What I’m about to share is over a year old and some things have changed, but I thought it was worth revisiting =)
Recently I have been studying two of the arts in particular. The one traditionally called art—as in paintings, drawings, photography, etc. And music—both go hand in hand. As goes the music so goes the art, and possibly vice versa. But I’d like to suggest that arts are not just the things we normally think of; i.e. music, photography, painting, drama, and so on. Writing is also an art—why, we would hardly have drama if it weren’t for writing! And while I don’t support Hollywood or the mainstream media’s ideals, I’m not going to go into a long discussion on drama; it’s enough to know that it exists.
Luke chapter one verses 1-4 says:
1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
Now to me, that’s the commission for every writer. To write in order, that our readers “might know the certainty” of the things of God. So everything, to me at least, should give out a lesson. If not a direct spiritual lesson than an implied one. Let me explain:
Going back to the Bible as an example, we know that the books normally mention God quite a bit. God spoke to Abraham and Abraham did thus and so. Elijah prayed to God and God made it rain again, and so on. This isn’t too surprising, after all, it’s God’s story! But there is one book that is almost completely different from the others. The book of Esther, while it mentions prayer and fasting, does not mention God. At any rate, it doesn’t mention him by name. But he is there.
Now of course what I just said was from a Christian perspective—as is most of what I say. I mentioned one purpose for writing, but there are many more.
“Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols (known as a writing system). It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio.” –Wikipedia
Writing is a form of communication, different from oral communication in that one can give and receive messages without using their voice.
The art of music calls writing into use from time to time—particularly when lyrics to a song are written. Of course music notation is often called music writing which it definitely is. There are different kinds of writing. Though music notation is different from writing text, it is similar in some ways. It uses symbols to represent musical tones while writing text uses symbols put together to represent spoken words or sounds. Luke touched on something very important in verse 2: to write, one needs experience—something to draw from. In Luke’s case he was an eyewitness. Or, if he never actually met Jesus he did know many of the people who did. Writing music also requires something to draw from and some experience with music—hearing it at least. But for me it’s hard for me, even though I write music, to explain what it takes to do so. Perhaps I will be able to explain at some point, but for now I’ll focus on writing.
First of all, I hate writing. See the only thing that keeps me going is knowing how nice it will be when it’s done—so I also love writing. Why do I say that? Well, maybe it’s because of the writing that I normally do, but writing (if it is to be done well) requires a lot of thinking and in some cases not writing for a while so that one can collect their thoughts. Writing requires knowledge of the form, as in phonics grammar and suchlike. But writing a story? Ah, now that takes something special. It would help, as a beginning, to read many stories, such as those found in the Bible and other good books. So the first step to becoming a good writer is becoming a good reader? Yes indeed. Reading from well written books greatly influences one’s taste and style of writing.
I started writing seriously at the age of 12. The reason for this goes back a couple of years, to when I listened to the Pilgrim’s Progress audio dramas by Jim Pappas and his team at Orion’s Gate. I was intrigued by the story of a man leaving all behind for the King of the Hill. We had already read the book so it was nice to hear it come alive. After that was Christiana which, for the record, scared me to death! In the first 10 minutes there were demons standing at the foot of her bed plotting how to stop her from finishing her journey! In another scene later on they attacked her, but what really scared me was Giant Grim, as he preferred to be called. His real name was Bloody-man so I think you can see why he preferred the former name. The other giants Maul and Slay-good also scared me. In fact I didn’t even listen to the battle with Slay-good at first. Now listening to them nearly a decade later, I laugh at the fact that they scared me—the giants are not scary! The only thing that made Grim-Bloody-man so scary was in fact the music—another plug for music as a powerful medium. There were missing sound effects and it wasn’t quite as convincing as it could have been. Why do I say this? Well the PP audios were done almost like a stage production as opposed to a movie production. There are enough sound effects to immerse you in the world, but not enough to make it completely seamless. But back to the specific reason I started writing: Marianna. At the end of Christiana there was a pilgrim named Stand-fast who, like Christian, had left wife and children to go on pilgrimage. Once he reached the Celestial City, he sent her an invitation to follow after with their children and join him at the Celestial City. He sends the invitation with Mr. Great-heart back to the town of Stupidity…
But that’s where the story ends! There was nothing more! That really left me wondering. So I emailed Mr. Pappas and asked him if he had any scripts for Marianna. His response was as follows:
Jaron: I don’t have any scripts for part III yet but I plan to soon. If you do something I’d be interested in your ideas. Perhaps I could use some of them for my new book.
Wow! I was only twelve at the time, so that was a tremendous incentive. Unbeknownst to him I had already started writing my version of what I thought would happen on the previous day. I’m not even sure he knew I was a kid at the time. Anyways, told him what I had started and I’ve kept on writing, learning, falling down, getting up, and not writing for nearly a year, the whole works. It’s been a most compelling and tedious journey writing PP3 on just a few scraps of information, but I believe it’s all for the best! I pray that as it goes out people will actually be blessed by it. After all, I am writing for those very reasons Luke mentioned—so that others might know the certainty of the things written in the Word.
Up next: The Chronicles of a Dreamer Part 2: The Journey