Straight from Aunty LuLav
When writing children’s books, the first draft out onto the page is wild and romping. It’s like wild horses and raging rivers, flowing all over, moving, lyrical and singing in some areas, but clogged with log jams in others.
The craft of writing comes in the edit. Rules for writing are abundant. Too many words. Remove adverbs. Too much description. No passive voice. Show don’t tell. Too black. Too white. Put the hook on the first page. Active verbs. Where’s the twist? Too much backstory . . . It can be overwhelming.
The rules are GOOD when applied well. They clarify your story bringing out the very best. But if you focus on the rules too much, you can become frozen and shrink back. The story never gets told.
I am a lover of following rules. I apply them to my writing. I edit and edit and edit some more. I apply ALL the rules, because I want to get the BEST STORY. At times, after the edits, I discover I squeezed the life right out of my story, losing the story line.
Sometimes, when I apply the EDITS-EDITS-EDITS, I destroy THE VOICE of the story, having clipped away too many words, in favor of word count. It is very difficult to recover VOICE after it is lost.
Editing is like parenting! As Christian parents, we use the Word as our editing standard.
We want our children to be good Christian examples.
So we apply the EDITS.
We feel the duty to conform our children to be a witness for Jesus.
So we apply the EDITS.
However, applying the Word of God must be handled with care.
What can we do?
Your little child is like the first draft.
Find the story line and work it.
Your little child is like a first draft of a story – all over the place. You have to find their story line.
When I heard the teaching of Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it, I understood it to mean – apply the rules and discipline your child to walk on the “good Christian” path. That path was strictly delineated. It looked one way and one way only!
Then I heard someone preach, “the way he should go” is the particular path that Father God has uniquely set for that child. That was very freeing for me as a young mother. Every child is different. No two are alike. Each has certain strengths and weaknesses. Each has a distinct path.
Back to editing! Father God has a story line intended for the life of your child. As a parent, you help bring out that story and train them to walk in their path. You must know your child and also hear God in how to “train” your child for his particular path in life.
When applying the EDITS to your child, look for the story line buried in the jumble of youth. Then apply the necessary EDITS for them and bring that story line forward with joy! Hallelujah!
Don’t Remove their Voice!
VOICE is the intangible element of a story. Once cannot define it, but you know if it is present or lacking.
Voice speaks the message. Voice carries you on the journey. Voice is unique to each character, bringing them to life.
Without VOICE your story is lifeless and mechanical.
Your child has a VOICE inside of them. God created that voice to carry words and life into the earth. Our goal as moms is to clarify that voice, to bring it forth. Our goal is NOT to eradicate it and make them sound like everyone else.
If we are too zealous and apply EVERY rule all the time, we can damage their VOICE and overwhelm them. (Ephesians 6:4)
If we are too perfectionistic on achieving “fruit” in their lives, we can squeeze the life right out of them.
Find and know the unique element of your child’s personality that makes them who they are. This was created by God to sing into the earth. Apply discipline, but don’t break them. It is a fine line to walk, but success is possible.
Be a Wise Editor.
First drafts are messy. Little children are messy!
Gentleness from the hands of an editor is key to success. YES! There are a MILLION things WRONG with the manuscript – BUT a wise editor will point out the positive aspects of the story, before going into WHAT IS WRONG. They will be selective with each edit, patiently clarifying the story line.
Likewise, you cannot address every flaw in the behavior of your little child. You will crush them. Choose what you should deal with in the moment with wisdom.
Some children do not need corporal punishment. My expressed disappointment in my daughters was enough to cause sorrow over bad behavior and cause change. My nephews however needed wild wresting rides to the time out chair.
Choose. Be a wise Editor. One item at a time.
When in doubt, LOVE-LOVE-LOVE.
Love covers a multitude of sins – Proverbs 10:12
As a young mother, I used to worry that I would totally ruin my child, with my parenting skills.
Over time, I learned to relax and know that God was there. Jehovah Shammah. (Ez 48:35) I could rest and rely on Him to show me what was important for my children. Be still and know that I am God, He speaks to us, even today! (Psalm 46:10)
I discovered I could rest in knowing that God is able to undo any shortcoming from my parenting, as my children walk with Him as adults.
He is the Great Editor!
The Holy Spirit will come alongside and lead them, as they walk with Him. He will help them undo any trouble and lead them into all truth and righteousness. (John 14)