Prologue Cons in Harbinger Renegade 0

by Drew Baumgartner

Harbinger Renegade 0

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.

How do we feel about prologues? On the one hand, I can understand why the specific circumstances of the world the story takes place in might need to be laid out ahead of time. On the other, I think stories work best when they find a way to integrate that exposition into the narrative itself. I always feel like prologues take my interest in the story for granted, even though the story hasn’t even begun. It kind of flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that a writer must grab hold and retain the attention of the reader from the very first sentence. More than anything, I’m often frustrated at the fact that, because a prologue essentially exists outside of the narrative, it doesn’t have to play by the rules of good storytelling, drawing me into the world of he story through relatable characters, interesting circumstances, or some kind of clear-cut inciting incident. Or maybe I just encounter a lot of bad prologues (I’d love to hear some examples of good ones in the comments). Either way, Harbinger Renegade 0 definitely frustrated me in those same ways, effectively turning me off to a narrative that ostensibly hasn’t even started. Continue reading