- "In the beginning God created ('bara') the heavens and the earth ('ha'shamayim v'eth ha'erets')."
What's the difference? Well, when 'asah' is used, it is said to denote an already completed action. For example, "Then God made ('asah') two great lights" in Gen 1:16 -- God isn't actively created two great lights in this verse but rather this is referring to an act of an already completed creation (which Day-Agers place in Gen 1:3-5).
BUT, when 'bara' is used, then it is said that God is actively creating.
That's all I think you really need to know about these two terms. Got it? Good.
So in Gen 1:1 'bara' is used, so many believe in Genesis 1:1 that God actively created (this isn't a recollection of some previous creation event). I don't believe Gappists would disagree, right ACB who I won't name? Although some YECs might, but we don't care about them much here so moving on. (sorry Jac! )
We have in ha'shamayim v'eth ha'erets what is considered by most as NOT representing an "individual heavens" AND the "planet earth" -- but rather an Hebraic expression of everything in the entire world/cosmos (all matter, energy and the like). So this may or may not actually include our planet Earth. Note I inserted the 'v', which is the Hebrew letter vav, in front of eth (the) -- this behaves like a connector. Gen 1:1 ISV simply has "In the beginning God created the universe." That's probably one of the most accurate translations, even if it's not thoroughly accurate in a literal word-for-word sense.
So then, all the "stuff" in the universe that is and ever will be comes into existence at Genesis 1:1, right? Genesis 1:1 doesn't tell us how far along or how far developed the cosmos actually is. Also, in the lexicon, you'll miss the "ha" which is a definite article i.e., the word "the". So the literal translation is "the'heavens-and-the'earth". Does it matter? I don't know. Most translations get it right. The thing to understand, and YEC sites like AiG agree, that "the heavens and the earth" is representative of absolutely everything.
A possible distinction between Day-Age and some YEC interpretations however, is that some YECs say that verse 1 is like an introduction summary that God created absolutely everything. Then we proceed into verse 2 which provides more details of the creation. Day-Agers say, "no way!"—Genesis 1:1 is part of God's active creation and not a summary statement. God is actively ('bara') creating the heavens and the earth (i.e, this is the "big bang"). Then we move to Genesis 1:2 which is further along in time. Understand? Great!
As for Gappist, no idea really. All I know is that Gappists say there's a "gap" between verse 1 and 2. That a lot of things happened in Genesis 1:1 that is unstated and by the time we reach Genesis 1:2 God is re-creating everything from the destruction fallen angels made in the world. There's a lot of story reading with what is missing and frankly, this is on par with me almost like believing the Book of Mormon should be considered canon. As far as I see matters, Gappists need to perform eisegesis of the worst kind (reading into Genesis entire narrative it is silent on).
I'm sure the ACB person who I won't name disagrees and sees lots of evidence. So now I'll shut up, and give the floor to him to let him explain how he sees Genesis 1:1 (take it slowly ACB, don't rush past to Genesis 2 or something else, stay focused). Seriously, I'd really like to know exactly where you part ways with YEC/Day-Age interpretations.