Friday, June 22, 2007

Whose Story Is It Anyway?

I've been learning a little about fiction writing lately, just for fun and a new challenge. One concept that has stuck with me (I'm pretty sure it was Randy Ingermanson who said it) is that to give depth to the story you have to consider all your characters as thinking the story is about them - even the minor characters. Hmmm... interesting idea isn't it?

The thing is, there's a universal truth to that idea. We all tend to think of stories as being about us. That wedding I'm going to? I've gotten a new dress and a hair cut for it. 'Cuz it's about me? Right? Okay, maybe not. But I'm sure the bride is thinking that and, well...she's right.

Anyway, my small group is studying Revelation (nice, light topic for summer, eh?). It's prophetic. It's about the end of our world as we know it to be. And so, of course, we think the story is about us. So what do we do? We try to interpret all the symbolism and story in light of ourselves and our world. Which is all good and well and even a little interesting. But, in my mind, it's futile to approach the book that way alone (and our small group is doing a good job avoiding that). Jesus even said that no one knows the day or hour (nor, I presume, can know).

Here's the thing:it's not really about us so much. We're just minor characters. It's about God. It's HIS story. When I began thinking about it that way yesterday, it suddenly became so much more interesting and not nearly so freaky frightening. After all, I love God. He loves me. And in the story of Revelation? He wins. The bad guys lose. When the focus is on God, the when and how aren't so important. Then we can see that yes, these things must happen to support the nature and character of God. And who likes a story where the bad guy goes free? Nobody. We want to see justice done. And, when you look at it as God's story, that's what happens in Revelation.

Okay, I'm no theologian, so feel free to disagree with me. I'm just a writer. That's my story...and I'm stickin' to it.

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