A prequel is any literary, artistic, or dramatic work whose plot directly precedes the main story of earlier work. In other words, a prequel is an extended version of earlier work.

Usually, a reader will wait for a sequel to come out before investing time and effort into the first work itself.



What Is a Prequel?

A prequel is a story that takes place before the beginning of the original storyline.

This can be in reference to a novel or movie, and may also be called an origin story.

The idea behind this type of narrative is to give readers more information about events leading up to what they already know from reading or watching previous installments.



What Is A Prequel?

In essence, a prequel bridges the gap between two works, introducing new works instead of directly dealing with the subject matter of one.

A prequel can be described as a fictional story that bridges the gap between the earlier work and its follow-up.

It may take one character from the earlier work and introduce him or her in the follow-up.

It may simply involve a character that appears in one book and is gradually introduced into the characters of subsequent works.

Types Of Prequels

There are several types of prequels. Some of these include stand-alone novels, which usually tie up the plot threads of the earlier work.

Anthologies containing books of various lengths or anthologies of literary works that span a period are another category of prequels.

What Is a Prequel

In order to classify a work as a prequel, one needs to understand what qualifies as a prequel and when.

As previously mentioned, a prequel can be any literary work that bridges the gap left open by a series of works.

So, one could consider a TV series that follows a character from the beginning until the end, as a prequel.


Beyond Prequels

Of course, there can also be a single novel that bridges the gaps left by a series of books. A work that completely fills the entire gap left by an earlier work is considered a full prequel.

So, what are the criteria for defining a prequel?

For many, the main criterion for prequels is that they need to somehow convince the audience of the superiority of the later work to its predecessor.

It is only if the later work surpasses the former in awesomeness and quality that the later work becomes a worthy prequel.

In other words, a work that leaves the reader wanting more is considered a prequel. This is especially important in fanfiction where the fan wants to read more about Harry, Hermione, and the others.

However, this criterion opens the door to a lot of pretenders. Work can be considered a prequel if it contains elements from earlier works that leave the reader’s craving for more.

This happens especially in fan fiction where the author creates new characters that find themselves stranded with the main characters from the earlier works. In fact, in some cases, the fan may demand a sequel.

What Is a Prequel – Wrapping Up

Some of the most common prequels include fan works written about Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Twilight, and other similar stories. Other prequels also come in the form of stories revolving around world landmarks.

These works usually follow a line of events that occur prior to a particular landmark occurring in the world. As an example, a story that involves the collapse of the interstate because of an explosion can be considered a prequel to the Gulf oil spill.


As such, a new generation of readers would want to know what happens after the event while previous generations simply wanted to know what happened before the event.

The prequel phenomenon has led to new works that follow different characters and time periods with their own unique set of rules and circumstances.

Many of these new creations have been successful in selling in the mainstream market. In fact, a lot of these new stories have received multiple awards at various award ceremonies including the Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Ultimately, a prequel is a new spin on an old tale.