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[Comments] (4) The Future Is Prologue: I'm experimenting with writing a prologue for Situation Normal, to reduce the thrown-into-the-deep-end feeling typical of my fiction. I say 'experimenting with' rather than 'just doing it' because I wrote something and it wasn't a prologue. I'd just turned back the clock to before the book started and written a regular scene.

I don't like prologues for the very reason I'm trying to write one: they're introductory infodumps. I usually skim them, unless they look like the Law and Order style prologues where the POV character dies at the end of the scene. But this book has so many POV characters already, I don't think I should go that route.

I talked it over with Sumana and she gave me the idea of pacing the prologue as though it were the first scene of a short story. That's something I've done before, so I know I can do it again, and it doesn't mean big infodumps, just more internal monologue.

I'd like your suggestions of genre fiction books with effective prologues. Prologues that made you say "yes, I want to read a whole book about this stuff." I can't think of many examples but I admit I'm blinded by prejudice.

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Posted by Emile at Tue May 12 2015 16:57

I don't have any good suggestions for interesting prologues in genre fiction; I just had to comment to say that I made to the end of the first paragraph thinking that you were writing Prolog to... get yourself in the right mindset for the new book? I wasn't sure where it was going really.

Probably best to not write the prologue in Prolog though.

Posted by Susie at Wed May 13 2015 00:41

I actually find many prologues frustrating glimpses of scenes that don't make sense until much further in the story. In fact, I've read several that WERE direct scenes from later in the story.

Posted by Rachel at Wed May 13 2015 09:23

I think prologues are over-used and I like being thrown into the deep end. But maybe that's just how we were raised.

Posted by Caleb Wilson at Thu May 14 2015 21:50

Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination has a good one. It uses a historical tone, and sets up a central conceit of the novel (that people can learn to teleport through will alone) in a way that (at least it seems to me) would be very difficult to do even a few pages into the action.


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