Weekend Writing Warriors: We require a profession of penitence

angel, stone
Image courtesy Flickr cc: Pawel, “angel”

Happy June, everybody 🙂 I love this time of year! Summer’s flowers are blooming and I’ve finally shed that waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop feeling that the warmth is only temporary because the cold will be back in a day or two. But on to the next excerpt for the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop! Participants share 8 – 10 sentences from one of their own works then visit each other’s blogs to comment and generally support each other. I don’t have to ask people for book recommendations anymore, I find my reading material right there 🙂

You may remember that in my excerpt last week, the angel Nanshi berated Kazimir for some recent mysterious behavior. (You can find previous snippets here.) Continuing with the scene for just a bit, this part hints at how seriously these angels take breaking a vow.

Nanshi drifted toward the hall and called Kazimir. He came into the doorway eating an apple. 

“I will leave you in place as Devorah’s mentor,” she said, “unless there is another breach of trust. Should that occur, you will be sent to Ninti.”

He shrugged and bit into the apple with a resounding crunch. That was no exceptionally crisp fruit; his tense body language told me he swallowed a retort along with the apple.

“Also,” she continued, “we require a profession of penitence. Now–and I remind you that Devorah and I are not your only witnesses.”

There’s no one else in the room so who else is listening? Hint: Nanshi is an angel, Kazimir and Devorah are servants of the God of Light. 😉 And where is Ninti? I think I’ll keep that secret for now–but it’s clear Kazimir is not happy with the prospect of being sent there.

I’m vacillating over whether or not to include a prologue for this story. The piece I have in mind explains why and how Devorah’s dad got involved with the people who eventually killed him, and since solving his death is what propels her throughout the story, it seems like it might be a good fit. But I know a lot of people don’t read prologues. How about you? Always skip, never skip, sometimes? How come?

And thanks for stopping in. I like having visitors to my little blog home!

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14 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: We require a profession of penitence

  1. Good job showing Kazimir’s feigned indifference. 🙂

    I always read prologues. Here’s the kicker, though. Sometimes I don’t read the book after I read the prologue. 🙂 If an author can’t make it interesting, if it’s an infodump, I’m done with the book.

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  2. I like the way he bites into the apple and swallows any response he might otherwise have made, he knows he is in hot water.

    I always read the prologue and almost always include them in my books as well.

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  3. Hi Marcia. I am with Chelle, on both counts. Eating the apple is very symbolic of having to swallow his pride!.
    I always read prologues, too. If the author wrote it, I want to read it!

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  4. Tight little snippet, tells us a lot.

    I’m a no prolog person myself. I also feel that it’s better to weave any required backstory into the actual story as you go, through dialogue and maybe a bit of inner reflection by the main character, but certainly not with any big info dumps,

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  5. I love how he uses the apple as a way to stifle any potential smart-ass remarks. 🙂

    I generally like prologues, especially if they’re exciting. A tense, or action-packed one is great, especially if your first chapters start out a little slower.

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  6. I always read prologues in case I miss any vital information, but don’t actually write them myself very often. I like the piece where he bites into the apple to swallow his retort. Perhaps I should try that to keep myself out of trouble.

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  7. Friends, thanks for your comments. I find people’s views on prologues fascinating. I’ve read several prologues that worked best separated out from the main story and some that could have just been chapter one. I’d go so far as to say most stories don’t need them.

    I’m pleased that so many of you liked the bit with the apple in this scene. I chose an apple on purpose, hearkening back to the infamous apple of the Bible. Most people may not think of that and that’s fine. It’s one of those things that makes the author giggle but readers just like the scene for what it appears to be. Writers are a funny bunch 😉

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  8. I always read the prologue. It’s part of the book. I wouldn’t skip a chapter, so why skip the prologue? Using a prologue is a choice only you can make. Every writer has an opinion, but can write only their own stories. Since prologues exist, they must do so for a reason… Nice snippet.

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  9. The things you’d think someone couldn’t do angrily until they do… Got to watch it with angry eating, though. That’s a good way to bite your tongue literally.

    I always read a prologue, but I’ve heard plenty of people say they don’t–so I guess you write it just for the people like us!

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  10. I am a prologue person, especially if they’re well written and add something fundamental and juicy to the story that I can chew on as I delve into the story proper and try to draw connections. Robert Jordan wrote his prologues masterfully, and drew me right in.

    I write prologues for some stories, and not for others. It depends.

    I’d say you’re best off going with your instincts on this one. As for the snippet, I love the voice of the observer, and the sensory details of the moments. I could hear the apple crunch, and feel my jaw ache from the tension of the bite as the sweetly tart juices flowed.

    I also got the apple reference, if that matters. =)

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