But some people do not like prologues, agents included. At several conferences I've heard agents suggest you to rip it out of your manuscript. A select few don't seem to mind.
As Nathan Bransford says:
What is a prologue? Typically it is 3-5 pages of introductory material that is written while the author is procrastinating from writing a more difficult section of the book.
Ah, I'm kidding.
The most common question I get about prologues: are prologues necessary? Personally I think the easiest litmus test is to take out the prologue and see if your book still makes sense.
If you can take out a prologue and the entire plot still makes perfect sense, chances are the prologue was written to "set the mood".
I thought I'd take a glance through my bookshelf and take note of the YA novels that have a prologue ... and those that do not:
- Red Glove (Holly Black): No
- Clockwork Angel (Cassandra Clare): Yes
- Across the Universe (Beth Revis): No
- Blood Magic (Tessa Gratton): No
- Like Mandarin (Kirsten Hubbard): Yes
- Divergent (Veronica Roth): No
- Between Shade of Gray (Ruta Sepetys): No
- Starcrossed (Josephine Angelini): No
- Twilight (Stephenie Meyers): Yes
- Fury of the Phoenix (Cindy Pon): No
- Paranormalcy (Kiersten White): No
- Hex Hall (Rachel Hawkins): Yes
- Enchanted (Heather Dixon): No
- Fallen (Lauren Kate): Yes
- Incarceron (Catherine Fisher): No
- Cryer's Cross (Lisa McMann): Sort of
I could keep going, but you get the point. Does your favorite book have a prologue? Do you write prologues?