Adding a Prologue: When Is It Necessary?

Amy Reade

I spent a seemingly-endless amount of time on the first page of my new novel, The House on Candlewick Lane, and I am pleased to announce that it never changed!

But…it’s no longer the first page.

Instead, it’s the first page after the Prologue.

I have always been a fan of authors like Jane Austen, who can take the reader’s hand and lead them through a quaint garden of description and backstory. But times have changed and today’s readers have less and less time to devote to reading. I’ve found that authors in the 21st century need to take the reader’s hand so they don’t fall off when the thrill ride starts.

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8 thoughts on “Adding a Prologue: When Is It Necessary?

  1. Helen Frame

    Like the way you have written it. I have used a prologue although manyexperts don’t like it. I have also turned a prologue into a first chapter and then flashed back in time.

  2. B.K. Stevens

    Thanks for contributing a post, Amy! I don’t think there’s any doubt about it–your prologue and the opening page of your first chapter combine to do a masterful job of pulling readers into your novel.

  3. Amy M. Reade

    Hi Helen! I have actually put a Prologue in all my books. I love them in the books I read, too, even though I know there are experts who don’t like them. This was the only book where I didn’t actually start with a Prologue–I should have known I would end up with one! Thanks very much for stopping by.

  4. Amy M. Reade

    Hi Bonnie! Thank you so much for having me on The First Two Pages. One of the things I loved best about it was that it forced me to sit down and actually think through why I wrote the Prologue in The House on Candlewick Lane. Very often I believe I don’t analyze what I’m writing because I’m so busy writing the next thing, but I learned something about myself and my writing when I did this exercise.

    Thank you for making me know myself better!

  5. Sharon Aguanno

    I love prologues! They draw the reader in and give them something to think about right from the start!

    Great job, I should have mentioned that in my review!


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