[identity profile] deadstar4188.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] writers_loft
Hi,

just a quick question, when you read a book do you read the prologues/epilogues?

I know a few people who don't (but they also read the last chapter first) and i have both in my story, but i feel as though the prologue might give one of the twists away.

I'm probably thinking about it too much (i do that a lot)but your opinions will be a great help.

Thanks

Date: 2011-05-31 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] girlofavalon.livejournal.com
I do read both the prologue and the epilogue, if they exist. To be honest, I don't understand why some people don't. I mean, they are a part of the book, right? ;)

Date: 2011-05-31 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlight83.livejournal.com
I am of the opinion that prologues and epilogues should only be used if they're absolutely necessary.

A lot of thrillers I read use a prologue as an opening gambit. And I rather like that use. Epic fantasies seem to use them to detail back story from a thousand years ago. And that use sort of frustrates me.

Epilogues I don't see much of in my reading. When I do, they're either in romance novels and utterly useless or in part of a series where the author is setting a hook for the next novel. I read them. But I always wish author had just closed the meat of their novel and wrapped up their loose ends tightly enough not to need an epilogue.
Edited Date: 2011-05-31 06:11 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-05-31 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-mome-wrath.livejournal.com
I also think that prologues and epilogues should only be used when absolutely necessary. Most books and stories don't really need them.

If your prologue is back story, the info can usually be worked into the story. If your prologue is an exciting bit to tide the reader through some slow parts, then you might want to keep it. Take a look at your prologue and see if it can't be worked into chapter one, or just be chapter one itself. If it can't do either, then you may want to keep it as your prologue.

Epilogues I generally feel could be worked into the last chapter. A story should be able to wrap up all the story threads on it's own. Unless they're done really well, epilogues tend to fall a bit flat, which takes away from the satisfaction of the ending.

Date: 2011-06-05 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] svenjaliv.livejournal.com
I read them. But prologues do sometimes bore me. Sometimes they feature characters or events which won't feature in the actual story, and in those cases it often feels like the author doesn't know or care about the character, and so I end up not caring about him/her either, if that makes sense. Sometimes they're just plain boring, because it's a lot of mystery and vagueness at a point where I don't have any idea what it's about, which annoys me as well. But, there are also cases where prologues work really well. As for epilogues, I don't much get the difference between an epilogue and a last chapter a lot of the time, but they do usually work for me. To wrap up the book, solve the last bit of tension, whatever.

Basically, I'd use them if they fit the story. If the prologue gives something away that you don't want to give away, don't use it. If it helps to set things up for later in the book, well, use it. You know? It always depends on what you want to do. If you don't want people guessing the twist and the prologue will help them do it, cut it out; if it sets it up or just hands them another clue, leave it in.

Date: 2011-07-05 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] facingtheanimal.livejournal.com
A lot of people tell me that agents hate prologues but as far as I am concerned, I don't see how they hurt. I have a prologue in my novel and it's actual a crucual part to the novel as it is a murder and links automatically back to the main character. For me as long as it fits into the story it shouldn't be a problem. The same goes for epilogues. A lot of people use epilogues these days without calling them epilogues. They just make them a really short chapter of sorts.

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