I’m on a roll with blogging this week so lets continue with a Let’s Talk Bookish discussing prologues and epilogues!
What’s the difference between having something as a prologue vs. a chapter 1?
For me, the prologue sets the tone of the book – I like prologues that are “prequels” to the book, and say this thing happened X year ago, and now we’re in the present time and that thing affected current life (of the world or of the character in particular). I like prologues, I don’t mind them but I’m ok without them too.
Is it too much to have both a prologue and epilogue?
If a book has a prologue, I assume it’ll have an epilogue. It just feels like that’s something that author likes and would do in their book. I don’t think it’s too much to have both, it feels like a “beginning” and an “end”.
How does having one (or both) affect how readers perceive the story?
I think having a prologue is almost like having a little “preview” into the world before you jump into the actual action. I don’t notice when a book doesn’t have a prologue, but I definitely DO notice when it does have a prologue or epilogue.
Do you think epilogues have more value because they might tie up loose ends?
An epilogue feels like an after thought. Personally I don’t need to know what happens to the characters after the last chapter ends – in my mind, the authors job is done and if I want to imagine what happens next, great! But some epilogues can ruin a book. Sometimes more information is not better. Sometimes they are good, but sometimes they aren’t…
Do prologues have more value because they can set the scene? Do you prefer having neither?
I’m ok with prologues, as they do set the tone of the world, but an epilogue feels like an after thought. The author should fit the story within the story. Why add something else after the story, when you could’ve included it in the story? Sometimes epilogues are useful if its a series, and its a little taste of what is to come next, but otherwise, I can take or leave both prologues and epilogues.