TwitterLit Advice Issue 2: Prologues

To prologue or not prologue, that is the question.

 

Agents and editors don’t hate prologues, they hate BAD prologues. It’s hard to write a good prologue, one that doesn’t reveal too much, or feel like a bait and switch.

 

 

 

Ask yourself: is the prologue is really necessary? Too many potential good books are bogged down with prologues that take away from the excitement of the first chapter.

 

 

 

Sometimes, the prologue contains good information that simply belongs elsewhere.

 

If you are going to include a prologue, make sure it contains important plot information, stakes, and/or tension.

 

If you do have a prologue (hopefully a well written, necessary one), should you query with it?

 

Agents and editors all have their own preferences, but the majority seem to agree that a prologue should not be sent as a sample, but saved until later.

 

So, should you tighten/cut your prologue? Many writers report good results from cutting their prologue or, at least, keeping it short.

 

Published by

Jessica Trudel

Jessica Trudel is a freelance writer and editor, and founder of the Silverleaf Writers Guild. She has contributed to various print and digital publications across Canada and the U.S., including TimminsToday, TalkSpace, and BoldFace.

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