Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Goal of Story

Last week my ladies Bible study finished Beth Moore's Esther. In my last day of homework, I came across a quote from Eugene Peterson that I just had to share with you. What he said was so amazing, so profound, so... writerly.

He said, "Story doesn't just tell us something and leave it there, it invites our participation. A good storyteller gathers us into the story. We feel the emotions, get caught up in the drama, identify with the characters... Honest stories respect our freedom; they don't manipulate us... They bring us into the spacious world in which God creates and saves and blesses... they offer us a place in the story, invite us into the large story that takes place under the broad skies of God's purposes."

Think of the last book you read that drew you in and made you feel everything the characters felt. You laughed when they laughed. Jumped when the bad guy appeared. Or ran for the box of tissues.

Mr. Peterson stated, very succinctly, the goal of every writer. So what do you think? Is that one worth taping to the computer monitor?


  1. Oh, yes, I think its very worthy of being stuck to something within my direct line of sight. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That is so true - we need involvement on an emotional level. I'll read a text book if I want to be informed!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  3. Oh yeah. Very worthy!~

    Thanks for the post.

  4. Wow, Mindy! That's excellent. thanks for sharing it! I'm still dying to do that Bible study.

    YOu know, it's true what he said about manipulating. If we feel a writer is yanking us around, then we usually won't stick with the books. Plot needs to flow out of charcter so it's not stilted and forced.

    Great post!

  5. I think that is what we do. We are following Christ's example since he told stories to make a point too. Great quote.