The Unpublished Prologue

Unpublished PrologueWhy My Original Prologue Got Chopped!

If you are reading this, then you’ve taken the step to sign up for my monthly e-Newsletter, and you’re eligible for the free download of Love in a Broken Vessel’s Unpublished Prologue. When you saw the title of that little file, did you wonder…why is it unpublished?

You’re about to get a peek behind the closed doors of one editor/author relationship. I’m sure all editor/author relationships are unique, but let me begin by saying I love my editor. She has a fabulous sense of humor, and she’s willing to take some risks that others might not have taken. That being said—she also has a PhD in theology, so she holds me accountable when it comes to interpreting God’s Word. And for that I’m more than grateful. I’ve asked and received her permission to share our comments in hopes you, dear reader, will gain a clearer understanding of the due diligence involved in creating Love in a Broken Vessel.

If you haven’t yet downloaded the free pdf, Unpublished Prologue, now would be a good time to do that, and skim over the material. It will help you understand the following explanation.

As an overall suggestion at the beginning of my original prologue, my editor (Vicki) voices her concerns that the prologue is simply too long. Seven pages is a monster prologue, and because it’s mostly backstory (history of what the main characters experience before the REAL story starts), she suggested, “So…yes, gulp, I am asking you to think about omitting the prologue. There I said it.” But because she’s a FANTASTIC editor, she suggests an alternative scene—a shorter one based on Hosea 1:2—to replace the original. I wrote the shorter prologue that you see published in Love in a Broken Vessel, and I think you’ll agree—it’s a much stronger beginning for the book.

In another section of the Unpublished Prologue, I put these words into Amos’s mouth:

“You are false priests, every one of you!” The rugged prophet pointed his stubby finger in Amaziah’s face. “When Israel was torn in two, God’s chosen priests and Levites remained in Judah with Jerusalem’s holy temple; but Israel’s first king appointed priests not of Aaron’s descent. Now you false priests have adopted the Canaanite God, El, as your own and convinced the Israelite people that Yahweh is the same as El. You’ve taught them to worship him through this golden bull…” He clanged the gleaming image with his walking stick, and the crowd of priests gasped.

In my effort to explain my research, I wanted these facts to come from Amos’s lips to lend them authenticity. However, my editor made a valid point:

“My concern here is having Amos say things that aren’t in Amos. I can kinda go with the staff and maybe banging it on the golden calf, which seems pretty prophetic and echoes Moses with his staff. But I think we’re safer quoting Amos or staying very close to what’s in the book and I couldn’t find something close enough to this.”

My intention was never to add to God’s Word, but Vicki’s diligence in guarding every “jot and tittle” is an incredible comfort to me as a writer. I know we are both committed to writing fiction that is as factual as possible but also to present a story that reflects God’s Word as accurately as possible.

The prophet Amos undoubtedly said things not recorded in the biblical record, but rather than risk inaccurate biblical interpretation, we removed these words from Amos’s lips and placed the facts within the book, introducing it by other means. (I think Amos still bashes the bull with his staff in the Unpublished Prologue, however. I liked that part, and it did seem rather prophet-like!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed the little “inside view” to an author/editor working relationship! Please feel free to email me with other questions about writing, and maybe you’ll see an answer in the next Newsletter’s Feature Article!

Want to learn more about Love in a Broken Vessel or request free bookmarks?
Click here!  

Comments are closed.