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I'm looking for examples of books that have what I'm going to call "non-prologues." Something before first chapter starts that gives a hint of things to come, but isn't a traditional prologue. An example would be the beginning of THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS by E.Lockhart, which has a copy of Frankie's confession letter. (this is a YA example, but MG is fine too.)
#1 - July 17, 2011, 02:53 PM
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 03:10 PM by Lauren C »

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UNWIND, by Neal Shusterman, has a history-framework thing before the real action of the story starts, and I wouldn't call it a prologue.
#2 - July 17, 2011, 07:18 PM
Jennifer R. Hubbard

Loner in the Garret: A Writer's Companion
Until It Hurts to Stop
Try Not to Breathe
The Secret Year


CHIME (Franny Billingsley) kind of starts that way, with Briony in prison telling us she's a witch and she ought to be hanged... but IIRC it's actually the very beginning of the first chapter.

I believe Diana Wynne Jones's THE SPELLCOATS is more like what you're describing. There's an introductory note of scholarly text explaining the provenance of these magical coats and introducing a "translation" of their story (which is the novel).
#3 - July 18, 2011, 10:45 AM

Cyn Balog's newest YA novel STARSTRUCK begins with an email from one MC to the other. Sets the mood without giving away anything.
#4 - July 18, 2011, 05:53 PM
WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN, Flashlight Press, May 2011
GOOD NEWS NELSON, Story Pie Press, Dec 2012

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Does the flash-forward at the beginning of TWILIGHT count as a "non-traditional" prologue?
#5 - July 19, 2011, 05:23 AM

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Thanks, everyone! This is so helpful!  :biggrin:
#6 - July 19, 2011, 12:56 PM

Jo Knowles

*Shameless self-promotion alert*

My book, LESSONS FROM A DEAD GIRL, does this.


#7 - July 19, 2011, 12:58 PM

The beginning of STARGIRL is somewhat of a non-prologue. The story is told as a flashback but the first chapter is told from the p.o.v. of being after the events of the book.
#8 - July 19, 2011, 01:35 PM


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