Discerning the Threads of a Story
Threads Form the Fabric of a Story
The fabric of a story is made up of numerous threads, but essential to a story worth reading are the threads of truth, those things that tie the story to the realities of life. One’s worldview (one’s conception of the realities of life in relation to their understanding of the world in general) will determine the nature of those threads. My worldview is rooted in what God tells us in His Word about the nature and realities of life and our world.
One’s worldview will inherently permeate a story. But I also weave distinct threads of biblical truth into the fabric of a story to provide insight into how truth applies to life. Christ often used stories to give “feet” to the truths He was teaching, to provide insight into a particular truth. I once wrote a story just for the sake of writing a story. I thought it was pretty good. However, when I read it to the writer’s group the response was, “Nice little story, but why read it, there is no takeaway.” The fabric of the story was lacking that thread of truth that would connect the narrative with the reader; a thread that stimulates the mind and emotions.
Jesus Used Stories to Illustrate Truth
For Christ the threads of a story had purpose. In Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus shares a parable. OK, so what is a parable? A parable is defined as a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth or moral lesson.”
Here is one of Jesus’ stories as he told it to his disciples: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ ”
A short time later, beginning with verses 37, He explains the story to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.”
Discerning Threads of a Story
When I write a story that is allegorical or has metaphors purposely woven in to it, as with Tower of Death and Tarnished Crown, I do not in turn explain the allegories or metaphors as Christ did. Discerning the threads of a story I leave to the reader. Furthermore, not all of my stories contain truth intentionally presented as allegory or metaphor. Stories like The Dragon Horn War and Of Mingled Blood are captivating fantasy stories but not allegorical, although the way I look at life and the world threads its way through the fabric of those stories.
At its core, every writer’s story expresses a worldview, whether intentionally or unintentionally. How can anyone write without the way they look at life—worldview— infiltrating? When I write, the way I see life—my way of looking at and understanding the world—becomes threads of a story forming a fabric that makes the story worth reading.
Your comments are desired.
My books can be found at Amazon (including e-books for Kindle) and at Barnes & Noble. There are full length novels, novellas, and a line of Quick Read Books. I encourage you to go to one or the other and explore what’s available.