Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Murderous Day

*
It was a sad day here at the Hilmo house.


I had to kill off my prologue for With A Name Like Love.


You see, I'm working through a round of edits and my very insightful editor suggested I look at that prologue and ask myself if it was really necessary.

I was preparing a brilliant argument for why it needed to stay.

and then I realized something.


She was right.


It was a string of pretty words (imho) but it wasn't absolutely necessary. The same information could be threaded through my first chapter.

So, I hummed taps and said a little prayer...thank you prologue. your first line was my first concept of this novel. you were the spark that led to the journey.
and then I chopped it.

*sob*

In honor of the occasion, I'm going to post that prologue here on my blog. It is the last the world will see of it.

Ollie's daddy was born a preacher, no choice in the matter. Her granddaddy was a preacher man, as was his daddy before him all the way back to the time of Moses. The Good Lord ushered him into that long line of preachers and then his parents gave him the name, Everlasting Love. No. There was no choice in her daddy's life.

Ollie was just lucky she was born a girl. Of course, she still carried the family name of Love, but her mama shed a little mercy on her and her sisters when it came to giving out the first names. She was just plain old Olivene. Ollie for short. Her sisters were Martha, Gwen, Camille and Ellen. No preacher boys born into that family. At least not yet...

good bye, prologue. may you rest in peace

*

33 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

Goodbye, prologue! May you always have plenty of company.

Susan Fields said...

Oh no! I love the prologue. :( I'm so sorry, Tess - it is a wonderful piece of writing. No one said being a writer is easy, I guess.

Michelle said...

RIP!
:)

storyqueen said...

Goodbye, sweet prologue....parting is such sweet sorrow....


Shelley

Solvang Sherrie said...

They are lovely words strung together beautifully. But bravo for cutting them :)

Crystal Cook said...

Really beautiful words, so sad to see it go :( But you have sent it off in style!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Now I want to read your book even more. What great names Everlasting Love and Olivene are! That is a lovely piece of writing, but it didn't die. You gave it life here.

Amy Holder said...

Loved the prologue! I can't wait to see how you weave it into your first chapter. Isn't it funny how editors are always right? There were several parts of my book that I didn't want to get rid of at first, but then I always came to the conclusion that my editor knows best. Thank goodness we have them in our corners! Good luck with the rest of your edits. :)

Piedmont Writer said...

What a pretty name, Olivene. Sorry about the prologue, that's the way it goes sometimes.

Talli Roland said...

Oh no... Bye Prologue. May you rest in peace.

Jen said...

You had a great run prologue but now it's time to move on to a more peaceful place.

superpaige said...

Oh, the pain. It's like losing a child.

Amy Saia said...

Awww, it hurts, but the sacrifice will pay off. They say most people flip past prologues anyway. It will always live in your memory.

By the way—it was good! Someone should put together a book of cut prologues just for fun.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I'm with Crystal, this was a lovely send off. May all such wordy beloveds meet such a end.

You do the hard work, Tess.

Taryn Tyler said...

I think I agree with you and your editor but it is a sad thing to see go

Scott said...

I've killed a prologue or two in my time. Okay, it was three . . . but who's counting. I mean there's not a Prologue Killers watchdog group out there, is there?

I've often found that what fits in a prologue can be interspersed throughout the first chapter or two - which is what I did when I shamelessly murdered those prior prologues. I guess, in a way, the prologues were reincarnated into chapter one. Sorry, couldn't resist.

S

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Goodbye prologue. You are, in fact, the only part of Tess's novel I've read. So now when I read 'With a Name Like Love' it will be all new.

Sarah Skilton said...

Aw, I feel your pain! That prologue definitely intrigued me and made me want me to read more. I've had similar epiphanies where I've fought against removing something, and then realized "Yeah, it's got to go." Good for you for serving the rest of the novel.

Angie said...

Goodbye, prologue and good job Tess! You know you are amazing when you have the guts to cut like that.

Corey Schwartz said...

Aw, I'm a fan of prologues. Not sure why editors hate them so much!

Terresa said...

You are brave to kill your prologue, but may just grow stronger for it.

Kudos for you on being bendable in the wind (ie: editing) and not breaking. :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

Oh, that was fantastic! I love it that you hummed "Taps." The words are engaging. I'm wondering what Chapter 1 says. Does she become the first female preacher in her family. How cool!

Lady Glamis said...

Aww, I'm so sorry! It's a beautiful little piece, but alas, stories rarely need prologues. Sigh. :(

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I think prologues are more for us...they give us a history for our characters, something we can build on. That being said, lovely, Tess, lovely words....

B.J. Anderson said...

I feel your pain! I just killed my prologue not too long ago, but it made it soooo much better! :D

Amy Tate said...

May the prologue forever live in your memory! I love the name, Ollie - especially for a girl.

Tess said...

Thanks, friends. It was tough but your feedback let me know it really was the right thing to do. I appreciate that so much.

Lisa and Laura said...

Oh no! I'll miss that prologue! But I'm sure it was the best decision for the book. Nothing more painful than killing your darlings. We had to ditch a bunch of scenes that we absolutely loved. Not going to lie, sometimes I still think about adding them back in. Ha!

lotusgirl said...

I believe we've talked about this before. I think the book is stronger without the prologue, but I understand how hard it is to scrap it. I can mourn with you. I've had to cut some of my favorite things too.

DL Hammons said...

I think I heard the Funeral March while I was reading that. :)

Jill Kemerer said...

Sobbing for you. It's hard to cut, isn't it? Thank you for sharing it with us.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Aren't editors amazing? How is it that they are always, or at least almost always, right? I love your prologue and I bet it was hard to part from it, but I also bet you'll get all that delicious information in the novel itself.

Crystal said...

Just wanted to add that I, too, loved that prologue, Tess. . . It's what first drew me into your story, Tess, and made me know that it would be a book one day. This must have been SO HARD to cut, but I have NO DOUBT it's still a great story (and like Cynthia said, that you were able to get that info into the story itself). :)