Prologue – a separate introductory section of a literary or musical work. Now that we got that Google definition out the way, when do you really see a prologue? At the beginning of the story, of course. 🙂
Writers use this tool across multiple mediums. In movies and television, it’s called a teaser. In fiction, it’s a prologue. It’s that bit of information that’s shown to whet the imagination. One of my favorite movies The Mummy’, opens with a dark priest, forbidden love, betrayal, murder and retribution. The Magi guard the tomb of tee dark priest to make sure he’s never resurrected.
Clive Cussler employs the prologue in many, if not all, of his novels. One that stands out for me is ‘The Silent Sea,’ where five brothers explore a rumored treasure pit and only four return home.
I use the prologue in my writing. It’s a useful tool to set up the rest of the story. Why? Hopefully, the prologue will have the reader asking how does this tie into the rest of the story? Or what’s so important about this tidbit of information?
In The Mummy, it was the catalyst for Evie to prove she’s worthy as a scholar and archeologist. In ‘The Silent Sea, Chairman Juan Cabrillo of the spy ship Oregon to foil a plot to world domination.
I like prologues because it can give backstory without having to use flashbacks or a lot of ‘telling’. The write can ‘show’ the reader instead. A prologue isn’t necessary, but it is a useful tool.
“Indulge Your Inner Romantic”