Revisions and the Joy of Allegory

Today I plan to start revisions on The Advent. Step 1 is reading through the manuscript as it stands. This is always an interesting venture. I haven’t looked at it since I finished the first draft back in early December, and I have a short memory when it comes to my own writing.  I also need to revise a short story, “Butterflies Dancing,” this month.

To me one of the most interesting things that happens when I reread a first draft is that I discover allegories. The Seventh World books are not straight allegory (none of my writing is, except the short story “Journey“), but they have plenty of allegorical themes and truth shadows. And one of my jobs, when I’m revising, is to look out for those themes and shadows. Some are there because I put them there; some have crept in quite on their own.

For example? All of the Gifted in the Seventh World books are either orphans or were raised without their parents. I didn’t do that on purpose, but it has significance. Likewise, I realized at one point that an inordinate number of the major characters are female, and I didn’t do that deliberately either. But it also has thematic significance: in scripture, the church is represented as a woman waiting for her bridegroom. In the Seventh World, many of those who are struggling to stand against the Blackness are women waiting for their heroes — and most especially waiting for the King, the ultimate Hero and Bridegroom for that world.

To me there’s something truly exciting and joyous about discovering hidden meanings in my own writing. It’s fun, and it gives me new insight not only on the stories, but on life itself.  Whatever your day may bring you, may you also find hidden meanings in it — and may you find joy in the living!






4 responses to “Revisions and the Joy of Allegory”

  1. Rachel Starr Thomson Avatar

    Thank you! Same here … it never ceases to amaze me how PERVASIVE God’s truth is. Allegory is everywhere because God’s truth is woven into the fabric of this world.

  2. Meredith Leigh Burton Avatar

    I loved your short story, “The Journey,” and it was really interesting to read about the way you write.

    Writing allegories is indeed fun, and as a writer myself, I am always overwhelmed and humbled by the truths God reveals to me. Sometimes, I find myself crying when a particular idea is given to me, because God’s truths never cease to amaze. Keep up the outstanding work and God bless.

  3. Amie Avatar

    Thanks for sharing thoughts from the process. I just finished the first of “The Seventh World Series”. I especially enjoyed the allegories. I look forward reading the second and third in the series.

  4. Elisabeth Avatar

    I’ve noticed the same thing in my own writing. I think about a particular element of my story, and it hits me that the idea is an allegory. Funny how that happens without our really planning it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *