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Ron’s Lit Tip: Bible as a Resource

09 23 2020

Welcome to Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you.

Have You Considered Writing a Bible Based Novel?

Bible based novels do very well. When I owned a bookstore on the internet Bible based novels were one of my best-selling items. The Bible is filled with characters to be explored.

Isn’t that hard to do?”

Perhaps, but it is worth it. My most successful series has been The World That Was which covers from Creation through Jacob. I am currently working on the World of Joseph.

Bible stories come with the same advantages and disadvantages of writing historical fiction. You start out with facts. That means your primary characters will be taken from the Bible and therefore cannot be altered. Same with the basic story itself. You are dealing with facts and your novel must operate within those facts.

I referred to Historical novels above. That is a good comparison because the Bible is among other things a historical book. Where it writes of historical events and people these are hard facts and provide a would-be writer with a ready cast of characters and events.

I thought the Bible was just a myth.

No, it is not. It is actual history. While often challenged it has been proven correct repeatedly. Sometimes archaeology disputes the Bible, such as the existence of a Hittite empire, but in time the Bible is proven correct. In the case of the Biblical Flood versus the Gilgamesh Flood it is easy to see that the Biblical Flood account is a first person account written by Noah and his sons while Gilgamesh was written well after the Flood, in fact after the Confusion of Tongues at Babel. Accuracy and the ability to recreate things such as the Ark also point to the Bible as a reliable history source.

So, How would I Start?

The same way you would with any history. First go to the source, the Bible, and copy or summarize the facts. You want to know Who, What, When, and Why. Once you have a basis understanding of the facts, hopefully saved in a document you’ve created, you can then work on the plot.

As in historical novels you already have a plot built. But you may have a story within the story which is the real plot of your book. Whichever one you choose you start developing it. You may have added fictional characters to go along with the historical characters. One strength you have is the ability to research the real characters (average height, weight, skin color, education, religion, and more) that can be used to develop the fictional characters.

Do I include God in the Book?

If God appears in the Bible story, then it is a definite yes. If not, then it is optional. But if you do, be sure that the God of your book is true to the God of the Bible. One method I have used is to research all of God’s statements and actions in the Bible, not just in the story itself. That allows me, the author, the opportunity to broaden the behind the scenes spiritual activities.

What about conflicts between Bible accounts and historical accounts?

It is always wise to remember that historical accounts are the views of men and they may and do change. The Bible accounts were written by men of God writing under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Always view history through the lens of the Bible to get the most accurate information.

Tip: Consider writing novels based on Bible stories, but remember it requires diligence on your part.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. #Writingservices

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The World That Was an Introduction

Some of you may recognize The World That Was as the series of books I have been writing. I thought it good that I begin a series of blogs (for Wednesdays) that both examined the books and the underlining facts that made them possible.

Today is something of an introduction.

Originally, the words The World That Was were basically a subtitle. Taken from the Bible I meant it to mean the world that existed prior to the Flood. However, as the series has continued it has come to embrace both the world before the Flood and the Old Testament world that existed after the Flood.

One of the purposes of this blog series is to put on display how an author goes about writing a book. You may never write about the Biblical events and people, but you may write about history, our current times, or even our future. But the principles engaged in writing are often the same.

So for starters, how did I arrive at the title of the first book, Perished: The World That Was?

When I decided to write this book it was to include two other books: Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles and Adam’s Chronicles, plus brand new material connecting the two books. So when it came time to choose a title I needed to ask myself some questions.

1st Question: What is the story about? The answer was simple: About the world that existed prior to the Flood including the people who lived in that time.

2nd Question: What is the emphasis of the story? Again the answer was simple: To show God’s creative and preserving hand throughout history, and to show why God had to destroy the world.

Having answered those two questions, I then had to come up with a title. I am not suggesting that you get your title from the same source I used, but you do want it relevant to your story. I came across 2 Peter 3:6: “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.”

Right there was my Title and Subtitle.

So what is your take-a-way? Actually that is up to you, but I suggest the following principle:

When choosing a title and/or subtitle make it as relevant to the story as possible.

There’s another principle, namely, that you make the title enticing. It should be eye catching and suggestive of the books content. In my title it had the word Perished, which suggests action, danger, and even death. The subtitle The World That Was tells the prospective reader that the story takes place in the past. In addition, since it is connected to the word Perished it indicates it was the world that perished. So, even though the basic story is well known, there is still some mystery associated with the subject.

Was this interesting? Helpful?

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  1. Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page.