M.A. Wohl

Writer on a Quest

This week word count goal: 32 500 words (bis!)
Word count so far: 19 529 words

Apparently, the current trend in the book industry is against the existence of prologues.

Why write a prologue when you can just start with chapter one?
In my very humble writer/reader/movie lover opinion, here’s why.

Why use the dreaded prologue?

To create an expectation. To create an ambiance. To create a mood.

A prologue well done should be less than a 1 000 words. After all, a prologue is meant to be an introduction, something short and to the point that let the reader know about what’s going to happen. More or less.
And live the reader feeling… well, feeling intrigued, curious, excited, even scared a little.
A prologue does not need to involve the main character, I think, but it absolutely needs to introduce an important place, or piece of information, or let the reader know how the murder victim meets its faith.

Why go for a prologue all of a sudden?

My first chapter was not working. Ta-dah!
The idea behind it was fun, but from a story structure point of view, it was too confusing. I tried with the third person past tense, I tried an omniscient point of view… nothing would do!
Now, with a little help from the prologue, I can write a brand new chapter one and introducing the main character on a deeper level right away, while setting the mood for the whole story.

Prologue is also super helpful to introduce some important details that, if mentioned later, might hurt the story pacing.

If well done, and with the help of bêta-readers and the future francophone critique partner I will eventually have to find, I’m gonna make sure it is, a prologue can do so much good to the story.

If only I had the courage to get up, go through my bookshelves and find great examples to share, but *dang* it’s getting late.

Dear friends, thank you for reading. Until next time, thanks for tagging along with this crazy writer on a quest!

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