Introduction
Forum Title Date
General Writing What's the difference between an Introduction and a prologue? Oct 11, 2013
General Writing Introduction / Prologue Dec 31, 2012
General Writing Prologue, flashbacks or both? Aug 26, 2014
General Writing Prologues set in the future Jan 15, 2014
General Writing Prologue is long? Nov 24, 2013

Share This Page