I have completed my book. But I'm stuck writing the prologue. I've written the story with narration by the writer (not from the point of view of any of the characters).

But I don't feel like that works for the prologue. I thought I could have one of the characters narrate the prologue, as though telling the story to somebody else, but I don't want to go and change the entire book to that character's point-of-view.

How should I write the prologue so that it works with my main story?

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    I'm sorry; I simply can't tell what problem has you stuck. Your question is unclear. If you'd like to explain in more detail, I'll be happy to reopen. Try explaining what, exactly, is making it hard for you to write the epilogue. – Standback Oct 30 '14 at 14:36
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    Your problem is that your prologue is written about a different character then the rest of your book? Ok, why do you feel that's a problem? Are you worried it isn't allowed; are you having trouble writing it; something else? – Standback Oct 30 '14 at 21:24
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    You are allowed to have the prologue narrated by a different character as long as it is absolutely clear who the narrator is. You do not have to change the whole book. In fact, every chapter can be a different viewpoint narrator; George R.R. Martin does this throughout his Song of Ice and Fire books. You can also have the prologue written in third person omniscent even if the rest of the book isn't. Prologues and epilogues, being set off from the main text, have a little more leeway. – Lauren Ipsum Nov 1 '14 at 18:40
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    But let me ask you: why wouldn't it be OK? What would happen if you wrote it that way? – Standback Nov 2 '14 at 10:21
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    making my comment an answer now that this is reopened. – Lauren Ipsum Nov 2 '14 at 13:12
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You are allowed to have the prologue narrated by a different character as long as it is absolutely clear who the narrator is. You do not have to change the whole book. In fact, every chapter can be a different viewpoint narrator; George R.R. Martin does this throughout his Song of Ice and Fire books.

You can also have the prologue written in third person omniscent even if the rest of the book isn't. Prologues and epilogues, being set off from the main text, have a little more leeway.

  • Why must it always be absolutely clear who the narrator is? Who sets this rule and why must authors obey it? – A E Nov 5 '14 at 22:29
  • @AE Yes, I suppose you could, as a stylistic device, make it difficult for the reader to tell who the narrator is, if it served the purpose of the story. In this case, the OP isn't trying to be deliberately obscure, so being vague about the narrator wouldn't help. Everything has to act in service of the story being told. – Lauren Ipsum Nov 6 '14 at 1:22
  • It doesn't have to be confusing (IMO). I can think of examples where a third-person narrator turns out to have been one of the characters in the story. E.g. "it is ultimately revealed to the reader that Flere-Imsaho was the same drone as Mawhrin-Skel, who was also the narrator of the novel itself." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Player_of_Games – A E Nov 6 '14 at 10:20

Yes, of course you can, and you don't even have to make it clear who the narrator is.

You're the author: decisions like this are yours to make.

Prologues are prologues because they break from some element of the book proper--different time, different place, different narrator POV, different something.

It sounds like your best choice might to be write your prologue from a more distant third person POV, maybe even an omniscient POV.

(This is assuming that you need a prologue.)

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