13 May 2010

Yackety-yak: Prologues

The other day, the fabulous Amelia at Imagination in Focus got me thinking about reading and rules. Many many hours later, I remembered one of my own reading rules. I avoid prologues like the plague. To me they are like movie trailers; occasionally fun but mostly they ruin a scene for me. Which leads me to my yackety-yak question of the day:
What do you think of prologues? Do you love them or hate them? Do they inspire you or let you down?

46 comments :

  1. I think prologues, when done right, can add to the experience of reading a book. But often times they just seem superfluous.

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  2. i've never thought about prologues before. i like them. lol actually the only prologue i didn't like is the one on romeo and juliet. that one really ruined the story for me.

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  3. I often find that prologues shed too much light on the story, and because I don't like to taint my reading experience, I usually read them at the end of the book.

    However, sometimes they are part of the story, as is the case in Lolita by Nabokov, so it's hard to know whether you will miss something important to the book.

    It's a quandry, really...

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  4. Hey, thanks for the shout-out!
    You're the first non-prologue-er I've ever met! But you have a point. Gotta say, though, I would HAVE to read the *epilogue*

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  5. Ugh, I do NOT like prologues!!!! I'm glad to find someone who agrees!! They irritate me in movies too. It's not because I feel like it's spoiler-ish, its because I think its so confusing!! I am so bewildered to just be plopped down in the story with no explanations, I like to ease into a story. I have yet to get past the prologue in The Last Song...

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  6. i definitely dislike prologues.it spoils the urge to read.maybe it will intrigues but more or less, i can predict what will happen. =(

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  7. Oh I'm there with you. I tend to avoid them for the most part or at least skim through to get to the good stuff. I like to follow the story as it unfolds, not have it laid out before me. ^_^

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  8. I don't like them when I see them....they are usual something confusing that I don't understand because I haven't even started the story yet....but I do read them. What if there if vital info there I need to understand the story? I hate not understanding the story.

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  9. I'm fine with prologues but avoid introductions to classics because those are nothing but big spoiler-fests!

    About prologues, I had someone in a GR group say, "I skip them. If it were important, it would be called Chapter 1." I thought that was funny!

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  10. I don't like them, but I feel like I have to read them! I don't want to miss anything. What I hate is when it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the story.

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  11. I don't mind them. It depends on how they are written and if they are really necessary to the story.

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  12. I like prologues and epilogues. The more of a story I can get, the better!

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  13. Oooh yeah, I read prologues and epilogues. One main benefit I get is -- it usually takes me some time to get comfy in a story. With all that initial stage-setting and character introductions, I usually go slow through the first few pages. Prologues help me to hasten that. Since I already have some idea of what is happening or will happen.

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  14. Hmmm, well, I never skip them. I think it they are done well they can help set up a story, just like epilogues give that needed ending that can come from the end of the last chapter.

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  15. Hate Prologues... I totally just avoid them and think what a waste of a lovely tree. The only prologue I have ever read that I enjoyed was in Alice in Wonderland that was totally worth it too :)

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  16. I like prologues. Especially original and vague ones like Hush, Hush's.

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  17. That is so funny b/c I never considered NOT reading the prologue, LOL! I think it adds to the story.. I'd feel like I was missing something if I didn't read it! Do you go back at the end and read it?

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  18. Jenny: I do actually! How did you know? I read the book and then go back and read the prologue :)

    JessSecret: Oh the hush, hush prologue made me crazy ;)

    JenG: That gal in your book club sounds like me :)

    Yvonne: Good point :)

    Allie & Amelia: I love epilogues!

    Aths, Steph, Chelley, and Jacqueline: Thanks for all your input :) I loved reading your thoughts.

    Emily, Mary, itsjustme, GMR, Darlyn, Carrie, and PeachyTo: YAH! Others like me :) Let's start a club, k? Like itsJUSTme, I use to feel compelled. Now I'm like Carrie. I like to be eased in. So sometimes I do what PeachyTo and GMR mentioned, I skim it to make sure there is nothing vital. But most of the time (especially with mysteries, adventures, or paranormals) I avoid them completely until I finish the book and epilogue.

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  19. i always read every part of the book...don't want to miss a word

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  20. It depends on the story. I mostly don't care, but then I hate the Twilight prologues because they are all the same.

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  21. I read the prologue, but they usually annoy me. If I don't read it, I feel like I might be missing something.

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  22. I never really thought much of it, so I guess they don't bother me. I do think sometimes they add to the story, and sometimes it really isnt necessary

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  23. I never thought about prologues, but I think I like them... even want them.

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  24. I'm not a huge fan, in fact the book I'm reading now has one and I started reading it and was so disoriented it almost made me lose my interest in the rest of the book. So, yeah, I try to avoid them and usually go back and read after I've finished the book.

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  25. 1st daughter: Exactly! *high five* A couple of times I disliked the prologue so much that I almost put the book down.

    Melissa, Maya, and Stacy: Thanks for your take :)

    Miel: I understand completely ;)

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  26. I hadn’t really thought about it until now. While I can say I don’t love them I still read them. Sometimes they’re done well and sometimes not.

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  27. They are fun to write, but all the advice to writers says nobody likes reading them...

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  28. I read them but I read them quickly. I find i don't get anything from them and almost forget what they are all about by the time i get into a book. I never go back and read them after I finish so really, what's the point people? :)

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  29. Michelle: Amen :)

    Lisa: Whoa. Agreed! :)

    MamaBookworm: True true :)

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  30. I don't mind prologues I don't skip them, but being a writer I've heard that readers don't like them so I turned my prologue into chapter 1 - but now I've taken it out. It may come back later though.

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  31. Well, Dahling...what a great blog (design) you have here! You're on my list. I also like that you yackety-yak, too.

    I haven't given much thought as to whether I like "logues". So, I guess they haven't ruined anything for me, so far. I'll pay more attention now, though. (queen bee)

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  32. Hey, I just see I was #500th follower! Love it.

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  33. t: Welcome :) Thanks for your input. I'm glad to know my oddity is common :)

    Kim: Hi! :) Thank you for your lovely comments and thank you for being my 500th follower :) Whoot!

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  34. It depends, if it contains information that is going to happen at then end of the book anyways then I don't see the point. I'm pretty famous for reading the back of the book before it's done, but at least it's my choice I don't like it when it's forced on you.
    But if the prologue contains past information, in the case of some of my historical romances they have scenes from the heroine/hero's childhood which I think are ok, as long as they aren't too long.

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  35. It is rare that there is a well done prologue, but I usually do read them from the start. I completely understand your rationalization though. Great post!

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  36. BookRants: Good point! :)

    Emma: So true :) Thank you :)

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  37. Wow, it's never even occured to me to skip the prologue - in fact, I find them rather intriguing!

    And I'm loving this yackey-yak feature! :D

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  38. Most of the time I like the prologue, as long as it's not too confusing (which is generally is). Sometimes I find it cool to go back and read it once I'm into the book and can understand it a bit more.

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  39. Sometimes prologues can be helpful in helping a reader understand the story better. But sometimes an author misuses it and can get irritating when one realizes that it was pointless really. I would rather not have to read prologues. And when I find authors using prologues unnecessarily, I avoid that author's work from then on.

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  40. I honestly think it depends on the book. There are times where they are pointless, and there are times when they enhance the story. Sorry I can't be more helpful! :P

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  41. So many comments! Prologues can work, but they are a tricky thing for me, because you need to tie it back into the story and make it significant in a meaningful way.

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  42. Heather & Lily: So true. So tricky and it so depends. Can you think of one where you liked the prologue and felt it added to the story?

    Cherry: I feel ya girl! I would rather read books with out them as well.

    Janet: Thank you :) How cool!

    Emidy: Isn't it funny how we both enjoy them in reverse? :)

    Bookalicious: Ahhh thanks :)

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  43. I hate them.. Ahh boy o boy they are annoying.

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