Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Body and The Book

by Linsey Painter

Last week I was reading in 1 Corinthians about the body of Christ. As I was reading, I was thinking, this is like writing!

Just as the body has many parts, so does a story. It is made up of structure, characters, plot, pace, tension etc. Some parts are smaller than other parts but all are needed to make a story complete, understandable, enjoyable and worth the time of our readers.

As I write I need to remember that each part is of significance. I can’t skimp on something because it’s not my passion or my strength. 
For me, I struggle, among other things with punctuation and grammar.
If I write well but don’t worry about using the right words or, where I, put my commas will people, want to read my work? Will people understand my work?
If I write an incredible life-changing story and yet fail to edit it properly or poorly encase it in a cover that turns people away, who will read it?

We are a body within a body. We work together with other writers, editors, publishers and artists. Everyone is striving to make a whole body of work that is aesthetically pleasing, is a pleasure to read, is easy to understand and impacts deep within.

1 Cor 12:18-20 (The Message) “What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own.”

I hope you are having a great week of creating whole stories that are made up of many different parts.

Linsey Painter loves to write stories that draw on her rich heritage of growing up overseas. She and her husband work with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and live in Cairns with their two rambunctious boys. Linsey grew up in Indonesia and is an expert at rolling her ‘r’s and eating nasi goreng. She has since lived and worked in Papua New Guinea— yes she has seen a bird of paradise and Arnhem Land— no she didn’t encounter any crocodiles. She has had a series of short fiction stories published in Thrive Connection online magazine for women in missions as well as non-fiction stories about living and working in remote communities with MAF. Linsey is now enjoying focusing on writing for children.


  1. Thank you Linsey for a lovely post. I was surprised as I started reading and then you explained it to us so well. I do like the analogy although I had never seen the resemblance before. A new and fresh way of viewing a story. Thanks Linsey and I do agree that just like all parts of a story are important, even the smaller bits like commas and other punctuation, all of us are needed in the family of God and God's family of Christian writers. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Hi Anusha, thanks for your encouragement. I had never thought of it either. It was probably a combination of me reading the Bible and praying and thinking about what to write in this post :) Isn't it amazing how every time we read the Bible new things stand out.

  2. Great analogy, Linsey - and very true. Failing to take in account one or two aspects can really sink what would otherwise could be a fantastic book. Great too (in another body analogy) that we have beta-readers, critique partners and editors to help us in the areas we are weak. Wishing you a great week of storymaking too :)

    1. Hi Jenny, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I loved what you said about others helping us in areas where we are weak. So true!

  3. Good way of looking at it, Linsey. Writing can be isolating so it's good to remember 'we are a body, within a body'. Blessings

  4. Hi Susan, you are right it can be quite a lonely career. It's always good to know there is someone else out there doing the same thing and hopefully we can continue to support each other and not be so cut off. Thanks!