Debuts and Reviews on breaking rules. Since there is no end to my rule-breaking ways, I wanted to mention a couple of things about prologues and epilogues in books and get your take on them. Some people lean pretty strongly against including either in a book. In fact, I remember hearing one agent say on her blog that she flat out hated them and wouldn't sign a book if it had one, which I thought was a little extreme. I'm of the belief, both as a writer and a somewhat voracious reader, that if they work for a story, why not include them?
Prologues usually foreshadow something that has happened or will happen in a story. The trick about prologues, though, is providing just enough of a tease to intrigue a reader without giving too much away. That said, sometimes they make absolutely no sense at all. For example, I loved David Wroblewski's THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE but the prologue didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, even after I finished the story. Still, I usually appreciate well-written prologues because I like a good tease.
Epilogues have been used in some interesting ways too. Sometimes they tie up all the loose ends in a story; other times, like in Simone Elkeles' PERFECT CHEMISTRY, which I also totally loved like I was sixteen years old all over again, they leap years ahead and almost seem to start a new story all together. But an epilogue worked for that book. And I hated for that story to end!
What do you think about prologues and epilogues? Do they make or break stories for you? Do you gloss over them or do you devour each word?
By the way, I finished RAKES AND RADISHES this weekend and my review is up on Goodreads.
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