Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Axe That Prologue!

Was at dinner Sunday, and a woman across the table had just read Twin Motives, a book I edited. She loved it. I was thrilled.

My team of editors had a quick discussion last Friday about a 2,000-word piece one of my colleagues had sent around. It was the first 2,000 words of one of her mss.

What a great discussion. From 2,000 words came the topics:

When a prologue and/or epilogue is unnecessary
Showing v. telling
Religiosity – when is a book over the top; how do you approach it; one way is to address character flaws as well as realistic dialogue
When a character is too perfect – what makes a good hero
Narrative breaks

Not only were these great topics to discuss, but I was able to see how each of my team members would have tackled the book. I was the only one who said the prologue gets the axe. And I was right.

I see more of these meetings in our team's future.

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