Monday, August 23, 2010

Prologue Recovery Program

Disclaimer: the following post is not intended to be hurtful, but rather I solely aim to poke fun at myself.

Hi, my name is Wendy and I’m addicted to prologues.
Group chimes in: Hi Wendy.
Hairy Group Facilitator (GF) locks eyes with Wendy: How did this begin? What started this?
Wendy: I blame Beach Music. Even The Book Thief. Didn’t matter it was short in that one. Who cares about the length? It’s there isn’t it? One sentence is enough, right? I’m hooked. I paid too much attention to what I read—to what I liked, I guess.

GF: Okay, no more blame game. Let’s focus on you. What’s your drive to include prologues in your work? What makes you prologue?

Wendy: If I had an answer for that I wouldn’t be here, would I?

GF: Ah, you’re one of those, huh?

Wendy: One of what?

GF: You add in prologues because you’ve seen it done, but you haven’t explored your own need for them. You don’t know why they keep you up at night thirsting for a beginning to the beginning.

Wendy: I know why I add them.

GF: Why then?

Wendy: I don’t owe you a reason.

GF: How do you ever plan to break yourself from this prologue addiction if you’re not gonna fess up?

Wendy (in a whisper): I like prologues.

GF: And you want us to believe they’re always good—helpful to you and your work even?

Wendy: Well, I guess I’m here for a reason. Maybe I don’t need them as badly as I think I do.

GF: It’s why it’s called addiction.

Wendy: So is there a twelve-step program for people like me? Do I need to stay away from books with prologues?

GF: That depends. Are you willing to openly admit it’s a problem?

Wendy coughs and dodges eye contact: Okay, fine. It’s a problem.

GF: I won’t even tell you what F.I.N.E. stands for.

Wendy: I already know. Thanks.

Do you prologue? If so, is it becoming a problem?

*photos by flickr


  1. I could sense your fiery spirit in there. :O)

  2. ROFL! Love this post.

    I'm not opposed to them, but I'm not particularly drawn to them, either. But if a book I write has need for one, I'll include it.

  3. LOL!! That's hilarious.

    But I confess...I do not like prologues. Shhhh!
    I've only read TWO that I thought were absolutely perfectly needed for the story and could not imagine the book without them.
    Maybe I have a problem...

  4. Lol! So, so funny, Wendy! I'm not a prologuer, but I'm sure I have other writing addictions that could require therapy too. :)

  5. I like reading prologues. I feel like it's part of a clever map. The map being the book, of course. It's planned out, dotted with little things that help you read it in it's fullness. I feel like prologues are the key that teaches you the language of the "map" as you follow along. Only instead of referring back to it as you would a key, you are immediately familiarized with where you are going and what to unexpectedly expect. Some prologues leave you hoping, "There had better be a treasure at the end of this map!" Others leave no doubt in your mind that a wonderful, wild ride awaits you, and that is worth more than any treasure.

    If I were a writer, I believe I would also have a prolougue problem.

  6. I almost prologued, but finally decided against it. Nowadays, I tend to not like them in books. But that's just me!

  7. HEEHEEHEE! This was great!

    I don't prologue, but I did once. And I still think that prologue is one of the most beautiful things I've ever written.

    That's probably why I had to cut it out.

  8. I love prologue. Sorry, you'll have to do that recovery program w/out me. Good luck. :D

  9. Cute! I don't think the prologue is one of the seven deadly sins, not even in literature! Prologue away girl!!!

  10. No I don't prologue:( Sadly I am the person who skips them when I know I shouldn't!!!

  11. When I read the group part, I actually said, "Hiiii Wendy" out loud. Snort! I might be a dirty little prologuer (is that a word?), too. Depends on my mood :)

  12. No I don't but, I always look at the publisher and stuff....just dreaming...

  13. In An Irishwoman's Tale, yes. My next three no.
    But I love them.

  14. I do prologue and no, of course it isn't a problem! It's a gift rather. :)

    When I read the prologue in the book Twilight, it immediately hooked me. I wanted to know what the cluster of sentences at the beginning of the book were referring to.

  15. It is a problem for me. I added a prologue to the story I'm currently working on, and then when I began a new story I thought, "This could really use a prologue." Ah!

  16. Hi Wendy -

    LOL! I enjoy reading prologues and epilogues.
    I haven't used them in my own writing, but must confess I toyed with the idea.

    Susan :)

  17. Hi Wendy! Ha! I'm not a prolouge-aholic but I LOVE LOVE LOVE introduction chapters and epilogues. BUT, now that I've read this, I've started thinking... why is my intro chapter any different than a short chapter 1? Why not just add another chapter? Thanks for this. It's great.

  18. Too funny. I can think of worse addictions.

    It's good to be back!

  19. Very cute post, Wendy!! My advice? (Knew you were just dying to hear it! Hah!) When you query, don't send the prologue. Keep it, but give them Chapter 1. Then later you can negotiate with editors whether the prologue is needed.

  20. I must admit. I love prologues. I love to find out how they fit into the rest of the novel. I wrote a prologue, got great feed back on it, but was told that I needed to slide it into the beginning of Chapter One. THEN, when I read the judges' comments of the Genesis contest, two of them told me they loved the beginning of my chapter one, but that it would be better as a prologue. Go figure!

    I will tell you that I am shocked to know that there are people who never read prologues.

    Loved this post. Very funny!

  21. I don't. Yet. But you have got me thinking...:)

  22. I like prologues. I like epilogues. I like middlelogs, too. I could be in big trouble.

  23. So cute, Wendy! I don't write fiction, but I honestly don't mind a prologue. At a crit group discussion, this topic came up and a valid point made: At what point is the reader hooked? If it happens in the prologue, by all means keep it! If not, well, as painful as it may be...just begin at the beginning! God bless!

  24. Funny!

    I'm usually tempted to start my fiction work with a prologue BUT strangely I dislike reading them in books... an I usually tend to skim through and jump right to Chapter 1 ...
    Maybe this is also a


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