Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Ancient Document Inflames Creation Theory Debate

May 12, 1346 BC

265 West Benny Goodman Lane
New Lauderdale, Sinai

Dear Mo,

Just received the first drafts of your proposed book, and...holy golden calf is all I can say! You've sure given us a lot to work with. I'm really blown away. I confess I skipped ahead a few scrolls and thumbed through that whole flight from Egypt bit. I think that segment has the makings of a major blockbuster film -- mind if I send an outline over to Bruckheimer to see what he thinks? I mean, I'm sure he'll want to flesh out your early adulthood and throw in a love-interest (probably a triangle, knowing him), yadda yadda yadda, but it's really spectacular. There's a part in there for Angelina, don't you think? (Though if you want Oscar nominations, the studio execs will probably push for Zellwegger.)

Anyway, I'm getting way ahead of myself. I had a couple of minor concerns I wanted to just throw out there before we get much further, if that's all right.

I'm confused about your timeline; it's probably just an editorial oversight that can be smoothed out. In Chapter 1 of Genesis, you've got man and woman created on the sixth day, after all the animals. Fine. (Also, I really feel the first couple sentences of Chapter 2 belong at the end of Chapter 1, take a look at that.)

But then in Chapter 2, you get man created all by himself in verse 7; in verse 18, God says, "I will make him a helper comparable to him," and then in 19 you write, "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air." None of them work out as a companion for Adam, so then God creates Eve. Except you just said in Chapter 1 that the birds came on Day 5.

So, did God create Adam, parade all the animals in front of him, and then create Eve? I hope he gave Adam the 7th day off, too, he must have been exhausted! I took my grandkids to the zoo last week and was completely farmutshet in about an hour! Anyway, it just seems to me that Chapter 2 puts things in a different order than Chapter 1.

Most people will probably gloss right over that kind of detail, but to be honest I worry that you'll alienate some of the more anal retentive readers early on and lose them.

Also, are you sure we can't do better than, "In the beginning..."? I don't know, work on it, try some things out, let me know what you think. I feel like a book of this magnitude needs a snazzier first line.

Dialogue needs help. More of it and less stilted. I hate to encourage more text because you're already pushing the boundaries of readability in terms of length, but I strongly suspect there's several pages in Numbers you could cut and be better off.

Anyway, these are just some preliminary thoughts. I'll have more detailed comments later.

Hope you're doing well, please give my love to Aaron, Miriam and the kids.


Herschel Ben-Wa
Avram and Sons Publishing
New York, New York

1 comment:

Jess said...

Oy vey :)