Here’s part 4 in the 4-part series on writing.
WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ME ABOUT FICTION
By Sandra Glahn
Most of what I’ve learned about fiction I’ve learned from the Bible. That’s not to say I think the Bible is myth. Rather, the way Moses, Jesus, and its other storytellers craft their narratives has taught me a lot about fiction. Here’s a sampling:
Use limited point-of-view to capitalize on reader identification. Did Bathsheba flirt with David? Bat her eyelashes? Seduce him? There’s a reason the author does not answer such questions. We’re supposed to see the story completely from David’s point of view. And David is 100 percent responsible for his choices, no matter what Bathsheba’s doing.
Use setting to communicate something greater than the place itself. I’m not saying a writer must make the setting exotic. Rather, use the setting almost as you would do a character. Where is Jezebel when she kills the owner of the vineyard she covets? In Jezreel. Where is Jezebel more than seventeen years later when dogs snarf her up? Back in Jezreel. Where is Peter when he denies the Lord three times? By a charcoal fire. Where is Peter when Jesus gives him three chances to declare his love? By a charcoal fire.
Give the “good guys” weaknesses. Nobody’s perfect, so use imperfections to make characters believable. Peter is spirited but impulsive—just ask Malchus. Consider what’s often called “The Faith Chapter.” It lists heroes of the faith. Yet with only a few exceptions, Hebrews 11 could just as easily be called “The Foul-Up Chapter.” There we find murderers, adulterers, liars, and hookers. Despite their flaws, however, they have one thing in common: faith. Moses is humble, but he has an anger management problem.
The foundation for the western canon of literature, the Bible is filled with narratives written by some of the best storytellers and communicators the world has ever known. Studying its pages can make us better writers.
Since we’re on the topic of fiction – another from the best selling author, Cutrer and Glahn.
What others are saying about False Positive.
“Dr. Cutrer Sandra Glahn have produced another real page turner. Once I got started, I could not put it down.”
“Do you like medical thrillers? Do you like books with good character development, entertaining plot twists, and believable villains? Do you enjoy a book that makes you think? False Positive delivers in all of these areas. A touching story with an intelligent exploration into the ethical dilemmas facing us all, whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, you will be challenged.”
“FALSE POSITIVE is as intriguing as its title suggests! The emotion-packed pages grip and hold the reader with intensity from cover to cover.”
My thanks to Dr. Glahn for her thoughtful blogs over the last 4 weeks! As usual, she has exceeded expectations!