Let's Talk Prologues

the dreaded topic in publishing for agents and authors alike yeah let's talk prologues oh I have a lot of opinions in prologue everyone has and no one ever agrees so no I think if there's always gonna be someone that disagrees because tell everyone your opinion on prologues well I just assumed everybody with with me on my opinion as you do well my opinion in parallax I actually in a grand scheme of published books I have no issues with prologues my concern with prologues for the new author that they be author the really the submitting and querying author is that I find that often a prologue is used as a dumping ground and it doesn't necessarily add to the book so when I'm reviewing submissions and the first thing I'm reading is a prologue I don't necessarily feel it's the author's best work right and I disagree a little bit so I love a good prologue something that's really whether it's starting you off halfway into the book and then it's bringing you right back to the beginning right it's just teasing something I recently read a book where someone dies in the first in the prologue on the night just completely jumps and if it's done right it's good but the test there is if you can get rid of it and start your book at chapter one page one and read it and you're not missing anything then you don't need it can I challenge you on something yeah so you are fairly new to the submission world fairly yes so when you're talking that you like a good prologue are you talking from your submissions are you talking from published books okay good point because I love a good prologue in a published book yes okay but my concern is I find that with authors submitting losing the prologue might help them gain traction with an agent because it's not always the strongest it doesn't mean that they all shouldn't do prologues I'm just saying that I feel that it's a new authors crush gotcha that's so that's my feeling I actually love a good prologue I believe the dry had a fabulous prologue and now I can't remember yeah that was phenomenal but but I find in submissions more often than not that prologue isn't that's a good point so it's more like a good it gives yourself an edge to start the story as actively as possible and sometimes your prologue does not do that yeah or they sound a lot of like true yes because how many serial killers yeah I mean it takes having someone dying that first chapter is so overdone and it really takes like you have to really nail it yeah and they all sound the same yeah in the submissions we get yes so before you submit reevaluate your prologue and really decide whether it's necessary if it's starting your book in the right place and if it's really hooking your reader as you want it to if that's your area to drop information and to get your reader acclimated to the book it's not right yeah then you need to rethink right beginning chapters but if it's there to hook your reader and it does

14 thoughts on “Let's Talk Prologues

  1. I had a prologue for my Fantasy novel but I ended up just turning it into the first few chapters after I found out how disliked they were in the industry.

  2. Prologues, like everything else, has to have a reason to be in a book/ story. It has to have a point. I always like to think that every drop of ink in my printer costs 1 million dollars. Would I waste money by writing this scene, this prologue or this dialogue? Thinking like that helps me keep my words sharp and to the point.
    And so far I haven't seen the point of having a prologue.

  3. Great take on a troublesome topic. I totally agree with Mr. Evans. The author has to know the genre-norm to use a prologue successfully. In my beloved crime fiction, I really don't think they have a place.

  4. I cut my prologue, which was set in Act three, simply because of the "no one likes prologues" thing. Since it's time travel, I really want to put an epilogue at the beginning and a prologue at the end… lol.

  5. I think that a book–published or not–with a prologue is already going to turn off a large number of readers. Rarely have I read a prologue that would not have worked better simply as chapter 1. This bypasses the "When does the REAL story start?" feeling. When it does not work as Ch 1, often it is non-essential information, artificially separated and elevated from the rest of the book, that is more fun to write than read, a form of worldbuilder's disease.

  6. I agree. I never submit work with a prologue. If I feel it would be better with one, I will wait until book is contracted and ask editor about it.

    I feel like agents and publishers see prologues and roll their eyes, cause a lot of them are info dumping.

  7. I knew the was a reason I didn't write a prologue. Thank you for posting this.

  8. Heeyy you guys totally upped your YouTube game! Design wise, the new intro is cleaner/classier. And as usual, great advice. Thank you!

  9. So, I am editing my novel now. It has a prologue currently, but I am trying to determine if I need it or not. If I keep it in the book, should I include it in the samples I send with queries, or should I wait and just include it when agents ask for a full manuscript?

  10. Just queries you. Had to after watching all your videos.
    But what time is it there? You guys really wake up early

  11. The novel I have been querying is in the fantasy genre. Prologues are kind of the norm in the genre. They're almost an expectation. (White Walkers and the Nightswatch in Game of Thrones, anyone? And I mean the first book not the show.)

    I did wonder about their use for a first novel. If we need to dive right in with our awesome tales, then a sneak peek at something that may not even occur in the first book felt like it might be a big disconnect for an agent. Especially if the tone and voice are noticeably different going into the first chapter. So…I didn't bother. I like them. I agree that if they're done well they can help tie the tale together perfectly. Ultimately, I'd rather have some foreshadowing here and there instead of a sneak peek, you know. The more hokey prologues feel like a film trailer to a movie we've all seen time and time again.

    Thanks for the video. Short but sweet.

    Have a fun weekend…


  12. It will be difficult for querying writers with a prologue if the agent is requesting only 10 pages. So, in the present times, best is to start in chapter 1.

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