Prologue or No Prologue?

What do you guys prefer?

Personally, as long as the prologue isn’t just dumping the backstory on me and it gives me an idea of what to expect from the story but at the same time make me excited to go ahead and read it, I prefer to have prologues.


My story has a prologue because its where I wanted to start the story but it’s not the Start of the story. The actual story starts 28 years after the prologue.

So I’m in favour. If they’re handled well I’m a fan


I like having a prologue sometimes but I prefer when a characters past is spread throughout the story


It has to be done really well for me. Not exposition “Here’s is the cheerleader I hate and here’s the hot guy I’ve liked for years and oh yeah, they’re dating” type stuff.

But more like Star Wars type prologue with some kind of interesting background (not completely black and stationary and preferably not one of the common Episode bgs) and only the most concise and relevant details.

Typically, I prefer the show not tell method but there are many exceptions that just “work” but im not sure how to explain exactly what the difference is between prologues that work and don’t work. Biggest thing I’d say is to make it snappy and exciting!


I usually like prologues. If they’re written well and done well then they’re fine.

You should add a prologue or no prologue poll also!


And then there are authors who literally add prologues just to dump backstory on me. :confounded:

Like make you want to know more but at the same time, reveal nothing too important?

I thought about it, then decided against it. Like, because I have seen, when you add poll, a lot of people just vote and don’t give the reason (myself included) and I am more interested in the whys so I didn’t.


Exactly. Like background you wouldn’t normally get in the first few minutes if your story is starting in the middle of some action…


I’ve never really given it much thought. I guess, like everyone’s said, if they are done well then sure… But if it is just going to be an introduction to your cast and all of the information on them packed into a short bio, then no!
I hate reading stuff about characters all in one go, just because it’s not showing us, we don’t ins over who they are from reading it for ourselves… You might as well write the story spoilers too so we don’t read it.
Unless it’s a factual reason, like a cop reading a criminal file, just don’t give us their info.


I like it when prologues give a flash forward into the story, then it pulls you back into the first chapter for the beginning.

An example

The woman walks to the balcony, while overlooking the kingdom. Soon to be her kingdom. She can’t help but hide a smile of satisfaction. “Are you ready, dear?” a voice says. The voice belongs to a woman, a woman who clearly possesses great power and strength. A goddess.
“Cassandra?” The woman at the balcony turns. “Yes?” she asks the voice. The voice has now, slowly, taken the form of a gorgeous, but stern woman.
“Are you sure you’re ready to rule as the new Empress?” the woman repeats. “You mean Supreme Empress, Esther?” Cassandra corrects her. “I’m sure that I’m ready. This empire will be at my feet, and the Emperor… in the palm of my hand.” The women smirk at each other. Cassandra turns back to the view outside.
“I have taught you well,” commented Esther. “It seems like yesterday when I came to you in my human form and…” Esther had started but Cassandra interjected, “Enough, Esther. Don’t bring up my harmful past.”
Cassandra faces Esther. “What was the motto you always told me?” “Those who get burnt by fire, are weak,” Esther tells her in that low voice, then walks over to the future Empress, “and those who embrace it, are meant to be great.” They finish the mantra together, the mantra that bonds them. Esther hugs Cassandra, smiling. “I love you, Cassie.” She gently strokes her hair. “I love you too,” Cassandra replies. She closes her eyes, remembering how she ended up here in the first place…


In medias res


Is that Latin?


I think so?

It’s also just a storytelling technique. To start the story in the middle of the action. Usually this’ll be followed up by a flashback, and the story will run to the point you saw at the beginning then the ending will play out.

It’s a cool way to catch a viewers attention


Wow. That’s pretty cool.


Here is a question to get this thread bumped!

Do you guys prefer past information being shown in a prologue or throughout the story?

  • Prologue
  • Information throughout

0 voters


To me, if you’re giving past information… It’s still info dumping in a way. I’d like it better if the prologue was in the present and not meant to actually convey anything, just to capture interest. That’s my personal preference tho.


So I like a prologue that’s succinct and information added throughout, so a bit of a combo.


I disagree. I dislike it when there’s a flashforward.

It makes me wonder that when will the scene be happening in the story, and a minor spoiler as well.

Yes, it’s a cool way to start a story but I’m just an impatient hoe. :sweat_smile:

Mysterious Personal Shopper is a perfect example.


Mysterious Personal Shopper’s prologue wasn’t a full one though, it was very ambiguous.

it made it look like the mom and Kyunghye were the villains, when they weren’t

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I agree on that one.

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It was the complete opposite of the drama.

I don’t like today’s daily dramas, they seem to have male villains/antiheroes and a one-dimensional villain. Hate it.

I need my female dramas back!