Should You Include A Prologue In Your Story?

Kristen Kieffer Octobe

Ah, the Great Prologue Debate. Should they or should they not have a place in fiction?

The necessity of prologues (or lack thereof) is a topic that’s frequently discussed in online writing circles, and today I’d like to add my two cents to the clamor. You see, I feel pretty strongly about the power of a prologue well written. It’s a story element I’ve enjoyed time and time again as a reader, and also one that I’ve worked to emulate in many of my own stories.

Why do I think that prologues have their place? And what defines a prologue as well-written in my eyes? Allow me to share my thoughts with you in today’s article, writers.

Why is there such a debate about prologues?

Prologues are often a hot topic in creative writing circles. Most stories don’t need them, yet many writers choose to include them in their stories. Because of this, there are far too many poorly written prologues in this world, leading many experienced writers to villainize prologues as a whole. But why do so many writers choose to write prologues in the first place?

Often it comes down to a lack of developed skill. Unsure of how to effectively weave backstory into the body of a novel (or overestimating the importance of certain expositional details), many writers choose to dump it all in a prologue instead.

Even when prologues have the potential to serve a valuable role in a story, many writers fail to execute them effectively. We’ll talk more about where writers often go wrong when writing prologues below, but first I’d like to share a few of the ways that prologues can indeed prove valuable to a story: See More . . .

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