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  • Possible Option for Prologue of a Novel

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    June 2, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    Sometimes we feel we can run away from the echoes of our past, escape those memories that haunt our very being.

    Escape.

    I wanted to get married so badly. So, so badly. I wanted to run away into happily ever after as all the movies promised. To be that bride in the center with a timid, flushed face peeking out from behind the veil. To be swept away by an adoring crowd…

    To exist.

    I wanted to exist.

    I wanted to take that cowering girl that sat in the back of the class and stash her away forever. That girl who was the brunt of practical jokes and stares. The awkward girl who couldn’t get words out her mouth, who spoke in whispers.

    I wanted to erase those chapters from my life. Forever.

    And I thought a ring on my finger would do the trick. Fast.

    But then I got married and was shocked to discover that not only was the trauma of my childhood still rearing its head, I was reliving it within my marriage.

    At the time I thought it was grueling, torturous- Hashem why are You doing this to me if you are my Loving Father?- but I realize now as I stand at the top of the mountain observing the tear stained nights that it was all for my best, done with love, true, unconditional love.

    I was trying to escape my past, but Hashem brought it back to me, albeit in different form.

    And now, as an adult, I had to learn the tools and heal. Heal my past. Heal my present. Heal myself.

    This is my journey.

  • Esther Kurtz

    Member
    June 3, 2020 at 12:13 am

    What is the purpose of the prologue that the story itself doesn’t say?

     

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    June 3, 2020 at 12:25 am

    it’s like an introduction to reel people into the story and show that there is more going on beneath the surface. Also, I’m not talking about her past so much in the story itself, not until much later, anyway, and this shows that there were issues with her past which caused her to make the choices that she did

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    June 3, 2020 at 12:28 am

    Also to make a powerful point that many of the nisyonos Hashem throws at us as adults are there to help us heal from experiences in our past that we prefer not to think about, let alone take the time to really recover from. Hashem sends it to us in a different form so we have to face those demons and really conquer them

  • Fiction Fangirl

    Member
    June 3, 2020 at 12:42 am

    Elisheva, I’m hooked.  Where’s chapter one?  Help!  I’m teetering off the cliffhanger-

    *hollers from below*

    This is awesome.  You reeled me right in there.

  • Esther Kurtz

    Member
    June 3, 2020 at 1:59 am

    I still think a prologue like this is redundant and doesn’t add anything – especially if it’s all addressed in the story.

    It can work for inside the book jacket maybe.

    Sol Stein, an editor and author of Stein of Writing writes “One plus one equals a half” in writing. It’s a hard concept to apply because is means killing a lot of darlings, but ultimately leads to stronger writing.

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    June 3, 2020 at 3:20 am

    Thanks fiction fangirl! Maybe I’ll post chapter one when it’s done!

    Maybe I’ll end up cutting out the prologue, Idk. For now, I think it’s necessary for the back story. Also, it was written with a lot of heart. With writing, you gotta know the rules, but after you know the rules, you gotta know when to break them!

  • riva pomerantz

    Administrator
    June 3, 2020 at 6:30 am

    This is a very beautifully-written, evocative piece that has the reader immediately identifying with the protagonist and feeling her pain very deeply. I think that Leiba is saying is that the prologue is usually a teaser, not a synopsis of the rest of the book. Without knowing about your novel, we can’t really have the proper context to understand whether this prologue gives away too much or is too similar to the rest of the story or not. Elisheva, are you looking for feedback on this? I notice that it was posted this in Showcase but did you mean to put it under Gentle Critique?

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    June 3, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    I’m pretty much in love with it and not ready to part with it, even as a piece on it’s own if it ends up being too repetitive for a prologue, so that was why I put it under showcase, but if critique comes my way I’ll always consider it!  At any rate, after I write a few more chapters I’ll see how much I need it.

    BTW, this is me experimenting trying to turn the short story I posted before about Devi into a novel. I’ll see where this goes!

  • HappiWriter

    Member
    June 3, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    This is a beautiful piece of writing Elisheva.

    The question is if you want to have a prologue at all.

    Skip the Prologue!

    BTW, what happened with your other story? the one about the girl and the tehillim. It was such a cool idea!!!!

     

  • Esther

    Member
    June 3, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Can I skip the whole prologue debate and just say that I really appreciate the actual writing?  I am working very hard not to end up where your protagonist found herself, and that means not dating while lots of my friends are married already, some with a baby.  I think it’s a great topic, this jumping into marriage thing, and how stuff from the past does come along.  I have barely seen this addressed, but I’m sure it’s out there, lurking beneath the surface.

  • riva pomerantz

    Administrator
    June 3, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Just want to jump in here for a minute and clarify something:

    Elisheva, this is YOUR story and only YOU can choose write it in whichever way you want. I think that what might have given people the impression that you were actually looking for feedback on it is the tone of your title which sounds like you are debating: Possible Option.. implies that you are trying to figure this out. That paved the way for some very helpful, astute writers here to try to give you some very solid advice for or against your “Possible Option” :-).

    Here’s my suggestion, not just to our very talented Elisheva Halle, but to all members: If you are posting in Showcase, you are posting a finished work that you’re proud of and want to show off to your friends on Masterpiece. Give it a title and let it shine. If anyone wants to comment, it’s just a “Wow!”, “Loved it!”, “This really hit me…” No feedback at all. Any time you are unsure about something, post it in Can I Get Your Feedback? so that you get the kind of response you’re looking for.

  • Pickupapen

    Member
    June 3, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    Did Riva say something about ideas for a new novel she is about to embark on? I’m sure I saw it here somewhere but can’t find it now.

    I had a bit of an idea for a novel which I definitely will not write but hope maybe someone will… (Riva, you probably have your idea by now but if you don’t, what do you think of the following?)

    So, I know a little girl who loves to read and read and read. You probably all know one. But this nine year old girl also loves homework, writing and anything mathematical or otherwise challenging. She craves mental stimulation and if she can’t fall asleep at night, her parents challenge her with mathematical problems. She is totally normal socially and has lots of friends.

    So I started wondering – There must be young adults out there who were once this little girl. What if a frum girls grows up and spends her time in her own little intellectual world, studying, researching and studying some more and – shocker – has no interest in getting married? She just wants to pursue her own dreams which include more and more and more intellectual stimulation/pursuit of higher qualifications/scientific research.

    1. How will society react?

    2. How will she cope with their expectations?

    3. Does she ever change her mind/ have second thoughts?

    4. If she does, what happens….?

     

    What do you think, friends?

  • riva pomerantz

    Administrator
    June 3, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Hey, Pickupapen! Thanks for an awesome idea! I started out kinda like the character you’re describing, in fact :-). Yes, I did start a thread about how I write my new serials. It’s here: https://masterpiece.rivapomerantz.com/forum/topic/heres-how-i-write-my-serials/

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    June 4, 2020 at 4:25 am

    Hi happi writer and Esther, I’m so glad you like the piece. Yes, the prologue debate will continue- perhaps when I post Chapter One (and I’ll post it under gentle critique!)

    Happi writer, as to your question about my former novel I was working on, I love, love, LOVE the idea behind it, but I’m still struggling to figure out what age I want to make it for…I feel imaginary worlds are for the 8-12 age group, but with the holocaust and depth involved in the novel, it’s a bit too heavy for that age. Also, I really enjoy writing for adults and was having issues putting myself into the shoes of a young girl…maybe I should ask someone to co-author it with me. Anyone reading this post who is interested can send me a message! (And if anyone has any ideas how to solve my age dilemma, let me know!)

  • Esther

    Member
    June 4, 2020 at 4:31 am

    Gosh, I have the opposite problem!  I have a hard time writing adult stuff bc I barely have any experience being one;)  And you can only write abt what you know…

  • Word Warrior

    Member
    June 6, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    i love the writing, agree with fictionfangirl, i’m hooked. bring me more 🙂

  • StoryLuver

    Member
    June 8, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    My method of writing from the perspective of a younger kid is simply to think back to the time I was that age and take it from there… they call it finding your inner child,  I think.

    Either way,  as it is right now I basically still only write kids’ stories,  probably because,  like Esther said,  I simply don’t have much experience being an adult … I sure don’t feel like I do 😉

    Reading some kidlit, especially books you liked when you were that age, can probably help, too, in getting yourself into that kid frame of mind.

    I love love love your writing, and  I think you should keep the prologue, up until this line: And I thought a ring on my finger would do the trick. Fast.

    After that it seems to jump into too much foreshadowing.  Maybe just leave it at a subtle hint, a vague line. You want to leave the reader with a sense of curiosity and suspense, to hook them with a desperate urge to know what, on earth, is going  to happen,  not just <i>how </i>it happened.

  • Fiction Fangirl

    Member
    June 8, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Just thinking out loud here:  This piece really speaks to my heart but as the other members pointed out, it may be too revealing for a prologue.  After reading this piece, I kind of expect to read the first chapter about how everything you foreshadowed unfolds.  I’ll piggyback on StoryLuver’s suggestion with a bit of a twist, though:

    And I thought a ring on my finger would do the trick. Fast.

    If you end with this sentence, I can see it work had chapter one immediately illustrated Chaim’s abuse against Devi.  Then you can convert the entire prologue into the first chapter by continuing off something like this:

    Ach, such childish daydreams.  Foolish girl (or something along those lines)

    *insert some really nasty dialogue from Chaim to jolt readers into the present moment*

    *insert a submissive or cowardly response from Devi*

    *switch back to Devi’s internal thoughts about her past and have her question herself where her dreams went wrong…maybe throw in some self-reproach?*

    Just an idea.

     

  • Ellie

    Member
    June 18, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    I could really feel the character and relate. Definitely want to read this book when you have it! The opening paragraphs hooked me in until it got to the part about Hashem. Just thinking out loud, might be a bit intense for starters. Maybe more of a realization she comes to later on instead of fast forwarding? Also, perhaps your last few lines can be a teaser on the back cover of the book.

    I was trying to escape my past, but Hashem brought it back to me, albeit in different form.

    And now, as an adult, I had to learn the tools and heal. Heal my past. Heal my present. Heal myself.

    This is my journey.

  • Fayge Y.

    Member
    June 18, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Elisheva, do you need the prologue to move on with your story?
    And this is picayune but you mention “like the movies.” Are readers these days even familiar with movies? Will mentioning movies vs. fairy tales plant a seed that maybe this character has some backstory or broader exposure that she really doesn’t?
    It’s important to be concise and purposeful in every word (how many wrong numbers are there in books) but especially in a prologue.

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    June 19, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Thank you everyone for the input…I probably will end up doing a lot of editing to the prologue, possibly cutting it out, or incorporating the last few lines into the end of the story somewhere, as you mentioned Ellie. FF girl, love your idea!

    anyways, I did write chapters one and two, it’s on this forum somewhere. In the middle of chapter 3, I hope to have it done by next week

  • Fayge Y.

    Member
    June 19, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    [quote quote=19095]Thank you everyone for the input…I probably will end up doing a lot of editing to the prologue, possibly cutting it out, or incorporating the last few lines into the end of the story somewhere, as you mentioned Ellie. FF girl, love your idea! anyways, I did write chapters one and two, it’s on this forum somewhere. In the middle of chapter 3, I hope to have it done by next week[/quote]

     

    Yup, we know. We’re looking forward.

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