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Prologue 'versus' Look Inside

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Paul Gr:
I've just finished writing a horror novel which is partly set in the modern age and partly set in the 1600s. Two modern people are transported back in time to this period, then return to the modern age.
I've written a couple of chapters to explain the back story to the novel, it explains why they are transported back in time.
At first I placed the two chapters at the beginning of the story, as normal chapters.
Then I had the idea of placing them further into the story, so the story cuts
from the modern age to the 1600s then cuts back to the modern age.
After looking at the story a few times I decided that this was too jarring, so put them back at the beginning of the story.
The problem is, the Look Inside, on Amazon, and the, let's call it the  'look at the first few pages' on other publishing platforms.
Anyone reading the Look Inside will think that it's historical fiction, and might not bother to read any further if they aren't interested in this genre.
I should add that these first two chapters are 2919 words long in total, which at 250 words per page is mmm let's see about 12 pages long.
I could use them as a prologue and introduce them as such, of course.
Does anyone else use prologues, and if so how long are they?
Are they as concerned about 'Look Inside' etc. as I am, or not concerned at all?

I am still a prawn but these are my thoughts.

Cover should signify horror.
Blurb should mention time travel.

I have used short prologues, one page and long prologues, eg 2000 + words.  In that case it was the characters meeting for the first time as children, then skipped to the meat of the story years later.

To me it depends on the story.  If they are traveling back in time, I would put it in chronological order, as the characters live it.  But you can hook people with a page of a prologue, set in the 1600s, then go back to the beginning.   You could have a one or two paragraph horror hook, as a premonition.

But I don't think if someone has seen your cover and read your blurb and those are doing their job they will try the look inside and thing "OH NO not historical fiction" and  :catrun

Jeff Tanyard:
Check out Eric Flint's 1632.  He wrote an explanatory prologue.  It's short and to the point, and it gives the reader all the info necessary to dive into the story proper.

PJ Post:



Maggie Ann:
I've used prologues but keep them to a few pages. I took a scene from the first book and used it as a prologue for the second book. Did the same between the second and the third.

Prologues can be useful, but they really shouldn't be overly long. There's also the danger they can fall into info dump territory.


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