Excerpt: Prologue


As I’ve continued work on the Perceval’s Secret revision, I realized that I needed to make some changes here on this blog.  The excerpts that I had originally posted as separate pages no longer represented the novel or my writing.  So, I have taken them down.

In their place, I’ve uploaded the “Prologue” to Perceval’s Secret.  The entire thing.  I truly welcome comments!  I hope you all enjoy reading it…..

The “Prologue” is the chapter that I’d originally used to begin the novel, then decided to delete it.  During the past year or so, my mind returned often to it, urging me to rework it and return it to the novel.  I really wasn’t sure it was a good move, but I trusted my intuition.

Now, I’m glad I did.  First of all, it begins the novel with a tense scene of action that introduces themes of the novel and the entire series.  Second, if I had not included it as the prologue, I would have had to write it early in the story as a flashback.  The only problem with that is that none of the characters in the rest of the novel were present for the prologue’s action.  So, a flashback wouldn’t work.  Evan hears an audio recording of it but that tape doesn’t include video.  It is an absolutely essential scene that’s referred to several times throughout the novel.  NOW I realize this! (smile)

The original “Prologue” was about half as long as the current one.   The POV was Randall Quinn’s — Evan’s father — and the ISS agents were indistinguishable. Over the last year, I’d realized who one of the ISS agents was which required a change in the POV.  During my revision, I filled in gaps, fleshed out characters, added some details and deleted others, and worked hard on the POV.  I believed it crucial that the reader see the action from Lt. Smith’s POV for most of the chapter, but I also needed Randall’s POV in there at some point.

If you’re familiar with Homer’s The Iliad, you’ll recognize the quote that Randall mutters.  Ancient Greek epics began with a stanza that summarized the entire story for the listeners, making the promise that they’d hear this story with all the details as follows.  This stanza I call the “Sing, Muse” stanza — Homer usually started it with “Sing, Muse,” or “Sing, Goddess,” or some similar address to the Goddess Athene (or Pallas Athene).  I think of the “Prologue” as the “Sing, Muse” chapter for Perceval’s Secret and for the entire Perceval series.

OK, so, did I plan it that way?  No!  I had no idea it would work out to serve that particular purpose.  Remember, I originally had cut it…..(smile)

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2 responses to “Excerpt: Prologue

  1. Prologues can play a pivotal role in the beginning of a novel. Some could be eliminated, but yours sounds like an essential piece to your story. I think you were smart to cut it originally and THEN realize you needed it. All part of the creative process. 🙂

    • Amen, M.E.! Hope you get a chance to read it. it’ll give you an idea of the kind of stories I’ve been writing — sci fi, speculative, thriller, horror….

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