Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prologues and Epilogues

In skimming through a book of advice for fiction writers, I came across a section on the use of prologues and epilogues in novels. The advice was to avoid prologues all together and just get right to the action. I can't object to that, but I have read novels that used prologues (in fact I'm reading one now) and there is no doubt that sometimes they work.

Another objection that this author had, though, was that too many readers simply skip them completely, the same way most people don't bother reading the acknowledgments page (I'm a weirdo, I even read those). Now, that I don't really understand. If it's part of the novel, why wouldn't you want to read it? What kind of novel readers are these?

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