Initially, as a young teen, showing my work to my friends had seemed like a huge step. Letting them into my head and allowing them to peek in on my most private fancies seemed to be a herculean step. It was ten times worse presenting my first novel, Silent Rose, to my mother as the ten page paper project required for my homeschooling assignment. I thought after that, it would get easier.
Imagine asking the guy you are interested in if he would read something you wrote. I did. He did. And, surprisingly, he liked it. No, that isn't why he is married to me today. He didn't fall in love with my writing skills, thankfully. ;) He fell in love with me.
I know it sounds strange coming from a woman who posts or emails chapters un-proofread and typo prone for readers to examine on almost a weekly basis, but I still get nervous. This most recent case is unique. On this past Sunday morning, I asked two good friends to read the first draft manuscript of Living Sacrifice and comment on it. I did it quickly before I could chicken out. They have both read my previously published works, The Crown of Anavrea and The Mercenary's Marriage. However, Living Sacrifice is different than them in many important respects, the most vital of which is the spiritual content.
The Crown and The Mercenary were never meant to be Christian books. I didn't include God's clear presence in the stories of my character's lives. However, I did write them to be honoring to him, clean and acceptable for anyone to read. Living Sacrifice is different. I tried to demonstrate the close relationship God has with his children. Both of my characters have strong spiritual lives as well as physical lives and their trials play out in both spectrums.
Yesterday, as I sat in the evening church service, I dwelt for a moment on the many parts of Living Sacrifice that I could have written differently, aspects of my characters' walk with God that I could have shown in a different light, and themes that I might have presented badly. Being the closet drama queen that I am, I was and am still half afraid that I shall be labeled a heretic. Another part of me, the calm rational part, says that I am preposterous to even think that.
So, yes, I have discovered a new fear. The fear that I have not honored the Lord in my writing, that I will hurt other's spiritual walk with my words. So, I am prayerfully petitioning the Lord that He will use my words for good, and if there is anything I need to change in the next draft, that my friends will find it.
- Rachel Rossano