I liked teasing as a kid and flirting as a teen. And when my friends reciprocated, I liked that too. Back and forth, we'd playfully entice each other to do the unexpected. Thanks to them, I have many memorable moments to keep me company as I rock away through my senior years.
Perhaps this explains why I like to write and read prologues. What's better than a short, high-tension beginning to a novel? Or being teased by an awesome foreshadowing? Or being enticed by the drama to come?
The prologue has a long line of naysayers: readers won't read it; readers don't read it; readers don't like it; readers won't get it. Really? Where is the empirical evidence?
T.R. Robinson publishing takes the doubters to task, showing that 92.7% of readers responding to their survey DO read prologues. How scientific was their questionnaire? Nothing about sample size or response rate, but at least they've asked some readers about their preferences, and some responded.
Then enter the cynics who chastise authors who write prologues, calling them lazy, boring, and unimaginative, and proclaim prologues provide zippo to a story.
When I hear something is impossible, my optimism spirals into high gear. I guess that might be why my works, Blackhorse Road, Flower Girl, and A Flawless Witness have prologues—I like the challenge of putting the naysayers to rest.
Here are a few novels that have teased, awed, and enticed me with their prologues.
· True Colors – Kristin Hannah
· The Next Ship Home – Heather Webb
· Before We Were Yours – Lisa Wingate
· The Home for Unwanted Girls – Joanna Goodman
· Dragon Fish – Vu Tran
· The Mystery of Mrs. Christie – Marie Benedict
· The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead
So much for the naysayers!
P.S. This was the feature article in my October Newsletter, Between the Scenes. Missed the newsletter and the other great articles? Subscribe here.