to find out what happens, turn to page 315


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  1. #1

    to find out what happens, turn to page 315

    A young strictly-raised Christian girl has been arrested and is now in jail, having in the past two days kidnapped someone, held up a convenience story at gunpoint, and stolen a convertible. She is ashamed. She is going to soon have to face her family and a judge. Etc., you know how to write a scene so the reader wants to know what will happen.

    I skipped 240 pages (80% of the book) to read what would happen. (Anyway, I knew she was going to kidnap someone, etc.)

    What else was I supposed to do?
    Last edited by EmmaSohan; September 28th, 2019 at 04:31 PM.
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  2. #2
    Marked Prologue: He is looking for his girlfriend, mysterious things are happening, two people have died that day, and when he finally sees her . . . he gasps audibly. The impossible had happened. He was not ready for this.

    I really wanted to know what came next. The author had succeeded in that goal.

    I could go to page 315 to find out, but I wouldn't have any context. So I kind of had to read 80% of the book. Which, again is what the author wanted.

    I read for meaning. I didn't really care that much what was happening, except if it helped me understand that ending. No absorption. If they author thought I was going to read the book for enjoyment, the author sabotaged his own plan. Maybe he didn't think I would actually enjoy reading his book, why else have that prologue?
    Last edited by EmmaSohan; September 28th, 2019 at 04:32 PM.
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  3. #3
    These are super-prologues. Basically, they lead up to the dramatic conclusion.

    I can imagine a prologue designed to help the reader appreciate the story. But these weren't written towards that purpose, they were written to create interest in what would happen next.

    Why? I imagine that's good for selling books and getting the reader to read the book.

    But what about the goal of getting the reader to enjoy reading the book. I think I have a right to consider that goal. But I am stuck inside my head. Does anyone else have this experience? Not have this experience?

    None of the books I like or think of as famous or well-written seem to do this.
    Last edited by EmmaSohan; September 28th, 2019 at 04:33 PM.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    Why? I imagine that's good for selling books and getting the reader to read the book.
    Yeah. I mean, a prologue is going to give the reader a taste of what's in store so they have some motivation to read through all the slog that sets up their premise. I've never understood this approach to storytelling though; language should stand on its own merits, but to each his own I suppose.
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