Nov 18 2016 8:16am

Prologues: Yay or Nay?

Prologues can be a great start to a novel. They set up some of the back story without bogging down the narrative, they give you a bit of history to the characters...and sometimes they can be a little boring. 

We've heard before that many people skip the prologue together, while others will refer back to it to get some of the finer details of a characters past... which side are you on? Are you a fan of prologues or do you tend to skip them? Or are you somewhere in between and skim to find the pertinent details before moving on to the meat of the story?

Tell me about it down in the comments!


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Maggie Boyd
1. maggieboyd66
I'm a fan. :-) A good prologue can just really capture the attention.
Jessie E
2. Jessie E
I don’t mind prologues! I think they especially work well at the beginning of a series where the overarching concept of the series is introduced, or in second chance at love romances where you need to know why it didn’t work out in the first place.
3. nihcki
When I read a book, I read the whole thing, from front to back. This includes any prologue, glossary, etc, and I don't skim any passages either, straight through until the epilogue (if there is one) and the sneak-peek of the next book (if included). Skipping over anything defeats the purpose of reading the book. If you're going to read it, read ALL of it, in order, or just DNF and move on to another book. A bonus of reading everything between the covers is that I've found slight differences in sneak-peek chapters or excerpts versus the actual published next book, and I treasure those!
Carmen Pinzon
4. bungluna
Must read. It may accomplish its purpose or not, but skipping a prologue may lead to not understanding some important detail later on in the story.

Side note, some e-books open to the first chapter and skip prologues. This has happened to me a few times and I've learned to make sure I'm not missing anything.
5. Kareni
I like to start at the beginning. That means when I'm reading on my Kindle, I always need to go back to start with the cover. (I'm wondering how much research Kindle, etc., did before making the decision to begin with Chapter One. And how many users prefer it.)
Jessie E
6. Diane Benefiel
If they're not too long, I like prologues. They are a great way of getting back story, and often give the reader teasers so they can anticipate what's going to happen next.
8. willaful
How can you skip a prologue?! It's part of the book!

My only beef with prologues is when they're clearly just the first chapter and should have been labeled as such.
Jerrie Adkins
9. filkferengi
The prologue is another tool in the author's toolbox, so its effectiveness depends on the author.
Jessie E
10. Sharen
I like a short prologue to get an introduction into a story. In a series I am now reading some of the books have prologues and others don't, and it does seem to capture my attention if there is a short prologue.
Jessie E
11. SpiritedMuse
I'm totally a fan of the prologue. As I hate how some books feel like you are just tripping into the story and don't have any kind of clue as to why someone is acting all angsty or what is the significance of something going on, but the characters are up in arms about it. However, I will say I am solely of prologues that make a lick of sense! I hate the ones that are so vague that it makes you wonder if someone else wrote it as it never seems to fit with the story even after I re-read it after I finished the book.
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