To Prologue or Not to Prologue

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I had fun doing a library video conference last night at the Buchanan County Public Library, hosted by the lovely Teresa Matney and including Kate Douglas, Beverly Jenkins, and Melanie James and me! We had a great time! Thanks to everyone who showed up and asked questions!

I’ve been editing White Wolf both last night and this morning, so typing changes first thing. I worked on Angel Fae last night after the conference.

So I got a note from my editor that she has removed my prologue in Jingle Bell Wolf because she doesn’t like prologues.

I disagree with her about prologues. I think they can be an important part of showing something that has shaped who the character is in real time. I oftentimes don’t write them in the beginning, but when I find myself referring to the incident over and over again that changed them forever, it’s TELLING. And if I have a prologue, it’s SHOWING. Then readers can feel that too. Telling doesn’t get the point across as well as showing.

Think of it this way–a person is terrified of flying. He was one of the few survivors of a plane crash. Telling. What if I show that in a prologue? Now it’s more real. We feel him. We feel his pain. We actually see what had happened to him and why he has the fear he has. Even in movies they often employ this.

Sure, if the prologue doesn’t have anything to do with the story, don’t have it. I remember reading a book where you think you’re reading about the main protagonist–and she’s murdered. What? Wait! I was all invested in the story in the prologue, waiting for her to get herself out of danger, or someone to rescue her, and now I have to figure out who the main character is again? You don’t learn that the killer is the father of the woman who is the main protagonist until about 3/4ths the way through the book. By that time, I’ve totally forgotten about the woman or her attacker in the prologue. So yeah, in that case, the prologue wasn’t needed. It just wasn’t relevant. Or the connection made so late in the story, by then it didn’t matter to me.

young game match kids
Photo by Breakingpic on

In any event, a prologue can be important. Will I leave this one out? I don’t know. I need to reread the story because taking one thing out can affect everything in a story. So I’ll have to make sure it will be okay.

So to my readers, if you enjoy an exciting prologue that shows a snippet of something that turned a characters life upside down, you will probably have to read them in my other books.

In the meantime, I’m off to edit and still trying to figure out some conflict for White Wolf! And it does have a prologue too, for the same reason I have one in Jingle Bell Wolf.

Have a great day!!! And stay safe!


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