To Prologue or Not to Prologue
That is my question. If a book has a prologue I read it. If not…Well then evidently I don’t read it. 🙂 It doesn’t matter to me either way. But I have been reading some blog posts saying that agents and publishers are opposed to a prologue.
What are your thoughts? Is it detrimental to have one? Or do you think it helps to tell a little more about your story?
Here is one definition that I found for Prologue, which actually makes sense for my series.
The reason I am asking is that all five of the books in my series, “The Reincarnations of A.M.B.E.R.” will have a prologue and an epilogue.
They have to because it is the only time you will see Amber. Each book has its own main character. The first book has Alexiah. The second book is Matty, and so on.
Are there different words besides prologue and epilogue that you could label them as? Or should I just start out the first chapter titled, Amber? The only problem with that is, I don’t want people to think she will be popping up here and there throughout the book, because she won’t and I want to set the two apart. Amber has her own story and each main character has theirs and they won’t be tied together until the final two books.
Let me know what you think.
As for the first book, I am hoping to have it ready for beta readers around the first of July, so if anyone is interested in being a beta reader let me know.
The cover is still in the early drafts but here it is,
I’m still working on the back cover blurb and will share it with you next week.
And here is a sample of the prologue;
The Gate to Heaven
December 21, 2012
“I’m sorry miss, but you are not allowed in.”
“What? But…’ Amber stammers, ‘But this is Heaven. What do you mean I’m not allowed in?”
“Follow me miss.”
Following the angel around the corner Amber comes to an abrupt stop and stares at the back of a man in a flowing white robe as the angel clears his throat to announce her arrival. Turning to thank the angel Amber finds he is no longer there. All she can see are white puffy clouds.
“Amber, I am so glad you could make it.”
Amber‘s thoughts buzz around her head as he turns to face her. Oh God, what am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to kneel? Kiss his feet? Or is it his hand? Think Amber. Think.
“Amber quit babbling and sit down. You are going to drive me insane.”
He has a nice voice. Not loud and yet, I want to describe it as booming. Like the thunderclouds clashing together during a thunderstorm. I can sense the authority, the passion, the…Wait…Can he hear me?
“Amber, Sit Down.”
Copyright © Karen Einsel 2014
- Posted in: Book Covers ♦ The reincarnations of Amber ♦ Uncategorized
- Tagged: cover, epilogue, karens different corners, prologue, the reincarnations of amber
I dislike prologues– I mean really dislike them. Epilogues are okay if merited. When I write I use the first chapter for any pre-information and as the hook– which a prologue should be. When I read a book with a prologue I feel like the author is trying to keep me from the story and I rarely read all of the prologue.
All the information a writer wants the reader to know can be inserted through dialogue or imagination. Hope this helped, Karen.
So basically, a prologue, by another name, would be the first chapter then? For me I read everything, the prologue (If it has one), the dedication page, about the author, Basically, I devour the book, cover to cover. Okay, maybe I should add a poll. And come up with an alternative word for “prologue” 🙂
My answer is only my opinion.Not sure why I have an aversion to prologues. I think most readers have no problem with them. A poll would be interesting.
Here’s the thing with prologues — they’re either annoying and a waste of time, or absolutely vital. In your case, with the book structure you’re describing, I’d say having a prologue/epilogue sounds like a great idea. Like you said, having the first/last chapter be from an entirely different character’s POV would be very confusing. Whereas a prologue/epilogue would work great for that.
Okay, I’ve been thinking about it and maybe, just maybe, I can rename the prologue, “Amber” and do away with an epilogue. Which would leave each book with a cliffhanger ending. I’ll have to go back through each of my prologues and epilogues and see if I can combine them. Might work! 🙂
I’m interested in seeing what you do with it. I have a prologue written too, that explains something about my book that my main characters don’t discover until 3/4 of the way through the story. Without it, I feel like I’m not giving the reader enough info on what’s really going on… I, too, have been wondering about renaming my prologue.
Yours reads very well! 😀
Hi Linda and thank you.
So what is your story about? Have you titled it yet? I shared a couple of links here in the comments about preludes and prologues. I think I should quit reading all the different pros and cons and just go with my gut. I think…I don’t know! LOL
My story is about a magician who must fight against his family’s curse to protect the woman he loves. The title is the magician’s stage name – “The Great Dagmaru.” Thanks for asking!
I’ll have a look at those links … or not. 😛 haha. I know what you mean. It’s so difficult to know which advice to follow. Best of luck with it! 🙂
Karen. A type of prologue incorporated into a first chapter can be seen in my, IN SEARCH OF A SOUL. Not trying to promote and at Amazon you can read the first chapter for free. Like I said before, most readers will have no problems with a prologue and it can and should be kept in the same tense as the story– another opinion of mine. I’m full of them, lol.
I always welcome your opinions, Dannie. And I will check out your book. I am currently reading, “Death’s Door” I’m into the 4th chapter and am enjoying it so far. 🙂 But have gotten side tracked. (Life seems to throw curve balls every now and then.)
You’re sidetracked… most people are spellbound by this novel, lol. Just kidding. I do hope you enjoy Death’s Door. It was great fun writing.
You see, I think we are thinking about a different thing when we say prologue. A prologue is when your main character or an omnipresent narrator gives a historical overview of the world before the story, a big no no in my book and in my mind a lost opportunity. Gradually revealing past history and conflict adds mystery and suspense and surprise motivation. What you were describing as being at the start of your book, the scene with amber in it is what I’d call a prelude, an introductory chapter that sets up conflict and story without being “and this happened then this happened” etc.
I don’t want to use it for past history or to show something that will happen later in the book. Since it is Amber that is being reincarnated, it is to show her thoughts and feelings.
Oh I am sooo confused! 🙂 https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090601071756AAQ5UQB
And some more advice http://storygeeks.blogspot.com/2011/11/oh-advice-writer-teachers-give.html
How I understand it is, a prologue has to be as big a hook as the first chapter or you lose your reader. So the question is can you do it? Being one of your first readers, that is what the agent/editor will decide, and the less experienced writer will have the lower the chance of success.
JK Rowling used chapter one as her prologue and avoided the problem completely. 🙂
Anna from Shout with Emaginette
Hmmm. The prologue, or whatever I decide to call it, Is the basis for the series, but not for the individual stories, except for the beginning of every story and the ending for the final book. Does that make sense?
More of the Series Arc? Like a Veronica Mars solving a crime each show ( in your case story arc for each book) and a couple of big huge murders over years season (in your case the story arc for the length of the series), is that what you mean?
If it is, I love the idea, but don’t know what it’s called. 🙂
Prologues and epilogues are a bit of a gimmicky device I think. I will always read them if they are there because I think they are there for a reason and probably contain information that is necessary to the story. If the info is extraneous then those parts should be dumped. Mostly I think those devices should be avoided and all info incorporated into the traditional body of the work. But I’m not totally turned off by them and in some cases they seem very appropriate.
Tossing It Out