There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways than an Eskimo to describe ice and snow in his book Arctic Dreams , you can do all the weather reporting you want. But these are ordinarily found in non-fiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory, and you can drop it in anywhere you want. There is a prologue in John Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday , but it's OK because a character in the book makes the point of what my rules are all about.
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At some point in your college career you may be asked to review a non-fiction book to enable you to learn more about some aspect of your course work. The assignment is demanding because you are required to describe and evaluate an author's contribution to a subject that you may know little about. How should you proceed? Your instructor will usually offer some guidance, such as a suggested list of books or some guidelines to follow in selecting a work. Generally, you should try to find a relatively recent work of about pages on some aspect of the course that particularly interests you.
Like many writers, I said this for years before finally deciding to commit to the long and grueling process of publishing my first book , which is about personal finance. Most authors would probably agree that writing a book is one of the most difficult challenges of their careers. You spend your summer inside writing while your friends post photos of their beach vacations on Instagram.