Now, Luke, I’ve asked you here today to discuss your manuscript. I realize it’s unfortunate I don’t have a definite answer for you yet, but trade houses as big as ours have bureaucracy to consider. Certainly I understand the timeliness of your story, but we just can’t rush into print with everything that comes along. And there are some problems with the manuscript as it now stands.
Let’s talk about the title first. I want it changed. We just can’t have The Gospel of Luke by Luke. It’s redundant and egotistical. We’re after the religious market, remember. Perhaps we could call it Jesus. Obvious, but pithy and to the point. Perhaps Crucifixion for the Galilean would have a little more punch. Up From Nazareth hits the right dramatic note. Or, The Gospel Bandwagon. That might indicate Jesus’ growth in popularity—except that it conflicts with the end of the story. Hm.
Well, be thinking about it. But you see the direction I’m after.
Now, about the structure. We’ve got to clean up the middle section. It needs a lot of heavy editing, plus some judicious cutting. You begin well. A nice build-up to the birth of Jesus with that stuff about John. Not bad poetry either. That should get the highbrow element. You say you didn’t write that? You just recorded it? Oh.
Now, when you move back to John and into the baptism we’ve got some strong dramatic interest. Very visual writing there. But then you die with those chapters with nothing but sermons.
I’m not the writer, but I do know a manuscript that needs a sound editor.
Tighten up the narration. Once you get to the entry into Jerusalem things pick up again. But you need to spend more time on the actual death of Jesus. People need to feel it, to see it. You can’t just say “he died,” or words to ...1
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