Last Wednesday I blogged about an Introduction to The World That Was. Today is the second in the series of blogs devoted to this subject. Last time I discussed how I got the title and subtitle of the first book of the series.
Today I want to discuss the historical perspective.
When the idea came to write my first novel, Refuge: The Genesis Record, it came as a result of a Bible study I was doing. And some of the facts recorded in the book came directly from the Bible. But since the Bible was written to instruct us about man’s relationship to God there were only some basic facts given, such as the blue print God gave Noah of the Ark.
I was immediately faced with a problem. This world we live in now isn’t really interested in the Flood or pre-Flood history. Go backwards a couple hundred years and the interest would have been much higher allowing for a writer to easily discover facts and theories pertaining to the pre-Flood world.
So I had a problem: How do I discover a factual basis, in addition to the Bible, to lay a strong foundation for a book? You might wonder why that would be necessary given I was writing fiction. My response is easy: I believe that the more facts the writer can discover, the richer his/her novel will be.
The Pre-Flood World
I love history. Period! So it is not surprising that I looked to history for the answers. And I discovered an amazing fact. A sophisticated society grew up within 500 years after the Ark landed on Mt. Ararat! While 500 years sounds like a lot of time in our personal worlds, from a historical point of view it is a very brief time.
So I had discovered a perplexing situation. Although historical records of the pre-Flood era were gone except for the Biblical record, this 500 year miraculous rising of a sophisticated society demanded my attention. I quickly realized that the only way for such rapid development was if the people had carried over the flood a library, if you will, of knowledge.
With that perspective in mind, the pre-Flood world was suddenly opened up. I could study the post-Flood world, combine it with the Biblical record, and arrive at a plausible, perhaps accurate, view of life before the Flood.
Another factor that influenced me was the genius factor. As I read the Bible it was quite apparent that Adam and Eve were very intelligent. Scientists say we only use maybe 10% of our brain power. But if God created them perfect in all their ways (certainly implied in chapters one and two of Genesis) then they probably used a much higher percent of their brain power. We would probably call them geniuses if they were alive today.
So I now that a perspective on Adam and Eve as two highly intelligent individuals who produced children and descendents who were also intelligent. I also had a window into their world to see what they had accomplished in 1656 years. And I had a Biblical account that highlighted some of the achievements.
Now it only took a few minutes for me to describe the process involved, but it took days, weeks, and months of research to put it all together. You may never face the problem I first faced, but whatever genre you write in it will be necessary to do research. Some times it will be easy and at other times you may need to really dig for that nugget of information.
The process for me was very rewarding. I learned more than I could ever include in my book. In addition, I was able to create a vibrant world that was believable and consistent with the Biblical record. Plus the characters were not merely one dimensional but were well rounded with strengths and weaknesses.
So what am I saying? Basically this: Be willing to do the hard research. You may run into a wall, but don’t let that stop you. If the obvious research isn’t productive, think outside the box. What other ways can you discover the information?
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Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.