Confessions of a Contest Judge-Prologues

I’ve been judging writing contests for several years. I’ve been entering them even longer. I thought you, the contest entrant, might like a bit of insight into judging, at least from my perspective.

The first thing I’m going to tell you is don’t be afraid to write to the contest. Plain and simple.

If you have a prologue, which you feel absolutely, positively needs to be there, but it’s slow and doesn’t get the reader into the story, then don’t enter it, especially if you’ve received negative feedback on your prologue from previous contests. If this is the case then you probably don’t need the prologue anyway. I read somewhere that prologues are nothing more than glorified backstory, and for the most part I tend to agree.

Cut the prologue. Start your story in the right place.

Do you write prologues? What is your reasoning for adding them to your story?

I’ll talk about beginnings next week.

2 responses to “Confessions of a Contest Judge-Prologues”

  1. I’ve written a prologue in my new book. I just wanted a little narrative touch to pull the reader in…we’ll see what the publisher thinks…

  2. Jennifer, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m finding that because of our fast food mentality, readers tend to want immediate gratification. They want right into the story. There are exceptions.

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