Sow Ears and Silk Purses

Every writing and editing project goes through what I call its “Ugly Stepchild” phase. My latest book, Chosen, is right there, right now.

This is a project I have been planning for more than 20 years. I have started and stopped on it several times. Before summer started, I reviewed what I had before and decided that I wanted a broader, more nuanced story than what I had. I decided that rather than focusing just on the relationship between David and Jonathan, as told by Ziba, Jonathan’s friend and armorbearer, I would include the larger story of Saul and how David interacted with him. So far, so good.

As I usually do, I have plotted and replotted and re-replotted ad nauseum for the past several weeks. At one point, I felt I could see the first chapter fairly clearly. So I went ahead and wrote it on Tuesday. Wednesday I had other stuff going on, so chapter 2 didn’t appear until today.

That takes me to the manuscript that I had written a few years ago, and adds two more chapters. So I have four.

But no completed storyline.

It’s one of those ugly projects that sounds great when you talk about it, but appears looking nothing like you intended. That’s where editing comes in.

For now, my plan is to spend the next two days smoothing out my storyline, reading the Biblical account, and hoping that inspiration will jump in there at some point.

Sometimes you have to make silk purses out of sows ears. That’s simply a matter of being good at what we are doing. Right?