Prologue: Pro or Con?

I've been reading articles on whether or not writers should use a prologue. I gotta say, there's not a lotta love out there for the prologue. =P
As a reader I never thought much of them, I just considered them part of the book. As a writer I agonized over adding one and eventually decided I wouldn't...only to finish writing the book and have a flash of inspiration for what I thought would be a great prologue.

Now I'm reading all these comments from prologue haters who say they don't even bother reading them and that most prologues should just be re-labeled "Chapter 1".

Whoa...wait a minute. If a writer takes the time to write a prologue and feels that it is integral enough to the plot to include one...shouldn't it be read? Would readers skip over any other chapters of the book they're reading? I just don't get that. I don't understand what's so bad about a prologue...sure, not all of them are masterpieces, but neither are all novels. ;o)

No matter what the majority of the writing community says about them, I like my prologue. I think it shows a taste of the action to come and gives the reader a hint of the connection my MC will be making with another character. Does it have to be included? I guess I could chop it off and the story would remain unharmed---a lot of the anti-prologue sentiment has me thinking maybe that's what I should do---but I like it and I want it to stay.

What do you think about prologues? Are they frowned upon? And if so, why do so many best-selling titles have them?



  1. You know what I learned? People can bite me, with their over used, under plotted faux vampire famgs.

    I have no idea where all the prologue hate came from. I am almost postive some agent said sometime that they didn't like them and a wave of people who wanted to sound intelegent followed suite.

    At some point in my writing exsistence, they were dead to me. I lost track of the number of times I said "I read agents don't like them." When other writers would ask.

    Do you think people ever said, "Yo! Cassandra Clare, sorry but there will be no prologue for you!" No, because Clockwork Angel is sitting right here and and guess what IT HAS ONE!

    Maybe no one noticed it. After all, all those prologue haters must have just let their eyes gloss over as the flipped a few pages since it didn't say CHAPTER ONE.

    For people who have prologue-aphobia, what is it exactly that you don't like? Besides it's complete lack of being called Chapter one? Sounds like an irrational thing on so many levels,I suggest they all seek help.

  2. Exactly! =)

    I don't get why so many writers act like a prologue is the mark of death when it clearly didn't stop Cassandra, Stephanie, or any other best-seller with a prologue from getting a book deal! =P

    Maybe they're speaking purely from personal preference...it seems the majority of readers actually *like* the prologue, or at least don't mind it.

    Oh well...as with most of the writing advice I've come across I'll take it with a grain of salt and then go with my gut! ;o)