We have been looking at how I wrote The World That Was series. Today I will take a look at character development as it relates to Enoch.
Let’s begin by taking a look at Scripture:
“And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch: And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
Aside from this passage in Genesis 5:18-24 you also have a passage in Jude:
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Basically that is all you have in the Bible about this great man of God. I recently came across a site that contends that Enoch was a black man and that is the reason the Book of Enoch is not in the Bible. Pure garbage.
But was he black? We really don’t know. However, recent scientific discoveries and theories demonstrate that Adam and Eve probably had all the genes necessary for their descendants to have different coloring. In fact, Ham was probably black or near black and not because of any curse. He was born that way.
I won’t spend a lot of time on this subject but the idea of races and racism itself did not come along until the rise of evolution. The Bible speaks of one race, of one blood. Racism is not found in the Bible and has no place in Christendom. You do find national envy and hatred in the Bible, but not racism.
But who was Enoch?
According to the Scriptures he was a faithful man of God. According to Jude he was a preacher, perhaps a prophet. He was also a father and grandfather, so he had a family.
When writing about him in Perished: The World That Was I zeroed in on his faith. I could easily picture him traveling about and preaching to people. Although the Bible doesn’t say, I imagined him training others to also worship and serve God.
Here is a case of taking a little information and expanding upon it. I built an entire character on only a little bit of fact. But I did so without violating the Scriptures themselves. Sometimes a character like Enoch proves easy to develop partly from lack of information.
What principle can you take from this?
First, don’t let the absence of facts stop you. Secondly, take the few facts you have and place the character in situations where those facts might trigger your imagination.
Remember that I said in my article on Adam that I believe your imagination is the most valuable tool a writer possesses. If you can put yourself within your character and express the result to your readers, you have the beginning of a successful story.
Imagination is something we emphasize in Authors Academy. While having an imagination is something you have or don’t (and if you don’t you are in the wrong business), but we can give you principles for employing it.
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R. 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.