Friday, 30 June 2017

Sodium Chloride

Take one atom of Sodium, mix it with one atom of Chloride and you get salt, whose entry in Wikipedia states the following:

"Salt is essential for life in general, and saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. The tissues of animals contain larger quantities of salt than do plant tissues. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings, and salting is an important method of food preservation."

It's analogous to fiction. Whereas salt is essential for our physical bodies, storytelling is essential for our minds. And that's where we come in.

The bible is full of stories. Some, like the parables and the Psalms are short, while others, such as the Exodus from Egypt are longer. Even the proverbs can be read as (very) short stories. We are attracted to them from an early age and fiction is still the largest market in publishing. But the analogy also goes deeper.

Despite the rumours, neither Chloride or Sodium are lethal to humans, in fact we have trace amounts in our bodies. It's chlorine that can be lethal.

On their own they, like most substances, taste awful and are harmless to us...unless we overdose. Did you know you can drown from drinking too much water? Put them together and they save lives.

In our fiction we can take dull, boring, details of life and weave them together into something fantastic that grabs the attention. It goes further. Take two unpalatable items, such as murder and prostitution. Weave them into a story and it becomes fascinating, a fact that Tabloids have exploited since the first newspaper.

As Christians we have to be more careful with the basic ingredients of a story, and not promote or sensationalise the less salubrious ingredients. It's not an easy thing to do, but who said being a christian writer was going to be easy.

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