Welcome to this week’s blog hop. Today the topic is:

‘Prologues and Epilogues. Yes or no?’

I do sometimes use prologues and epilogues, and so my choice would be to say yes. The prologue might give a small slice of the plot/action to come, introduce the reader to the main character(s), or maybe it might have a little bit of backstory. At the end of the story the epilogue ties all the loose ends up nicely.

However, I have since read differing opinions in that prologues and epilogues are old-fashioned and should preferably be left out. As usual I think it’s up to the author whether or not they put them in. Some of my novels have them and others do not. Below I’ll add the prologue I wrote for ‘A House Without Windows‘ back in 2014. People seem to like it, as it has 103 ratings on Amazon.com with an average rating of 4 stars. It was once considered for filming in 2017, but then the director changed his mind because the trend at the time (and still is, I think) was for strong women.

By the way, I will leave out any epilogues as they might give the story away!

Prologue for ‘A House Without Windows’:

            The unprepossessing exterior of the suburban 1930’s end-of-terrace house was giving nothing away.  Inspector John Hatton pushed past the usual group of ghouls and rubberneckers, dipped his slightly overweight body under the cordon, and opened the gate leading to the tidy pocket-handkerchief front garden.

            “Morning Ford.”

            “Morning Sir.”

            “You get all the best jobs don’t you? Anyone in or out?”

            “Not as far as I know, Sir.”

            “Have you had a word with the neighbours?”

            “The ones I’ve spoken to say he was always a bit of a loner; kept himself to himself.  They don’t really know much about him.”

            Stamping his feet as he sheltered from the January chill in the half–enclosed front porch, Ford looked to Hatton as though he was freezing his arse off.  Hatton let a faint smile play around his lips as he realised that yes, this morning there was actually somebody worse off than him.

            He curbed the impulse to wipe his feet on the welcome mat just inside the front door.  Grimacing at the irony, he put on plastic overshoes and gloves and continued down the hallway into the kitchen. 

                                    ***

            Everything was still in its place, modern and clean.  The door to the dishwasher was open as though it had been in the process of being emptied; there were still clean plates, bowls, and pots and pans stacked neatly.  Knives, forks and spoons filled the cutlery compartment, all with their handles facing the same way.  Hatton noticed the five large plastic containers still standing side by side above the dishwasher on the worktop, each full to the brim with a different breakfast cereal.

            He could imagine guests (if there had ever been any) popping into the kitchen for a drink of water and wondering why somebody living on his own would have wanted to buy so many containers of cereal, and why they would have required such a huge American walk-in fridge.  He opened the fridge door that stood next to the dishwasher; there were seven pints of full-fat milk in the storage space in the door, three large portions of raw fillet steak on the bottom shelf, and numerous types of vegetables, salad stuff and fruits filling the middle two.  Various yoghurts sat on the top shelf in regimented lines, segregated into flavours, with the ones nearest their sell-by date at the front. Twelve raw eggs sat in holders slightly too small for them in the door above the milk.

            Hatton took one last glance at the food that would soon begin to spoil; he could have just eaten that fillet steak with some chips, mushrooms and peas. 

                                    ***

            Walking around the central table he noticed the dishcloth folded neatly on the draining board, not just thrown down as he would have done.  He opened the cupboards underneath the sink; bleach, Dettol, and washing-up liquid stood one behind the other on the left side, next to two large packets of sanitary towels on the right.

            The guests would have really begun to wonder at the sight of those…..

            He sighed and closed the cupboard and looked around some more.  Adjacent to the sink stood a washing machine still full of damp women’s clothing, and on the far wall was a long clean-looking worktop with cupboards underneath containing sweets and crisps, and what looked like a pantry just outside the kitchen door.  Hatton checked inside and found shelves overflowing with rice, spaghetti, pasta, potatoes, more tinned food, and the door to what resembled yet another American type of walk-in-fridge, silver in colour, but built into a recess with a bolt on the outside.  The bolt was pulled back into the open position, and the door was slightly ajar.  He walked towards it, opened the door fully, and trod carefully down the narrow flight of steps.

            He had to see it just once more, before the house was bulldozed and razed to the ground.


Have you written any prologues or epilogues, or do you prefer leaving them out? Add your blog hop post to this one by clicking the blue button below, or just leave a comment.

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