Following God’s Lead

I worked hard all this past week and this weekend to get my book ready to be printed. Friday evening, I had all my final edits in, but there was still this big question mark in chapter 24. Something didn’t flow.  I didn’t have the peace of the Lord that I had for the rest of the book.  So I took it before Him.

Earlier in the day, I’d had a discussion about an article on “Why Navajo Hair Matters”.  It brought up the question, of why one of my main point-of-view characters goes back and forth between wanting to be more like his pa or his ma.  I really hadn’t captured the depths of this question and I had this place in the middle of the book that needed more bonding for my characters. 

However, chapter 23 and 24 were already on the long side and adding a whole new scene wouldn’t fit nicely in either of them.  So in the wee hours of Friday night, God said put a new chapter in.  I struggled to surrender to this idea.  I pulled the end of chapter 23 and the beginning of 24 and snipped away the connection I worked so hard to create. 

One lessons I’ve learned writing my first book, is that sometimes you have to break what works in order to make the book better.  Sometimes, you have to take out whole scenes, themes, subplots, characters, because they clutter the real story. At one point, I had 30,000 words pulled from the original revision of the first draft sitting in a second file.  I couldn’t give up on the ideas until I was sure they didn’t have a place. 

All weekend I worked on creating a new chapter. As of this morning, I’m about 500 words from being done.  That being said, new chapters have to be read in context, edited, and revised.  My goal is to still have the book done today.  To be able to say at the end of the day, the end. I am debating doing a second final read through with all the changes and make sure I caught all the grammar issues.  I want to give my best to my readers.  So if you will be patient I think Friday will be my official release day. 

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2 thoughts on “Following God’s Lead”

  1. Jessica, how I can relate! About a year ago I thought Book 1 of a 2-part series was complete. I even pitched it to a publisher, and ultimately got a contract. Then I devoted several weeks to starting the first draft for Book 2 and I realized everything I wrote (all 12 chapters and 25,000 words) actually worked better as the concluding chapters for Book 1–which at the time was roughly 60,000 words. Strange how it took thinking Book 1 was finished to find the inspiration I needed to actually complete it. Looking back, I needed that relief of “thinking” I was done to see how incomplete the first manuscript actually was. As far as Book 2, God has provided me with plenty of material, plot, and character-driven content for another full-length novel. 🙂

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    1. God has taken this book all kinds of directions than I original thought it would go. But I’d rather take His path than mine, it is always better. Thanks for taking time to share what God is doing in your work. Keep Him first and you can’t go wrong.

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