I penned the first words to “Engraved” almost two years ago. The truth is the story was one birthed in my heart ten years earlier. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts the book is a ficitonalized account of a difficult period in my life and how God redeemed it. The title comes from Isaiah 49:16 – See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
I have written and re-written the manuscript more times than I care to remember. Lucky for me I have a very patient and helpful agent who has guided me through the process.
The last time I sent the manuscript to Cheryl I honestly thought it was good enough to begin shopping it. We even had come up with a submission plan that I felt very excited about. But the last time we spoke Cheryl revealed some concerns she had about the manuscript, primarily having to do with the unique way I had the book formatted.
You see, I have creative ideas about formatting. When it comes to writing I don’t like to think in the box. I like edgy. I like different. I like to push the envelope. The problem with that is that I’m not Ted Dekker. I’m not Jodi Picoult. I’m not Alice Hoffman. I’m a nobody. I know what you’re thinking – that I’m definitely somebody – somebody special. Thank you for that, but in the writing world I’m a nobody. And I’ll continue on that way unless I can write a book that a publisher will buy. Then in turn people will have to buy it and love it and share it with their friends…then buy my next one. You see where I’m going with this.
In order for this to happen I need to produce a product that is sellable. So…..I spent the last couple of weeks, countless hours of writing and sometimes crying and tearing my hair out, re-formatting my book. I cut and pasted huge chunks, rearranged the sequence of events, added things in and sliced parts out. It was grueling and frustrating and glorious and wonderful all at the same time.
A couple nights ago I finally finished and sent it off to Cheryl. I feel free….I feel liberated…I feel anxious. I’m hoping this time it’s ready to shop, but even if it’s not I will press on. I will rewrite and reshape and reformat until it’s perfect just like the God I’m praying readers will meet in the pages.