Not long ago, I was congratulating myself for growth in my writing career that have happened without my knowing it:
- I've built a tribe.
- I've developed a good instinct for what works in my writing (if my gut tells me something is wrong, I'd better listen!)
- I've acquired a knack for discovering unusual story ideas.
I should have known a corresponding downward turn would come my way. It hit last week. My editor dislikes my last manuscript, turned in on October 1st. She sent it to a copy editor, who hates it. I don't think that's too strong a turn. She thinks the conflict is unbelievable; both the hero and the heroine are unlikeable; they are inconsistent; and then there are tons of minor questions to resolve.
Gulp. This, then, is when I prove my mettle as a professional. Can I accept and learn from harsh criticism?
This isn't just any story. This is my favorite story. One that I wrote in the last century, one that I've loved every time I've reread it.
But ... I think it also reflects where I was in the 1990s. I have grown, not only as a writer, but a believer, as a person. My hero and heroine represent who I was then. I believe my challenge is to rewrite them to reflect the person I've become.
Pray that I will write a story that honors God and turns readers to His love. Pray that I will be able to see the new growth forest arising out of the ashes of the destruction as I rewrite.