GLITCHES IN WRITING
How many times do writers write themselves into a corner because they haven’t researched a topic/place/event/time period carefully enough ahead of time? No one really knows the answer but I would imagine it happens quite often. The excitement of the story line compels us to type faster and faster and . . . before you know it, we don’t even recognize the plot thread any longer and have no idea where it is going!
That is why the delete key was invented! Do you know how many wasted pieces of paper authors used to have, wadded up in the trash can next to the desk or littering the floor, before the computer came along and changed everything? When I was in college, the one thing I dreaded more than anything was proofing a paper one last time and finding a typo or overlooked footnote that would require typing perhaps not just that one page over again but the whole thing. Oh, how I could have used a delete button back then!
When in the early stages of writing my just-finished novel, I dreamed of writing about the Cherokees. That was pre-Internet for one thing but with only a small amount of effort in researching this tribe I could have easily discovered the story would not fit these great people. Fulfilling a long-term dream, I finally had the opportunity to visit the Tsa-la-Gi Ancient Village in Tahlequah (OK), where they have recreated a Cherokee village and illustrated their history in a variety of ways. It did not take me ten minutes to realize I had the wrong tribe for my story! A sinking feeling overwhelmed me that day and I felt I had wasted so much time and energy going in the wrong direction for this book. Would it even be worth salvaging if I searched for another tribe to write about? Or would it be a false story shaped to fit the history instead of the other way around?
Within a few months and after much prayer and contemplating the future of my novel, I determined that it would, indeed, be valid if told from another tribe’s point of view. Apparently it had never been His intention that I pursue my idea, and somehow I had missed that message. Nothing in the plot, however, dictated a particular group of people, only the need to relate the tale of love, intrigue, forgiveness, and victory born out of deep tragedy that God had placed on my heart long ago and still begged for an outlet. One night while searching—this time online—I realized I had found the right tribe, the one God intended for me to honor all along! It came through a true story detailed on a website, about a white woman who was reared a Kiowa and never knew Christ until she was grown and quite elderly in fact. Totally caught up in her life’s experiences, I just knew in my heart that this was the right direction to go.
From there I spent about four years researching the Kiowa people and their history, culminating in being honored to meet a Kiowa woman greatly esteemed in her tribe today who also loves the Lord. She was the key to my book getting written with historical detail and authentic accuracy. No more glitches for this book!
It was not through my own cleverness that I was able to write myself out of this corner, believe me. Coming through the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, He rescued me and this tale, hopefully for posterity once it is published. His is the power to resolve glitches and smooth over mistakes, leaving the slate sparkling clean in His wake. I never cease to be amazed at how that works when He is behind a project, whether it be a book or a work of art or musical composition or a sewing project (I am not the greatest seamstress in the world!). Reshaping a partially-done anything is His specialty!
If you are laboring right now under the impression that you can only come to Him when you have cleaned up your act and have finally gotten it all done perfectly right, have I got a story of inspiration for you! He offers hope when the world takes it away with its condemnation, and brings peace when life threatens to destroy the very ground beneath your feet. First you must admit that you need His power, then sit back and watch how He reshapes your future! No less a miracle than what He did for me with this book.
And the title of this reworked novel? Very appropriate for its history—From Now Until Forever. Our God not only works in this world but also for all of eternity. What a thrill to anticipate what lies ahead when we know this to be true, know there will be no "glitches" with Him in control.