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Prologues - Pro and Con
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At Murderati, Denise Dietz, author of the Diet Club mystery series, writes about prologues:
Some readers hate 'em [or say they do].

My dictionary defines prologue as "the preface or introduction to a literary work." Does that mean that if/when I write a prologue I've written a literary work? Cool.

Another definition is: "An introductory or preceding event or development."

And that, my friends, is what I believe a good prologue should be . . . and most of the time they are. But, somehow, the prologue has gotten a bad rap. It's a dirty word.

Denise gives some examples of how well known authors have used prologues (or pretended they were something else), talks about her own experience with them and offers up the intro to her upcoming novel.

Because prologues have such a dicey reputation, Mary and I tend to avoid them. Our attitude, generally, is that if it's the beginning of the book, just call it "Chapter One." However, one of our six Byzantine mysteries, Five For Silver does begin with a prologue of about 500 words. We thought it set the scene, established the mood -- a considerably darker mood than usually conveyed on this blog -- and introduced some tantalizing (we hoped) bits of information/clues which turn out to be important later.

I'd copy it here but it looks so much nicer in the page images!

Introduction to Five For Silver

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