Three people look at every manuscript before I send the rough draft to my senior editor: 1) a close friend, who lives nearby that sees the big picture items (characters, plot sequencing, general clarity); 2) a long-distance friend (CA), who is FANTASTIC at grammar and mechanics; and 3) my husband, who sees every misspelled word, extra space, and typo.
I do reciprocal editing for my #1 and #3 people—close friend and husband. The close friend accepts edits willingly and gratefully. My sweet, servant-hearted husband, not so much. But, to be fair, my sweet husband doesn’t like anyone editing his stuff. He submitted a scholarly article to a professional journal a few years back, and the publisher asked if he could change a few things. Roy said categorically “No,” and the article ran as he’d written it. (I’ve often wondered if I should try that with my editor and see how it flies…NOT!!!!)
The Second Major Change to Miriam
In my last devotional, I shared about the lesson I learned while reshaping Miriam’s character in my edits. A second major change in my first-round edits came in the last third of the manuscript. From chapters 23-33, my editor was…underwhelmed:
Day and Night (about 30+ hours) of the firstborn plague. This is a LOT of the book to spend on one day. . . I feel like you were wrestling with the text and it shows some, what to include from a Biblical standpoint and the dramatic tension of the narrative.
That’s the last third of the book, y’all! We’ve got some issues, eh?
The truth is I was struggling. We have the human side of all these marvelous characters—Miriam, Moses, Eleazar, Hur, Taliah (fiction)—that I’m trying to work into the absolutely indescribable power of God on the night of Passover and the Crossing of the Red Sea. How do words suffice?
The Wrong Main Character
I prayed over this quandary for a few days. No matter what I cut or added, the words seemed…almost intrusive to God’s power. And then it dawned on me.
God was the Main Character in this section of the story.
To go down a bunny trail with any other character’s story made God’s power seem forced, cheapened somehow. The focus had to remain on what God was doing and then let the characters react to that.
Great Life Lesson
Even as the answer formed in my mind, I knew it was meant for more than just my Miriam edits. How often has my life felt out of sync or off-kilter, and I’ve later realized it’s because I’ve allowed someone besides God to become the main character in my life story?
Only when I keep Him as the Main Character, the main focus of my life, do things fall into place as they should.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34
How About You?
What are you focused on today? Where has your mind and heart been? What practical steps can you take to make God the Main Character of your life story?