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Questions tagged [prologues]

This tag should be used for questions about a prologue in a written piece of work. A prologue, like an epilogue, is a section of a book that stands outside the narrative, as a kind of commentary or supplementary addition. For questions about the beginning of a book, use [openings]. Also see [epilogue].

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Can you help me find the balance where the prologue character's ending remains ambiguous w/o making the reader think they're a main character?

I'm currently working on an epic fantasy book, and I've run into a bit of a dilemma regarding the prologue and the introduction of my main character's backstory. In my prologue, I've introduced a ...
King's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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Do most readers skip the prologue?

The prologue of my story is extremely important as it adds context to what is happening in the first chapter. While talking to my friend, they revealed to me that most readers skip the prologue. Now I’...
Nabi's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
135 views

Top Tips on a Good First Chapter

I'm struggling with my first chapter (fc). I have a plan but it doesn't contain any action, something that I know from experience should be in the fc to capture the reader's excitement. I was going ...
BubbleQueen's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
85 views

How can I make a good prologue that fits with the story?

I'm new to this website, so I'm sorry for anything I accidentally do wrong, or if my question is hard to understand. I just started writing my story and used certain structures to keep each event in ...
Isaac's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
260 views

How to introduce my villain in the prologue?

I am currently doing a rewrite of my story, starting with the prologue. Now, my prologue exists mainly to introduce the main villain of the story, and I've been working on making some improvements, ...
Drack0Stack0's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Should the prologue establish the genre even if it makes things confusing to understand?

Should the prologue establish the genre even if it makes things confusing to understand? https://youtu.be/MpWSqtnNboo?t=449 The author of the video argues that the prologue should establish the genre, ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
132 views

How do I maintain a character's anonymity until it is revealed in the plot twist?

For my horror/thriller story, I want to start off with the prologue with a seemingly random character facing the main plot driving antagonist. I'm doing this by having the character have a nightmare ...
EnJay's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
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Is it wise to start a story with a character that never appears again?

I plan to write the prologue with a limited third person view of a man delivering a 5 year old girl to a secluded city. His reason for doing this, even though he's not related to her, is because he's ...
AmateurWriter's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
159 views

How do I accurately write a prologue, which also works as a character introduction chapter?

I'm in the process of writing my prologue for my book, but it's going to also introduce the main characters. Long story short, the main Character, Devoss, goes into a magical forest to prove himself, ...
Evie Marrufo's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
270 views

Is a Prologue a Chapter?

Many agents ask for the first 3 chapters. Is a prologue a chapter? So send the prologue & chapters One & two?
Bill's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
360 views

Can my prologue be written in omniscient third person if the rest of my novel is written in third person limited POV?

I'm writing a novel in third person limited point of view. I want my prologue to feature an event that is referenced later in the novel, but my protagonist is not involved in the event. (e.x the ...
Novel-Writer's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
101 views

Would having two time skips close together be weird?

There's a story idea I've been playing with for years now but I feel like I need to do two time skips one after the other which may be weird for readers. I have a prologue where she talks to her ...
Audra's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Chapters in my thriller before the main threat comes in

I'm writing a thriller about some people that have their whole world change around them. I won't bog this question down with lengthy specifics though. The world my characters inhabit isn't exactly ...
Leviathann's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
224 views

My protagonist being needed for my story is a life changing event, does that mean the event needs to be in my story?

My protagonist is a first-generation native on a colony world. The general culture of the colony makes it clear that everyone must contribute to the colony in a meaningful way. But instead of ...
Leviathann's user avatar
15 votes
10 answers
3k views

I'm writing a prologue from the POV of a non-English-speaking character. How should I write the dialogue?

Picturing this in movie form would be easy. I would have the character speak their native language in the scene and place subtitles. But I do not have this luxury in writing. It would be weird to ...
Drask's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
139 views

Very short prologue?

I'm currently writing a fictional book where the main character is a diagnosed psychopath that is planning to kill the president. I have an idea for the prologue already written, but once it hits the ...
Antdenn's user avatar
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3 votes
7 answers
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Is This a Bad Infodump?

I’m kind of in a dilemma. If I was to write a prologue to a fantasy story about the history of the kingdom and the political scope of what is happening there, is it necessarily a bad infodump? All of ...
user42524's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can the prologue be the backstory of your main character?

A friend and I are writing a story based on our characters. We brainstormed some ideas and now we know what the basic idea of our story is going to be. But I'm having a little trouble with the ...
Dorito Hub's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
206 views

Prologue or chapter 1?

Ok so, I’m kind of new to writing. I wrote a couple of books in my teens but they were just for fun. I’m now starting to write a book I hope to get published. So, my book starts about a year in the ...
MummaWrites's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
210 views

How to shorten a prologue?

I understand that a prologue is meant to open up a story and introduce characters, themes, and the world to my audience. It is not supposed to be a long length of text. At the same time, I find my ...
Sora Tamashii's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
88 views

Should we write a long prologue if the main component of our novel is the original world building? [duplicate]

So I want to write a book that's set in a very different and otherworldly world, so I thought about it and I was wondering if it was ok to put a lot of things into context. However, I think I went a ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
669 views

Will my one sentence prologue work?

I know most readers don't like prologues, so I've tried to make it as simple as possible. I write the following knowing fully well how weird it’ll make me look. — A.B.G. A.B.G. Is the ...
Jade's user avatar
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10 votes
6 answers
3k views

Can the prologue's POV be different from the POV of the main story?

I want to write the prologue of the story with the narrator in first person with the point of view of the protagonist. But the story is already written in a third person narrator... and I have 2 ...
V LeFox's user avatar
  • 109
5 votes
3 answers
295 views

Translating worldbuilding into an interesting opening

I've once heard there are 2 types of writers, and I am definitively an architect. I can write down a few hundred pages of worldbuilding and characters, but I scrap most of my stories after the first ...
Azzarrel's user avatar
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19 votes
8 answers
8k views

Is it considered lazy writing to have a dry prelude at the start of a book?

I'm thinking of the crawl sequences at the beginning of Star Wars, that just give you the background information straight up, and then start the excitement. I've just been wondering if putting a ...
Clarkey's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
363 views

Should I use an important scene from the middle of my novel as a prologue?

I am a first time novelist with writing experience. I have an idea for my novel that begins with an important scene which actually plays out in the middle of the novel. Should I write this as a ...
Del Barras's user avatar
11 votes
6 answers
1k views

Should important events that happen a long time before the rest of the story be in a prologue or in chapter 1?

Context: I’m currently writing a novel that has a built in prologue. I’m unsure if I should use the prologue as the first chapter. It involves the main character being sent away by his parents for his ...
user629's user avatar
  • 181
1 vote
4 answers
247 views

Can a POV be from a baby?

So, this refers back to my question here. In that question I asked if the prologue to my story (the prologue occurs 17 years before most of the novel) should be cut. I have reduced the word count to ...
SFWriter's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
3k views

Flash-forward as Prologue and then Flashbacks too complicated?

Chronologically, the story begins with the protagonist as a child and description of her world, which is important to the plot. Since I thought "girl abandoned by parents meets a man who explains how ...
E.Milla's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
6k views

Should I make my prologue chapter 1?

My prologue is set 17 years before the main story arc. I am reflecting on the discussion here, which was asked by another SE contributor. I'm trying to decide what to do with my prologue. Building a ...
SFWriter's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
6k views

Can I have both a prologue and an introduction in my book?

I have a prologue I'm working on right now, however, I want to add an introduction as well. What I mean is that I want to write about why and how I created the story (an introduction), but I want some ...
Typo's user avatar
  • 163
2 votes
6 answers
4k views

Can you make multiple prologues in one book?

I am writing a World War 3 Novel, and I want to write the backstories of the main characters as prologues. It's really short, so I can't make another book. Is it even possible to make multiple ...
SilverXDestiny's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
6k views

Is there a term for a fiction piece that goes after the prologue but before the epilogue?

I'm writing a long non-fiction text that describes a fictional setting. I came up with a fiction piece for that setting, to include as further illustration. I decided it would work best if I split it ...
Randall Stevens's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
687 views

What's the most natural way to show a passage of time between the prologue and chapter one?

In my current novel, the protagonist is driven forward throughout the plot by events that happened to him in the past. The reader needs to know these events, so I'd like to include them in a prologue. ...
Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron's user avatar
11 votes
16 answers
34k views

How long can a prologue be, and what should you not do?

A while back I wrote a prologue about the beginning of time and space and all that. One thing I noticed later is that between the prologue and the story itself, the prologue ate out the chapters not ...
Gabby's user avatar
  • 143
6 votes
3 answers
745 views

Prologues with no protagonist - How can they work?

It is my understanding that novels should generally start right off with the protagonist. The story is about the protagonist, after all, not something else (This obviously changes a bit if the PoV is ...
Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Can prologues and epilogues change POV from the main text?

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 ...
Manvi Verma's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
388 views

Defining a Prologue

I came across prologues of several novels, and I noticed that they all were different from each other. Some had a short excerpt picked somewhere from the novel, a few included some private notes from ...
Saharsh's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
701 views

Is an Introduction and a Prologue good or bad, especially in middle grade fiction?

Is it bad to use an Introduction and/or a Prologue in Middle Grade Fiction? I have a lot of information that is useful, but the information in dialogue will sound fake and way too much info-dump like....
johnny's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
541 views

Elmore Leonard said Avoid Prologues... Why?

I've just spent the better half of a month writing and perfecting my prologue. It sets the tone for the rest of the story with an event which kickstarts the main narrative of the book. Why should I ...
Dan Hanly's user avatar
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13 votes
5 answers
2k views

When is a prologue useful?

Prologues tend to get a bad rap on the internet, and sometimes for good reason. They're often used by as an excuse to start a novel with an info-dump. However, it seems to me that people often ...
sjohnston's user avatar
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