Recently, I overheard a conversation in a bookstore and since then I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Two people standing in the bestseller section were looking for the same book. One had read it, one hadn’t. The one who had was retelling the plot in general terms, starting with chapter one.
This got me thinking. I knew this specific book had a prologue and it was an interesting one. It had added to the story, setting up the feel of the book and laying some of the groundwork for the back story. So, why didn’t he even mention it?
My novel has a prologue. An indulgent, mystical, magical tour that adds flavor and vital information to the entire story to follow. Within my prologue you’ll learn the plot contains a historical back story full of grandeur and intrigue. It creates a sense of mysticism through an ancient, nearly unknown religion where long forgotten information comes in jarring contact with the realities of man. A reader will find out the key focal point of the novel has a dynamic story all its own, which essentially makes it a secondary character within the plot. Most importantly, you can instantly identify me as an author through the style I create in my prologue.
Some may say the prologue is a self-indulgent waste of words that only the writer enjoys, but I disagree. The prologue acts as the spice of your story, creating subtle flavors and delicately revealing complexities hidden within its lines, only to be fully realized later in the plot twists and depth of your characters. It flavors your plot, characters, atmosphere, tone and feel of your novel, adding the color that brews throughout the storyline and places the reader in another place and time.
So, read the prologue and savor its flavors.