A timely post from Jessica Norrie on the subject of prologues.. I am in the middle of writing the second volume of a book that I wrote in 2015 and felt the need to bring the story together in some way for those who had not read the first book and met its characters… I have chosen to do a short… “Previously….. and hope I have not broken too many rules…. thanks again to Jessica for highlighting aspects of creative writing we might not consider.. From Saturday 20th of January Jessica will be writing a Literary Column for the blog and I am really looking forward to sharing with you..
Browsing my favourite fiction authors, what do Helen Dunmore, Elena Ferrante, Zadie Smith, Margaret Forster and Kazuo Ishiguro (sometimes) do, that Margaret Atwood, Ian McKewan, Rose Tremain and Kazuo Ishiguro (sometimes) don’t?
Clue: It was good enough for Chaucer and (sometimes) Shakespeare, but has a reputation as a turn-off in submissions to agents and publishers. At the Guardian Masterclass I attended, the invited agent said: “Never send me a submission with a prologue!” And here are two more, quoted on the Writer’s Digest:
“I’m not a fan of prologues, preferring to find myself in the midst of a moving plot on page one rather than being kept outside of it, or eased into it.”
“Damn the prologue, full speed ahead!”
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