As you can see, my word count has been BUMPED! I am now over 33,000 words on Sadaar.
But today I thought I'd talk of prologues.
Prologues are commonly the things that get writers going. When they write, they write a prologue--and things go on from there, usually.
For some strange reason, I do things differently than most. Prologue? I didn't have my prologue (on my first novel) until some time after it was finished. And even then I tinkered with it off and on, and added another POV and some suspense to keep things interesting.
The reason I'm writing about this is because I started on my prologue--for Sadaar.
Now, for me, I put prologues in my novels for two reasons.
Ah, yes, we come to it again. Foreshadowing is an excellent technique (one that I ought to write a post on sometime) that comes in handy when one is trying to bring some suspense and shock into the story. I won't go into the denfinition of foreshadowing, but I use my prologue to foreshadow events that are to come.
The plain truth is this; if you start an adventure novel with something that isn't an adventure, well, no one will want to read it. With this in mind, I start my novels with these 'prologues' in order to kick the reader into the story and hold them there.
Besides this, there is one other way to use a prologue.
3) To Give Something...
At times, prologues give something. They can give you events that happened in the past (like from L. B. Graham's Binding of the Blade series--each book started with a past event) or events that happened in the present. And sometimes, they give a hint at what is to come, partly through foreshadowing. If you give a reader a nugget of certain information, it can hint at what is to come, or what will happen. If someone betrays your Protagonist, the prologue can be a scene(s) in which the traitor talks to the person who convinced him/her to betray the Protagonist--but the reader doesn't know who the traitor is, yet. More on that in my post on Betrayal.
There you have it! Assuming you're writing some sort of an adventure novel (if you're writing a novel, that is), one of the best ways to grab a reader's attention, foreshadow, and give a nugget of precious information is to have a prologue. Successful prologues should have at least the first element--grabbing the reader's attention. But that discussion is for another post.