Monday, March 30, 2009


Life is full of it. Whether you're a writer or not.

Main focus right now came from a quick comment on Charlie's blog, Approaching Utopia. Mentioning that I had nixed my prologue but after my first readers major confusion, I added it back in. (All the questions my reader had, were answered in the prologue..) Charlie replied to my comment, mentioning a post by Nathan Bransford that had just been posted, I hadn't seen it yet. It's about prologues. You can find it here, if you don't already read his blog.

Besides not knowing whether I should keep my prologue in or find a way to make the first chapter explain stuff without over loading it, I am uncertain about writing in general. Really the publication side of it. Should I try to get an agent? Should I submit directly to publishers that accept unsolicited stuff? I know self-publishing wouldn't work for me, I might sell a few copies to friends and family but it would probably stop there.

Once I'm happy with my current novel(it's a fantasy), and am sending out queries and such, should I keep writing in the same genre? I know it is generally not a good idea to switch genres as a never published writer, but I have been ironing out an idea for a sci-fi novel. In case my fantasy novel sells, should I shelf that idea and write another fantasy? But then, it may not sell and I may have better luck with sci-fi.

As a general rule, I do my best to avoid the 'what-if' game. Not working so well today. For now, I'm going to keep my prologue and attack it with the scissors. I know I can make it more to the point.

Question: Do you read prologues? Do you think they should only be used in certain genres or in certain cases?


  1. I do read prologues. I usually enjoy them. I don't read flash backs, they have a tendency to annoy me.

    I responded to you post on my blog. I gave the the wrong info. OOps. Thanks to you I corrected it :)

  2. I also used to skip prologues, now I love them. I used to be good with flashbacks, now they tend to annoy me. Tastes really do change over time. I don't mind if they are short flashbacks. But sometimes when the author constantly jumps back and forth in time I just end up confused, frustrated and stop reading.

    I'm heading back over to your blog now to see the change. :D

  3. Hi Meg,
    Speaking of writing in different genre’s…

    My one (just about) completed novel is a romantic/science fiction story. Most of the characters are good. The situation is the antagonist. …and it contains a prologue!

    I have three other semi-completed books, and they’re all thrillers. (One has a paranormal edge to it) Some of the characters in those books are just plain evil. …and no prologues – yet!

    I write what I feel, regardless of genre. It’s as simple as that. (I avoid writing porn)

    To answer your question on prologues: If an author included a prologue, then I’m going to trust that he/she knew what they were doing and read every word.

    Happy April Fools Day! (in three minutes)

  4. I consider prologues part of the book, so I read them. They don't bother me. Sometimes I wonder why they're there. If that's how you want the book to start, then start it there.


  5. I'm glad to see people do like and read prologues! I was getting worried.

    Helen, sometimes I'm completely baffled as to why an author chose to have a prologue. I can't think of an example right now. Prologues just don't always make sense with the rest of the book. That bugs me.

  6. I definitely have mixed feelings about prologues. I also agree that if it's part of the story, it should be in the first chapter, or become the entire first chapter.

    My writers group told me to put some of the backstory (I prefer one word) into a prologue. I do not like it, but they all thought it worked better.

    One thing I like, and I tried it, is an "Author's Note" or whatever you want to call it. It's very short and to the point. It tells where a Star Trek or Star Wars story fits in the entire history of the two series. I haven't read either series for many years, but I liked the information given to me by the author and not having to figure it out by myself.

    I used it to explain a tiny bit of otherwise confusing background to my science fiction novel. Anne McCaffrey write a prologue in her early "Dragonriders of Pern" books, but it was more like a very long author's note.

    James Rollins uses a prologue in most of his books. It usually is a bit of history, or fictitious history, that takes place usually several years before the novel. This is closest to what I believe a prologue should be.