Don’t reveal everything

Ever notice how the Bible stories are laid out? How we aren’t given all the details  and have to fill in some other gaps with our imagination? Interesting, isn’t it, considering I remember being taught to add more details into my stories when I was younger.

My belief is I was taught wrongly as a child when it comes to writing. As storytellers, our focus should be on the narrative and events, not the minute details of everything around. John’s recollection of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery (Jh 8:3-11) has a lot missing from it when compared to what I was taught. What did Jesus write in the dirt? Where’s the man who she was with? Was she allowed to clothe herself before being dragged out? And if not, did she have a sheet to cover up with?

Here’s the whole point. What is important is not the details that will distract from the story. The important thing is that the woman was condemned by others who were also guilty in the eyes of God. They knew that they were guilty themselves, but chose not to see it until Jesus said (in Dave’s not so loving paraphrase), “she is guilty, but so are all of you.”

So when we write, remember what is important, and what is not. And you will be a better writer.

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