Friday, October 29, 2010

The Problem with Judges

I don’t lack for ideas. Some are better than others, but I can hardly see anything and not get some kind of story idea from it. But my favorite so far has been retelling the story of Hosea in a modern setting, which I did in For the Love of a Devil. Hosea’s life story is just one of those stories that works so well for that. Granted, it is hard story to read, but it worked very well. I would like to try that again with another Bible story.

In some ways, Judges seems like an ideal place to look for a story like that, and yet it is less than ideal. The thing about Judges is that the protagonists of are flawed individuals who are used by God, but only after much persuasion. Then after he used them to accomplish his purpose, many of them make bad choices. We sort of like seeing happily ever after stories in which a flawed individual learns from his mistakes and changes his life.

Another problem I have with Judges is that these are primarily war stories. The people were oppressed because of their sin, they turned to God and God used a warrior to deliver them. I could write a story like that, but I’m not sure I want to. Then again, it isn’t like I have a ton of readers I have to please. I could try my hand at speculative fiction instead of trying to frame the story in present day America. I don’t think I would want to do a straight retelling in the same place and time period because I don’t want to rewrite history, but could change the setting. Of course, me being me, I would stick so close to the Bible story that people would know where the idea came from.

What about you? What story would you like to write in the future?