Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Truth about Prologues

(Yes, I had a typo in the title *blush*)

I don't really like debates or flaming wars. So I am usually cautious about the 'hot' topics that I post about. But I found one that I just could help but commenting on.


So I have heard that 50% or readers don't read prologues. Here is the thing though. I did an internet search and have talk to several people. In all the polls that I have scene the ratio seems much lower. More like 10%. I asked myself where did this statistic come from? I can find no evidence of any study or poll that has been done that matches this number. 

Please, if I am mistaken point me to the source of such an elusive statement.

I have also heard that agents don't like prologues. So I did some internet research on that topic as well.

I found that it is not prologues that are bad - but that poorly written prologues (like anything that is poorly written) are bad. 

And here are some references to support my claims: (mentions not to include a prologue - but then look at this post!

If you have other information/personal experience please share. As for me, I am going to believe that prologues are just like any other part of a book. Good if done right. Unless of course there is someone that can show me proof to the contrary.

Take away truth. Just because prologues are hard to do right - does not mean you should avoid them. If you believe that - then why are you writing? Writing is hard to do right too.


  1. Honestly, the only prologue I can every remember reading was where the author literally took a page from the end of her book and plopped it into the front. That was probably a good example of a poorly done prologue. I don't put them into my own writing because their purpose (to tell the reader anything they need to know before starting the story) never seems to apply. But just because I don't use them, doesn't mean they don't have a place in writing. Like you said, I think they can be good if done right.

  2. I agree with Megan. I actually do read prologues, but promptly forget them. I honestly can't remember a single prologue I've read. I think they are only there for folks with boring first pages.