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It was a dark and stormy night


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This is a famous (or infamous) opening line, which I am always tempted to use.  But I am curious as to where you get your opening lines, or do you start your writing?  On those dark and story nights w

Here's something else I've noticed.  I've been a member of a Presbyterian Church for over 50 years.  When we say the Lord's Prayer we use the words, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors".

As of right now, I see that there are 95 replies to this topic, "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night".  This topic was started on Saturday evening, and the discussions are going off in all directions.  If

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@suspensewriterTo answer your question about how I ended up writing alternate history, it's a long story but I'll try to keep it short. 🙂 I wanted to write about these two characters that didn't get along but would eventually become partners and solve crimes together. At first I thought a historical novel would be perfect for these two, but I didn't want to commit the time to research it to ensure it was historically accurate. So then I figured sci fi, but after talking with my brother I realized I needed a clear reason for it to be sci fi. I thought long and hard about this, and then I came up with the idea of time travelers. And the question became, if you went back in time to the 1700s what would you change? What wouldn't be historically accurate in the 1800s? (My story takes place in the 1800s after the time travelers have been running around for maybe 20 years.)

 

So then because the time line was being messed with my story became alternate history, which meant I needed to know exactly what kind of changes would be made. So I had to do a lot of research anyways. I had to scrap my old manuscript for the most part because having time travelers in it changed everything. So my story that was originally supposed to be about these two characters suddenly became these two characters plus five time travelers and the consequences of time travel. So after piles of research, perhaps four or five rewrites, and three years, I have the current version of my story which has less and less in common with my original idea, but has become more and more something worth actually reading. And then I look at the rough drafts on my computer for the next four books and wonder if I'm completely crazy!   😆

So where did you get the idea to write the Jesus Road? 🙂

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That is truly fascinating, Rene.  So it's evolved over time, right?

 

My idea for the Jesus Road... I was thinking about science fiction in general, and how little of it related to Christianity, when I thought--I'm going to do one that does.  And it just kind of took off from there!

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@suspensewriter Yes, my story has greatly evolved over time. Originally it was more of a novella, too long to be a short story and too short to be a novel. But after posting my chapters on here and requesting feedback, my story has grown to 71,610 words and I'm still working on two chapters. 

 

I think your Jesus Road story relates to Christianity very well, I've been impressed by some of your chapters. It's very focused and I love that, I've read a lot of books that claim to be Christian but don't actually care about the things of God. The author was more focused on telling a story which barely mentions God and doesn't care about anything the Bible has to say. Or they borrow a Bible verse and then don't pay any attention to the rest of the Bible. But you seem like you have managed to tell a story that is focused on the things of God. 

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@suspensewriter

I was just starting a new short story about a nurse with PTSD and was wondering what you thought of this opening?

The early morning rays of sun filtered through the blinds into her living room like shards of glass burrowing into her bloodshot eyes. Marybeth sat cross-legged in the center of her thread bare rug, an empty bottle of Jack Daniels capsized besides her, a black foot long KA-BAR knife with a fixed seven inch serrated blade in her lap.

Edited by Tom Laurie
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@Zee

On 3/21/2021 at 11:32 PM, Zee said:

Why do you hold the King James translation of the Bible in particular in such high esteem?

I'm sorry, Zee, for taking so long to answer your question!  I saw your question right away, but it was super late the other night and I was laying in bed.  Too lazy to get up and grab my notebook where I know I jotted some things down on that point.  I now have said notebook in front of me, and can coherently try to give you (and @suspensewriter) an answer. 😉

 

I suppose many people have simply never considered the question of translation.  The common thought is that each updated translation makes the Bible easier to understand, but actually, what you learn and read in some of these translations is not right.  

 

Here's an example in John 7:8.  God's Word, in the KJV, says, "Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come."

 

Let's take the NIV translation (however, other translations do this as well, I believe).  It omits the word "yet" in the above passage, implying that the Lord Jesus was lying, because He did go to the feast.  Jesus never said He wasn't going; He said He was going later, which He did.  Other translations take liberties such as this, discrediting the Word of God and undermining what Jesus said.  This example may seem like a small thing, but every word of God is pure and inspired, and must be taken into account.

 

The King James Version of the Bible is a literal translation for English-speaking people.

 

Matthew 24:35 says, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away."

 

I know I went on a bit, but I wanted to make sure I gave you an answer based on things I have learned from people who have studied it, and not just whatever came to my mind.  If you got all the way, thanks for reading this, and God bless! 

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50 minutes ago, Grey_Skies said:

Here's an example in John 7:8.  God's Word, in the KJV, says, "Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come."

 

The problem is different manuscripts @Grey_Skies.  The NIV uses the Nestle-Aland manuscript, and the KJV and the NKJV uses the Textus Receptus.  Both the NIV and the NKJV make clear the variant readings.

 

57 minutes ago, Grey_Skies said:

implying that the Lord Jesus was lying

 

And I don't get that impression at all, but I understand your concern and you think that only the KJV is divinely inspired, then I understand. 

 

Thanks for explaining that though, because it makes a lot more sense!

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1 hour ago, Grey_Skies said:

 


The King James Version of the Bible is a literal translation for English-speaking people.

 

 

Technically, it’s not a literal translation, nor are most versions of the Bible we have today. It’s what is known as a “complete equivalence” translation—things like grammar and word order have been adjusted to accommodate English rather than Greek.

 

I believe the KJV is translated from the Byzantine manuscripts, as is the NKJ and (maybe?) the ESV.

 

Other translations are based off of other ancient Bible texts, like the Wescott and Hort manuscript.

 

For a true literal translation, look for something like “Young’s Literal Translation,” which is a line for line, word for word transposition from Greek to English. It’s almost unreadable.

 

Definitely an interesting topic! Thanks for answering my question.

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Persistence of Memory started with an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon was complaining about the process of matter transmission in Star Trek. "They just kill you on the ship and make a copy of you on the planet. So why can't they just make the copy without killing you and kill the copy when it's done doing its job?"

 

By a coincidence, my daily Bible reading that day had been a chapter of Romans where Paul had spoken of covenants and how they became void when one of the parties was dead.

 

In the backstory of a character from another novel, his memories and personality had been re-embodied in a colony starship generations after his death. I was never very clear about why those memories had been preserved, but it struck me that a copy of a dead person could be legally defined as the original person to nullify a will, provided that someone had a vested interest in pursuing the matter to the highest level. 

 

Then I saw a YouTube video about a young man's reaction to thundersnow.

 

And so, a young felon is hired to record the memories of a dying recluse before to have a copy that can nullify the will.

 

Courtroom drama. A main character of questionable morals gets in over his head. Mind-body identity. And a dark and stormy night.

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10 hours ago, EClayRowe said:

 

Then I saw a YouTube video about a young man's reaction to thundersnow.

 

And so, a young felon is hired to record the memories of a dying recluse before to have a copy that can nullify the will.

 

Courtroom drama. A main character of questionable morals gets in over his head. Mind-body identity. And a dark and stormy night.

 

I agree, you really do have unexpected and intriguing ideas...but what in the world is thundersnow?

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Thundersnow is a phenomenon that combines a thunderstorm and a snowstorm. The clouds are usually so thick that you don't see much lightning. My grandson was heavily into reaction videos. I was researching the connection between climate change and increased snowfall as winter storms were tracking as far south as the Carolinas, and the young man lived in the DC area. 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, EClayRowe said:

Thundersnow is a phenomenon that combines a thunderstorm and a snowstorm.

I have experienced this. Thunder or snow on their own are awe-inspiring. Together they can stop the heart for a moment. 

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14 hours ago, Grey_Skies said:

This example may seem like a small thing, but every word of God is pure and inspired, and must be taken into account.

@Zee

 

May I offer an opposing view?

 

Martin Luther once said, "All translators are traitors."  I take this to mean that all translators make mistakes and the only way to truly understand the bible is to read it in Aramaic and Greek; a hard proposition for most of us. I believe that most translations have hidden biases. This is very prevalent in the NIV translation where their liberal bent comes across in many verses.

 

Even the KJV has its problems. My favorite is their rendition of the birth of Christ . As I understand it, when they came to translate the place where Mary and Joseph stayed in Bethlehem, they did not know the Aramaic word and they made there best guess and translated it as "Inn". From the time I first read the birth of Christ story, I always had trouble with the idea that Joseph took his family to Bethlehem with no better plan than to somehow find an Inn to stay in.

 

Some researchers went to modern-day Bedouin communities and asked them what that word was and  they said it was not "Inn."  It seems that many dwellings at that time had a main room surrounded by a platform with one or two other bedrooms off of this main room.  Most of the activities in the house took place in this main room and at night they brought the animals there to protect them. The second bedroom is what the Bedouins said was what the KJV translated as "Inn."

 

This makes more sense to me that Joseph went to stay with relatives and when he got there the second bedroom was full so they stayed in the main room with the animals at least at night. I like the KJV, but find it a little hard to read, so I mostly read the ESV now; but of course, many of the verses I've memorized over the years is from the KJV.

 

Just remember,  "All translators are traitors."

 

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