Prologues are bad. Or so they say.
A trend I’ve noticed in historical fiction is something I’m dubbing the pseudo-prologue (only because I wanted something with a double P for my title). Three of my favorite hist-fic novels–Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen, Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar, and Lady of the Butterflies by Fiona Mountain–all employ this nifty-neato tactic.
What is a pseudo-prologue? It takes a scene toward the end of the novel and makes it Chapter One. Eventually the same scene will reappear, but with some tweaking to make it new again instead of a la Groundhog Day. This worked in all three books to pique my interest–I had to know why that event had happened and how it would be resolved. And I was going to keep turning the pages until I found out.
My first novel had a very linear time frame and it worked well for that story. However, my current WIP is almost certainly going to employ the pseudo-prologue once I get to my first round of edits.
Have you ever used a pseudo-prologue? Or read any books with one?