Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beginnings...Genesis Style

Image by ponsulak
The minister at my church started a new series on Genesis and I was struck by the way God orchestrated the beginning of His creation, the steps He followed and the organization of it all. Writers can learn a lot from the Master Creator, the One who created the most famous book of all time. So what can writers learn about beginnings from Him who began it all?

  • Awesome First Lines: What can be better than "In the beginning, God created the heavens and earths."? Seriously, it starts at the beginning of time. Before the beginning of time, if you want to be technical about it. It introduces the main character and it encapsulates in just a few words the magnitutde of God's ability. GREAT first line!
  • Each Step Builds Upon Each Other: Each verse in Genesis 1 is a stepping stone to the next, building the story, one building stone at a time. God creates light and makes the day. On the second day, God separates the water from the sky. On the third day He made the land appear and created vegetation. On the fourth day, God created the sun, moon, and stars. On the fifth day, He made fish and birds. On the sixth day, He created land animals, and then man and woman; it was all very good. These days of creation were all necessary. You can't have animals without vegetation to eat. You can't have fish without water to live in. Building your story in a natural sequence will make your story strong and understandable.
  • Climax: Oh yes, there is is a climax in this first chapter. It is the creation of man and there is even a song written about it in verse 27. This is the pinnacle of creation, the making of man in God's very own image. What can you write in your chapter to bring excitement and climax to the scene?
  • The End of the Chapter Hangs: The last sentence in Genesis 1 goes like this..."God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day." Not quite the cliff hanger, huh? I mean, it is a good couple of sentences, but the formula is the same as the other verses. God saw that it was good. Just an end to another day. But that makes me wonder what the next verse will bring. Does the next chapter start with another creation? One more fabulous thnt the previous days? Let me turn the page and see...nope...just a day of rest. (one of the most important things EVER...especially on a Sunday afternoon!) Make your chapter ending count. Make the readers want to turn the page a see what's next!
In your daily Bible reading, look for structure to the stories you read. Find the building blocks. Look for awesome first lines. See if chapters end on high note. Is there a climax in the scene? Or a dark moment in the main story? What do you find? 

How does that inspire you to work great beginnings in your own story? 

This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is a minister's wife and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeous daughter. A born and bred Texan, she writes historical romance filled with fun, faith, and forever love.


Jeanne T said...

Sherrinda, I like how you bring out good things to consider about story writing from the Bible. I have caught some elements, but it will be fun to see what else I learn as I study His word.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Thanks,Jeanne. You are always so encouraging! I know you are growing as a writer each and every day!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

I was just reading in Isaiah today and though, wow, that was so eloquent, it puts my descriptions to shame. :) Great perspective here, Sherr!

Pepper said...

Beautiful reminder here, Sherrinda!
he's the 'start button' for the grand design of the world and humanity, and (amazingly) he is even the start button for our writing.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Amy, I love Isaiah! There is such beauty and depth to that book... it is wonderful!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Pepper, I love picturing God pressing a big green go button....Kinda like that Staples Button!!!! LOL

He is definitely the author of our lives, giving us hobby/life's work of writing. Love that!