I loved the story of the Three Little Pigs when I was a child. I had several versions of the book ranging from a small paperback to an A4 hard cover in full colour. The large version was by far my favourite with its vibrant illustrations and easy to read text. I was happy to read it over and over, and committed the story to memory.
When I started writing years later, I didn’t want to rehash the story of the pigs - or any other book. I spent hours pondering plots and trying to come up with something fresh and original. It took me a few years to realise the truth in what Solomon pointed out in Ecclesiastes 1:9. "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
As writers, we must accept that there are a limited number of plots out there. We want our work to be original, fresh, and exciting but must realise that our story will be one that has been told before in many ways and many places. The way we put our words across is what will make the difference.
Going back to the Three Little Pigs, I liked the A4 book as it held the most appeal to my six-year old mind. I loved the full-page artwork, the cute cartoon pigs, and colours that drew me in. The text was crisp and clear and the story flowed well, leading me from page to page until the big bad wolf ended up in a pot of boiling water.
As we work on our books, no matter what the genre, let’s ask God to breathe freshness into the story. Allow Him to inspire us with nuances of emotion, threads of colour and characters that stand out. Ask Him for stories that will prompt change, healing and restoration. This is normally a process rather than an overnight transformation but keep on writing and creating. One day you'll look down at your work and instead of a basic story that lacks colour and movement, you'll see a book bursting with life.