Character, Story, Author, Inspiration

Character,Story,Author, Inspiration.pngThe character of a story is a usually the captivating focal point of any given story. We are drawn to the Han Solo’s, the Frodo Baggins, the King Oddesseus’, and the Prodigal’. It is often captivating to watch the “underdog” character rise to the challenge of overwhelming odds and defeat supposedly inevitable opposition. John Eldridge wrote a book about how our lives are like great epics entitled “EPIC”. Jesus preferred method of teaching his audience was through parables, and our modern generation still thrives on the film industry. People are captivated by complete character development, exotic and expansive landscapes and settings, on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the next major plot twist, and left frustrated or even confused with a cliff hanger leaves us in extended suspend for a sequel.

But the character would be able to exist outside of the context of the story. The only capacity for it to technically happen is for the author to extend the story with the original world clearly envisioned in his mind. The character lives inside the story he is tethered to. Some would say the character is locked inside the context of his story. But what if there is a greater context where the character can come to exist? The author of the story knows the story best, and the character who resides in it. He may choose to carefully, and methodically bring him (and likely his world) to exist in another world/universe. There are obviously multiple ways of doing this, but what is important is that the author knows best. Fan boys have been credited with extending (or even recreating) well-developed worlds in new directions to include their own perspective, or imaginative limits. But the most accepted extension lies within the imaginative capacity of the original author.

However, there is perhaps a further dimension here. The author collected and created his character, story, and world within the confines of his inspirational source(s). He pulled from other author’s works, our real history, or his own experience in life. While a new author could theoretically go to the same sources, entirely new character(s), with a new story and totally unique worlds usually emerge. Each story is intrinsically linked with it’s greater immediate context. Peering out to the inspiration level of story creation is theoretically the last possible preservation of (perhaps not so much the character, or even the story), but perhaps the author’s works.

Consider the Bible. In it we have several iconic characters. But the biggest and most prominent character is God Himself. We can see His actions on a consistent basis that we can begin to “know” Him. But we don’t just see Him in this Cannon of books, this collection of stories spanning centuries. We see others, We see a greater story unfolding outside the immediate, local stories. The temporal context, the cultures, and the literary authors credited with committing the books to writing change, along with their perspectives. But all the authors ascribe credit back to one inspirational source. They all pointedly link their narratives into a giant tapestry of man and God. At this level, most books fall into almost opposing genre’s, and are categorized throughout multilevel library facilities. But not the Bible. The cannon of Scripture, determined by it’s “human editors” around the 5th century AD, (although much context is deeply involved in the canonical determination) was found to be consistently linked by revelation from God (II Tim. 3:16-17). The story of the writing and canonical selection alone is an immense worth of an entire category itself!

What is interesting is that God, who is a character in much of the story, is also the Creator of the setting (Gen. 1:1). He is also often claimed as the author (since the prophets were given strict penalties for false testimony about God {Ex. 20:16; Deut. 18:20-24; Isa 8:20; Rom. 9:1; Prov. 6:16-19, 19:5; Eph. 4:25; Jn 8:44}). Furthermore, many of the human authors were not in the literary field, such as the prophet Amos, who was a simple shepherd (Amos 7:14).

This is a book where the inspirational source has broken down the concept of literary story construction. Internally and externally, we see God active in the Bible, especially when our archeological findings link to and reinforce the many stories found in it. Most exciting of all though, is the fact that the inspirational source, while done with His human literary authors, has not stopped His inspiration of the on-going story found in the Bible. It is a true-to-life “Never-ending-story”,

“Someone should write a book where the character slowly falls in love with the reader…”


Inspirational Source:

Jack Miles, God: A Biography (1995)