That’s an interesting title to this blog, but I think you’ll understand better when I am finished.
From the day I began writing I have believed that a good author should support his work with diligent research. Since most of my writing deals with Biblical history it meant really digging into the Bible.
However, it also required me to dig into secular history. This is much harder because not all countries keep accurate historical records. For example, Egypt is a country with a rich history, but its records are confusing, at best.
When writing about Shem (The Rise of Shem) I quickly learned this fact. So what did I do. First, I looked for other secular sources that might provide accurate information. In a few instances I went only with the Biblical record.
This was true when dealing with time frames. Egyptian chronology is a mess. The consequence of this meant I had to reconstruct history as best I could by comparing Biblical chronology and Egyptian chronology. This was necessary to bring a semblance of reliability.
Why was this so important?
The story ranged from the Mountains of Ararat to Egypt and to Libya. As a storyteller I wanted the story to be as accurate as possible although it is a novel.
Another example of consequences was the writing of Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles and Perished: The World That Was. Both of these books dealt with the pre-Flood world.
Unfortunately there is precious little evidence of that world in secular writings.
The consequence of this fact was that I had to dig deeper and widen my net. I not only looked at the Biblical record, I also took a look at myths. While obviously myths they did provide hints at what ancient people believed about their past.
But while studying this issue I made a discovery.
Both in Biblical and secular history there was a sudden explosion of societal growth. Nations were founded, knowledge increased tremendously, and both economic and military growth were demonstrated. In the Bible this phenomenon occurred right after the Flood, while in secular history it simply occurs with no apparent reason.
But when I made the assumption that the Bible was correct and that it happened right after the Flood I discovered what I regard as a truth: The only way society could have advanced so far so fast was if they already had the fundamentals!
Using that truism I narrowed my study to the first 500 years after the Flood. It is simply amazing how advanced the society became in that short period of time. That realization led me to this conclusion: Those 500 years afford us a peek into the past; a peek into the world existing before the Flood.
That opened the past up for me and enabled me to write a reasonable description of what that world was like. Reasonable and probable. It made my novel work!
An author should never be afraid of the consequences of research. Sure, you may discover things that contradict your presuppositions, but you may also learn something powerful and transforming that will take your book to the next level.
Now you may have noticed that I made some assumptions along the way. This is true of all writers, no matter what their views are. My assumptions were that the Bible is always correct (a proven fact) and that secular history is often influenced by other factors other than a search for truth. I also made assumptions about the 500 years. These assumptions had the consequence of opening up my story and bringing it alive!
Your research may not take you where mine took me, but good solid researching will uncover facts that you can incorporate into your novel. The more facts you have, the more believable your story.
Perhaps you have been researching a particular subject. Has it changed your views or heightened them?
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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.