Monday, June 8, 2009

I have discovered a new fear

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


Michelle R said...

As someone who passed page 261... I think you honor our Heavenly Father with your writing. I know the fear.

All we can do, as you know, is work our hardest for His Glory, and pray that He will use our feeble attempts in a way that furthers His cause in this world. It is incredible the ways in which God uses our sinful, feeble efforts.

Rest assured, in all of your writing, your position as a God-fearing woman comes across as clear as day. In your writing, especially in Living Sacrifice, you don't shrink back from saying, "This is who I am, and this is what I believe." Well done.

Laurean Brooks said...

Hi again, Rachel,

Laurie here from Sweetest Romance loop. I struggle witht the same question. Above all, I want to please God.

Last year I started a mystery about a fictional legend and set it around a haunted cabin in the Smokies. It could be a beautiful love story. A young woman in 1812 disappears in the mountains while her love waits for her at the dogwood tree. They never find out her whereabouts. Then it switches to present day. The heroine who has inherited the cabin that was built for our 1812 heroine, sets out to investigate the disappearance.

Strange things happen. Like when she falls asleep in her chair with pen in hand, she awakens to something written on her paper. Could it be a clue to solving the mystery of the two-hundred year old mystery?

Anyway, Rachel, I put it on the back burner, not knowing what to do. Whether or not God would be pleased with it. So I do know where you are coming from. A part of me itches to finish it. But I don't want to do it if it displeases God.

My current inspirational is "Journey To Forgiveness." You can read a blurb on Amazon, or about it on my blog, Laurean's Lore.

Guess we have a lot in common, huh?


Brittany said...

I admire you, my God-fearing friend. And I think your love for Jesus shines through everything you write, whether it's "obvious" or not.

There is a book I read called "The Liberated Imagination". It's very... scholarly, like something you'd have to read for a college course. :-P And parts of it are very, very dry. And yet, there are some really good things in there. You might be encouraged by it.