Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Something from Nothing

God made humans in His own image. This is one of the great truths in Scripture, and many have debated what it means.

As writers, we sometimes joke about playing God in the stories we create. We have the ultimate power over what happens to these characters we've created. We can cause great suffering, even death, or we can bestow upon them blissful joy. We hold the power, and they have none.

Although… anyone who's written fiction for a while knows the characters seem to have wills of their own, right? They often rebel and take the tale in a different direction from what the writer expected. It's like they've become real people, no longer two-dimensional cutouts. They say and do — or refuse to say or do — things that give the story a life of its own. Without this dimension, readers are unlikely to care about the story one way or the other.

It occurs to me that I am most like God when I write. In Genesis 1:1, He took an expanse that was formless and void, and turned it into something real, something tangible. Something with colors and textures and sounds and smells and flavours. Something He could share with others.

When I sit and stare at an empty Scrivener page, I can sympathize with that whole formless-and-void thing. And yet, typing the words Chapter One is like saying, "Let there be light!" As I continue to add words, I am setting the stage and introducing the characters who will act out my imagined story.

I am not God, nor am I a god, but I am created in the image of God. He has given me — and you, fellow writers — this unique ability to create something from nothing. Before our fingers hit the keyboard, nothing exists beyond mere wisps in our imagination. Yet, when we are done, we have fulfilled an act of creation that can be shared with others.

Something from nothing.

 Isn't that an awesome way to be made in God's image?

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local food movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes where food and faith meet fiction in her Farm Fresh Romance series and Riverbend romance novellas. Visit her at


Wendy L. Macdonald said...

Valerie, I enjoyed these thoughts you've shared with us. Yes, He's made us in His Image, and therefore we also love to create. Like Father--like sons and daughters. :)
Blessings ~ Wendy

Peter Black said...

A wonderful post for writers, Valerie! And I'm sure your thoughts here will provide an informative and insightful perspective for readers who haven't as yet tried writing creatively. ~~+~~

fudge4ever said...

"I am most like God when I write". What a privilege to be like God!
Pam Mytroen

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Great way at looking at writing, Valerie. And we do know that characters begin to do their own thing, even as we begin to write, they are not what we thought they`d be, at least not exactly. It`s like they form as we write. Thank you for your post.

Glynis said...

Good thoughts, Valerie. I love the way you express the 'control' we have as writers. Is it better to trust our characters with a bit of free will or do we know what might happen if we do? ;) Great to have you join us this month, too. You are welcome to share anytime!

Jebraun Clifford said...

It's more than a little awe-inspiring to create something from nothing. What a privilege :-)

Ruth Smith Meyer said...

You described the writing process so well! I find too, that while I think I have control, those characters do have a life of their own and often things happen and get on the page that I hadn't really planned. That is when the story gets really interesting and intriguing.

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks so much for the comments! Writing is such a privilege, isn't it!

D. Bentley said...

I am so used to Facebook, that I keep looking for the "Like" button below posts. Anyway, here is my "Like"!

Valerie Comer said...

I hear you on that Like button! Thanks :)

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