Delete or Not to Delete

I was not a little girl when I decided that I wanted to be a writer. However, I was a little girl when I discovered just what a writer could do to people. I have always read. At a young age, I simply loved the art in books. Later, I was captivated by the American Girl books and devoured each one I could get my hands on. After that, I took a Que from my aunt (ten years my senior) and read every one of the Sweet Valley High books. But after that, I was at a loss. That's when my mom shared with me the beauty of Christian Fiction--historic, being her favorite. I was sold. Those books took me to places I could never go. There were even times when a character's heart break or heart mend caused me to come to tears right along side them.

Today, there are endless possibilities of where I can go and what I can do. Of course, all of this is in the privacy of my own home, but that doesn't stop the adventure. I love to plan out future books, begin reading up on the subject--dive in head first into research that sweeps over me and nearly swallows me whole. And then, when it is time to finally begin writing...I freeze up.

What is so hard about writing those first few chapters? Why do I constantly find myself at odds with no one but myself, worrying over every mundane detail of my characters and their lives? Because this matters so very much. I don't want to mess it up. I don't want to sell my characters and this setting short? So, often times, it takes me forever to get those first few pages down in such a fashion that I can hand them off to someone else with a smile on my face.

That's where I am right now. I'm in the middle of chapter three...with my index finger hanging over the 'delete' button. Is this the right way that you want it to go, God? Are these people going to reach out an minister to a reader's heart? Or are they too messed up? Are they in the wrong places? Are they doing the wrong things?

And that's when I realize, sometimes, God speaks to me through critique partners. :) God bless 'em.


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