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  1. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    What to choose what to choose???

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by wordwizard, Feb 6, 2007.

    I really don't know where to go with this plot. I have a general idea about what I want it to be about but It seems like a very hard book to write since I do not know a whole lot on the subject. Also I dont know if I should write it back in the old days or in modern times. Heres my idea:

    Jesus and his supposed wife mary magdelene secretly have a son or daughter (or in future it would be a decendant of jesus) after jesus is put to death mary goes in to hiding and raises the child. the child grows up to early 20s and doesnt know about his father and wonders about all the strict rules and guidelines his mother makes him follow. People have been looking for mary and find out about him and try to kill off the bloodline. OR in modern days there is a man or lady that is a decendant of jesus and there is a secret anti christ group or government group researching the people around the world and find out about him and he has to try to figure out what is going on while all these people are trying to kill him and he has no idea who to trust.
    So the problem is that I have no idea which plot to follow and i know nothing about religion. I realize that puts a brick wall in story but reading the bible and all that is not something im interested in. Do you think it is something I should look in to doing, or do you think it would not make a difference considering it is fiction?
    any opinions would be a great help.
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wordwizard,

    If you already have serious concerns that you really have no knowledge about the topic and have no interest in doing the necessary research to provide the work (even thought it is fiction) with the required foundation to provide any feel of authenticity, I think the answer is obvious: Drop the idea and move on to another project.

    Just one opinion.

    Terry
     
  3. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    For something like this I would recommend RESEARCH!

    If you're not willing to do the research don't attempt to do a story like this. You'll only end up pissing off the religious people, and the people who think that Jesus really did have children. And its those two groups who would read your story. Everyone else won't care.
     
  4. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    The thing is, is that I am motivated to write the story but not motivated about all the bible reading. Seems like a very daunting task. Not even because its religion, but because the bible is really hard for me to grasp. Thanks for your opinions.
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wordwizard,
    Who ever said writing and all that it entails would be easy? Being motivated but unwilling to do the research/preparation is like waking up one day and deciding you're going to run in, and place respectably in, the Boston Marathon.

    Getting the proper shoes for long distance running is like getting the grammar right. Finding out how other runners have succeeded is like learning how to tell a story. Practicing and building up to the endurance for the distance required is like doing the research and plotting out the novel. Actually running the marathon is like writing the novel.

    Try wearing street shoes while running will certainly impede success if not cripple the chances, just as poor grammar and story telling will almost certainly doom the writer to failure (at least to reach publication...finishing...if that is the goal).

    Not assessing the dynamics of a marathon, the course faced and how other successful runners have approached it is similar to not finding out the general process for telling a good story, through reading other successful works and studying how stories are put together, and then melding it into the writer's own style.

    Don't practice running, chances of success are pretty darn dismal. Not researching and at least having an idea about the story reduces chances for success. Maybe the runner will finish the race...but certainly at the tail end of the pack. The novel written without a thought or effort at preparation and research will almost certainly end up the same way.

    And of course if the runner doesn't enter the marathon after all that initial effort, they can't succeed. Just as a writer who never begins writing and continues right up until the end...will not succeed.

    In most likelihood, the first marathon the runner enters, he'll place far lower than he'd like. Call it a first draft, or a novel that is trash and cannot be fixed. But there are other marathons and the writer will learn from the experience and improve. Just as a novel can and should be revised and edited and if beyond repair, another one started and finished.

    Not a perfect anology, I know, but I hope it gets the point across. If you're not interested in the research (practice and prepare by building up the endurance for that particular race) then select another race or another sport (pick a modern romance novel, or a hard-boiled detective mystery set in the 1990s).

    Terry
     
  6. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    I get that I have to do some research. I really do. I do think though that reading the bible takes a lot of fun out of writing my story, and that is my main reason for writing. I guess like you said I either have to write a crap book with nothing to back it up -even though it would be wayyyy more fun or write a something that would be more of a historical fiction type book. Tough choice I guess every writer has to make. I am defiently not a romance writer. Not that I have anything against it, just that my brain doesnt work that way. I guess im what I am asking is: why should it be a big deal on whether it is accurate or not..is it because its about religion..and its frowned upon when the religion part is false? I figured with fiction that anything can be made up...or is there certain rules that I should try to follow? Thanks for the speel. even though it made me feel kind of dumb-im guessing and hoping it wasnt your intention. Plus it did help in bringing me closer to my plot choice.
     
  7. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Why read the bible? There are plenty of books and websites out there that explain whats in the bible, the historical knowledge we have of that time, and secular ideas about the bible. I've never read the bible, but I know a lot more about religion than the common religious lay person.

    The most important thing when writing a book that involves history in some way is to know the history. Otherwise you'll just piss off 80% of the readers.
     
  8. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    Internet is a way better idea. How I did not clue in to that is beyond me. Doesnt seem so tedious. Thanks for the idea.
     
  9. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    Find a teen study bible, they usually have nice footnotes.
    Also, that sounds an awful lot like the Davinci Code ...
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    Wordwizard,
    There was never any intent to make you feel dumb or imply that you're delimna was not one that many writers face. I just tried to translate the issue to something more concrete.

    The other thing is, although it's your question that started this string, a lot of other writers will come across it and will learn from what everyone posted here...from questions, to answers to more questions and clarifications, etc. That's one of the advantages of a forum.

    As far as the notion to read what others have said, that is a great start and will help clarify points and narrow your focus of study, but if the source is readily available, in this case the Bible, should it not be central to the preparation? Expecially if you're going to put your own "fictional spin" to historical events or religious beliefs.

    There are many versions of the Bible out there that are much easier to read than the King James version.

    As far as the question:
    Consider who the readers/audience is likely to be? Others have states as much. If you're way off on events related to the time period and persons involved, you'll lose the reader immediately. It'd be akin to having American Soldiers carrying M-16s during WW II. Many who are not familiar with the history of WW II or military/historical fiction, it may not matter, but the people most likely to read such a work, would know the difference, and US Soldiers toting an M-16 in the 1940s would probably turn off a reader, enough that they would put the book down...and even worse, would comment poorly about it to anyone who they know who might read it.

    But, before it even gets that far, an editor at a publishing house, who specializes in such areas, whether it is historical fiction in the WW II era, or historical fiction in the time of Christ, is going to have to read your manuscript and accept it. How much slack will they give the author?

    Just adding a bit more to the topic's dialogue.

    Terry
     
  11. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    You make a really good point with the m 16 in the 1940s. Things are a lot clearer now. I have tried to read the bible before just out of curiosity as to what the big story was all about, I did not however make it past 5 or 6 pages because i could not figure out what they were saying. I will defiently keep my eyes open on the net and for book that has good footnotes. As to the reply about the whole davinchi code alikness. I thought the exact same thing but I would definelty make it my own, and have it to do more with the offspring then anything to do with a quest for the holy grail. But ya i defiently have to be careful that it is not anything like that book/movie. Thanks all-things are looking up.
     
  12. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    There are different versions of the bible, some of which are much easier to read. I don't have much trouble with my NKNV, but it differs from person to person.
     

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