10 January 2011

BIG Events On the Horizon?

On Dec 25, 2010, I saw snow on Christmas day for the first time in my life. It was so weird to see what's described in all those Christmas stories and carols. I always wondered what Christmas lights looked like reflected on snow... and now I know!

And now the Snowpacolyspe is coming. Da, da, duuuummm. Snow is in forecast for Monday, which means everyone in the South is freaking out. We don't know how to drive in snow and ice. We don't have snow tires or chains on our tires. Most people don't have four wheel drive. We don't have salt trucks or snow plows, and I live in an area that is very hilly (the hem of the Appalachian Mountains), with a lot of twists and turns. It occurred to me this morning that it could snow on my birthday this year, which is at the end of the month. If this happens, coupled with the miraculous events of Christmas day 2010, it will be the equivalent of something as improbable as... oh... unicorns eating clover in my backyard - underneath all the snow.

Birds are falling out of the sky, bees are disappearing, and then there are all those dead fish that made the news last week. Something strange is in the air.

Finally, this week I read my story, edited it, and pored over the judges' comments again, trying to see what I could salvage and what to stand my ground on. Something weird happened just a few minutes ago.

I moved my prologue.

Right now I have no clue if it works. It's just as strange seeing it inside my story as seeing snow on Christmas day. Not normal. Out of body. Does it really fit there? I have no clue.

So why did I move it?

Well, I've heard that no matter how strongly you feel about a piece of writing, sometimes it needs to be moved... or removed. Which will not happen, because it's perhaps the best written portion of my novel and it has a purpose. BUT-

My prologue was six pages. And while it ended in action, the first five pages were description, back story, and setting. My favorite part, honestly, because it flows so well. For a long time, I've felt it was necessary to be there to set the scene. But if it works where it's currently placed, then my novel will open with an argument, complete with all the conflict/angst-driven sparks.

I don't know if I like it yet. I'm not sure if I feel as if I've sold out by suturing my prologue somewhere else. Right now I feel as if... well, as if it snowed on Christmas day. Unsure of what to do next. Praise God for good friends with writing talent, who can tell me what they think.

I think the story is good with the prologue. I think the story is good with the "prologue portion" later in the story. The question is, which is best? That's what I'm trying to figure out right now.

Hopefully tomorrow the sun will still rise in the East. And everyone in the South won't die come Monday. :0)

*Btw, this was written on Saturday. *


  1. Snow is a beautiful touch to any crisp winter day, even if half the South doesn't know how to plow through it:) I bet your prologue will be the same beautifully written treat to your readers!

  2. Wow! Good for you! Big stuff. I am by no means an expert - but have been reading a lot in the publsihing world online this year about how prolouges are not so great. Something alone the lines of what you were saying, all that backstory should be in your novel. "If you have to set things up for your story, it's not a good enough story." Not my words. That being said, I don't dislike them myself, but would maybe look into that trend if you are seeking publication in your genre.
    Good luck and blessings to you!

  3. That is so hard to change something big like that. I often have to step away for a long time before I can let go enough to do it. Good for you!

  4. I can't imagine never having seen snow before! We just got several inches yesterday and everything is going on like normal here. Some schools were canceled in places it snowed more but we didn't get too much.

    I used to hang onto my prologues so hard but I am realizing more and more the importance of a beginning that hooks the reader. Sometimes that means a prologue and sometimes it doesn't. I am glad you are finding what works for your story!

  5. Having grown up with a White Christmas alomst every year, my six years in southern California made me crazy (Santa in shorts, lights on yucca plants). Glad you got to experience a white one.

    My WIP had a prologue, then it didn't, then it did. Sometimes you have to try things a lot of ways to find what works best.

  6. The world sure is going crazy, but I'm glad you finally got to see snow. :O)

  7. I'm glad you're open to at least trying something new! I love that writing is a process. Things can change. Be safe in the snow. People do crazy things when they aren't use to it.

  8. So cool that you got to experience a white Christmas!
    Stay safe in this crazy weather we're having. We're supposed to get snow on Tuesday!

  9. Hi Kristen -

    We're expecting more of the white stuff Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday. Stay safe!

    Re-working a novel is part of the process. If you ever have a chance to take a workshop with Angela Hunt and Nancy Rue (Nangie 101), I'd jump at it. I learned so much from them. Their rule-of-thumb: no backstory for 30 pages.

    Susan :)

  10. I've made some changes that I wasn't sure about too. It's hard, but you know what... I got used to them and did decide the changes were for the best. I hope you find your answer soon.

  11. I can't imagine a Christmas without snow, though we've had some - I should say with warm weather. But sometimes we also still have a foot of snow on the ground for Easter. No easter dresses here to hunt for eggs. More like coats and boots. :) I'm sure your writing friends will tell you what works!

  12. It's amazing to me that you never saw snow on Christmas morning. So cool that you did!
    Just yesterday, I had to delete and move two of my favorite sections in my opening. It hurt. But now I think it was for the best.

  13. I can't even imagine never seeing snow, that must have been weird.

    I moved a prologue as well. I loved it and thought it was my best chapter, but it was too long and confusing, so I put the details in the book and it works much better.

  14. this post really made me smile...
    When I have to move something...I get so confused and it take me so long to actually do the work b/c my head struggles with the changes....so much like my life. ☺

  15. I love how you wove these two events together in such a cool way. Reading what you wrote about your prologue, I'm sort of thinking you already know it's not going to fly as a prologue. Looking forward to finding the whole story on a bookstore shelf someday. :-)

  16. I am still cracking up over your "unicorn" line!

    We are getting thunderstorms this week but no snow. Snow happens here once every 40 years or so. We woke up to snow on Christmas day several years ago and it was amazing. It was great looking at palm trees covered in snow!

    Good luck on your prologue!

  17. I just can't get over how much snow we've had this year, and the south got hammered this week.

    I had a prologue with my current book, but then someone suggested I just slide it into my first chapter. It actually works.