|"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. |
I have committed Prologue,
repeatedly, gleefully and joyfully..."
Yeah, okay. I realize that I'm risking a lighning bolt on this one. But here in the confessional, I can freely admit that I LOVE PROLOGUES - well-written prologues, that is.
Prologues: love 'em or hate 'em? This is a subject where authors, agents, editors and readers all seem to have strong opinions. Writers on the contest circuit are told that agents and editors hate prologues - or do they love them this year? I forget. ;-)
Right now, a lot of us here at Sourcebooks Casablanca are judging manuscripts and/or books for two of Romancelandia's most prestigious writing contests: The Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart and RITA awards. As a rabid reader, I judge a lot of contests, primarily in the paranormal/urban fantasy/futuristic/time-travel/fantasy/sci-fi/space opera/ 'how many more sub-genres can be crammed into one monolithic, hyper-competitive category' category. (One of my RITA books is a historical paranormal, competing in the paranormal category.) Books in these sub-genres seem ripe for prologues, perhaps in part because of their complex worldbuilding demands.
Having received both of my judging packets - what possessed me to volunteer to judge both contests plus the Daphne with a book being released March 1? - I paged through my judging materials and found the following:
- 3 of 6 paranormal Golden Heart entries have prologues
- 3 of 6 paranormal RITA entries have prologues
- 0 of 2 romantic suspense RITA entries have prologues
How do you feel about prologues? What are some characteristics of good (or bad) prologues? Though there no easy answers, do you have any thoughts on how the 'paranormal' category of some writing contests could be narrowed down or made more specific?