I came across prologues of several novels, and I noticed that they all were different from each other. Some had a short excerpt picked somewhere from the novel, a few included some private notes from the author, while others had an introductory part by the narrator of the story (in either first person or third person).
All these variations are stretching the definition of a prologue (at least for me). So I need a clear explanation:
- What is a prologue?
- Why does an author need one? Is it is really important?
- What is the proper way of writing a prologue? (Which way is the original method?)
- Can one violate the original methods to write a prologue?
Thanks in advance