The word "sequel" comes from the the Latin word sequela which means "that which follows" This Latin word is formed of two parts, "sequi" which is "to follow", and a suffix to make it a noun,"-ela".
If "sequel" means a following work which continues the narrative of the main work, what is a work that is before the main work?
As in "Little Men is the sequel to Little Women, but its "___" is actually Jo's boys"
I don't like "prequel", because it is assuming the root word is "quel", which isn't the fact. The fact is that "sequel" came from "sequi", and "prequel" doesn't actually come from anything. I would like an alternative.
Does anyone have any suggestions for words referring to works predating the referred work other than prequel?