Prologues and a few opinionated people needed

Just curious, but does anyone actually read prologues? This sounds like a weird question because those of you who do read them (like me) might wonder why anyone wouldn’t. Likewise, those who don’t bother with them might wonder why anyone else would bother to read them, either. So to that end, I feel compelled to ask if the majority of you read them or not (and yes, this does have some relevance as I’m not sure to use a Prologue or Chapter 1 as a start of His Contract Bride).

I’ll do it as a poll so you don’t have to bother to comment unless you want to.


Also, if anyone out there is utterly opinionated and has a few minutes to spare, I’d appreciate an opinion on my interview with Lady O that’ll be broadcasted to the masses next week. I’d just post it here and ask if it satisfied everyone’s curiosity, but then it wouldn’t be original next week…


I’ve had an extremely busy week last week and was unable to make any posts. Hopefully this week isn’t quite as hectic.

10 thoughts on “Prologues and a few opinionated people needed”

  1. I am very curious to see if there is someone out here who doesn’t read the prologues. I read everything in the book including the thank yous and the research notes.

    I don’t think of myself as a highly opinionated person, but I suppose I am. Just not one of those opinionated people who try to push it on other people. I would be more than happy to help you out with Lady O.

  2. I didn’t realize that the prologue was optional… I always read them.

    And I own to being opinionated… I love any excuse to tell you what I think. If you still need a reader, my inbox is open. 🙂

  3. I already explained why in the poll comments, but I don’t read them. I also don’t read author notes, dedications, samples of other books, etc. If I want to read more of the author’s work, I’ll check it out on their website or Amazon, to be honest. All I want when I read the book is the book, and for me it starts at chapter 1 and ends at “The End”.

    As a disclaimer, I am an author who puts the above stuff in some books, though I rarely ever use a prologue. The reason I put the stuff in there that I don’t read is because I’m aware that there are many people who do read them. 😀

    1. Thanks for sharing, Ruth. I read your comment both here and on the poll page. I find it fascinating that you, as a writer, do not care to read any of the other stuff. I always assumed that because I have a writer’s heart (never published anything) that that was why I read everything. I thought that if I ever published something I would want people to read everything I wrote. So maybe my obsession with reading everything is because I love to read, read, read and learn anything I can. I especially love the author’s notes at the end of the book that share some facts about what they wrote about or some of the research they did before or while writing the book. I know some author’s put this info on their blogs, but in all honesty I don’t want to have to go get on my computer and find the info I am looking for. Rose’s blog is really the only writer’s blog that I have read everything on and only one of two that I actually get updates on.
      My question for you, Ruth, would be; Have you ever gone back and read the prologue after you have finished the book and after you feel like you have gotten to know the characters better?

      1. Sarah, I’m going to jump in here and say something. I once missed a prologue. It was literally two pages, or one page front and back, however you want to look at it. It was in a paperback book and I just started with Chapter 1. Something that happened in the prologue was alluded to MANY times throughout the book and I pieced everything together, but had I read the prologue first, I’d have had a much better understanding from the get-go. So now I ALWAYS check to see if there’s a prologue.

        That being said, I can tell you right now, not everyone reads everything. Whether it be the prologue, the author’s notes at the end or even large portions of the actual story, there are many who skip or skim these areas. If you go to a place like Amazon and start looking at some of the reviews left for books that have more than about 20 reviews (books that you’ve read, of course) you’ll notice a lot of the reviews (particularly those with a rating of 3 or lower) have some facts twisted, which might be why they didn’t like the story anyway. The reason for the mistakes is that people skim. So if they’re skimming the story, they’re certainly skimming (or just plain skipping) the prologue, epilogue and whatever else they don’t feel is pertinent.

      2. I can’t think of a single romance novel where a prologue made the book better. Five years ago, I would read the prologue of every book I read, and rarely did I find the prologue added to the story. I felt that a lot of prologues I read would have better deleted or used as backstory later in the book when it was crucial to the plot that I know what happened.

        This is just my opinion, but I think prologues should be used sparingly and only if it is absolutely necessary to hook to the reader, such as cluing them in to a later event in the book where the hero/heroine might lose everything. That’s a pivotal moment in the book, and it’s the only kind of prologue that would hook me. Backstory prologues never hook me. I’ve stopped reading books at the prologue when it turned into nothing but backstory and what I thought was senseless rambling. The problem is that a prologue that dumps information gives me nothing to emotionally connect to the main character(s). Like I said, I’ve seen them effectively done, but 95% of the time, they’ve been unnecessary.

        I don’t think most readers care to read author blogs, to be honest. I think it’s only the readers who are extremely enthusiastic about an author’s work who will take the time to read the blog posts. I don’t insert much background information about what went into my novels in my books, but I do a lot of it on my blog because I am looking for my readers’ input. It’s my way of connecting with them. I get a lot of useful advice from my readers through my blog posts when they’re linked up to Facebook. Facebook has been the greatest way for me to tune into what my readers like and don’t like. I understand the majority of people who read my books will never check my blog, but for those who like my books enough to do that, I am very interested in what they have to say.

        Each author is going to do things according to what they like or don’t like, and Rose’s way works great for her. I stumbled upon Liberty for Paul and enjoyed it immensely before I realized I’d already talked to her on a forum. I would read Rose’s prologue just because she’s established with me (as a reader) that she doesn’t waste space. Most writers I’ve come across tend to waste space when they write, which is why I’m not a fan of prologues.

        And Rose is right. Some people don’t read the entire book but just skim it. One case in point was a reviewer who said that the hero was raped. Well, I had read the book, and it was the heroine who was raped, not the hero. Big difference. I pointed it out in the comment under the review just to alert potential readers that the reviewer was mistaken. But it does make me wonder how much people actually read versus skimming.

        Just my two cents. 😀

  4. I’m one the reads everything. Although now with me reading everything in e-book I do get confused when My Kindle starts on the teaser scene that many romance books start with. I don’t always realize that its a teaser so I’ll be trying to figure out what I missed or if the author is one that likes to start in the middle of a major scene. Then I feel dumb when the cover pages comes up. LOL

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