Just because I haven’t posted anything on this blog doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. I finished my rewrite of Free Souls in early February, and in the process I scrapped the title and cut out over 65,000 words of the backstory I’ve posted. It’s still part of my main character Sandy’s history; I don’t at all regret the time I put in writing it, but it held back the action and threw the book out of balance.
It had to go.
Most of the salient points I was able to work in here and there in the remainder of the text. But there were some important aspects of Sandy’s past that wouldn’t yield to that treatment, foundational things underlying her motivations that she would not talk to others about, especially not the hero Eric.
So I— (she looks around, to see if anyone is looking)— wrote a prologue. Yeah. One of those. I think it works. I say the book would suffer without it. In Chekhovian terms, it hangs the gun(s) on the wall so they’ll be there to take down and fire later.
The two beta readers who’ve reported back to me apparently haven’t been fazed by it at all. Neither of them have refused to read the novel because it has a prologue.
But will I get the same reaction from someone in the publishing industry? And would I be wasting my time pitching The Single Eye to someone in the industry, given that some of the first part of it has been published on this blog?
Yes, the new title is The Single Eye, after Christ’s saying in Matthew 6 (King James Version). It seemed to do the best job summing up the themes of the novel. And unlike “Free Souls,” it relates to the story, and isn’t just an ironic reference to the real-life situation that gave me the idea.
As to why it’s suddenly important that someone in the industry should be well-disposed towards my first novel . . . I’ll save that for another post.