I am contemplating the essentials of having a prologue. My internal discussion and query over this topic has been interesting over the past few weeks. I have read several recent articles that point out, having a prologue could be hurtful rather than helpful. I am torn and actually want to have a prologue.
A prologue, noted by Wikipedia, is “an opening to a story that establishes the setting and gives background details, often some earlier story that ties into the main one, and other miscellaneous information.”
A prologue typically brings together or identifies a past scene in your manuscript. I have heard of 2-3 page prologues or shorter. In my case I have a main story – it will start in chapter 1 [of course]. For the first few chapters this story will be in the past. A secondary story will intertwine with the main story.
I will use the prologue to begin this secondary story. This story will continue on and off again throughout the main story.
My prologue will begin as something like this:
“Thirteen brave soldiers are all that remain, determined to finish what had been started six weeks ago. Twenty-two men had agreed to join this expedition, when the journey was exciting. Not including the ten slaves accompanying them along the journey, four of whom had died already. Three weeks ago brought about the death of three soldiers while exploring a promising crevasse. Crumbling sediment from the upper portion had fallen, killing each of them. It had been their most promising expedition up to this point. An opening to a cave had been found in the crevasse but it was not strong enough and more rubble fell on them. The only thing worse than death was that nothing had been found. Once the debris had been cleared away the area was searched repeatedly. Rotting flesh and stench overpowered them soon thereafter and they were forced to leave. Two others had later died of thirst during an extremely difficult several days across an arid region to the south.”
What do you think? All feedback is certainly welcome!!!