Shifting Gears: When Your Novel Idea Turns Into a Novel Roadblock

I had this great idea for a novel.  This idea has actually evolved into six very good chapters.  Now I’m not so sure they are that good.

I’m currently writing a post-apocalyptic novel about how I used to think the world might end.  As a Christian, I believe that the Bible is truth, but didn’t fall in line with the pre-tribulation rapture people basking in the glow of the Left Behind series.  I don’t really want to go into it here, but I think that the idea that Jesus is going to come and rapture all the Christians away before the real end times work starts is really a bunch of hogwash.  As a matter of fact, I’m beginning to think that it maybe it might have already happened, but who knows?

If you just can’t get enough of this stuff, check out this article.  Quite frankly, there are more than enough people out there with more than enough views about the end times and what Revelation and Daniel have to say about it.  Shoot, I just wanted to write a post-apocalypse novel about the way I thought I saw the end times happening according to what I thought the Bible might say about it.

The point is, who cares?  I mean, when Jesus comes back I don’t think there will be anyone holding up a calendar and a watch complaining that He arrived too early or too late.  But I digress…

Since I don’t really know what I believe about the end times, Revelation and the book of Daniel (and I am no scholar by any means), I have hit a snag with my novel now and don’t really know where to go with it.  I really want to finish it because I think I have a really good story that will keep people interested, full of suspense, intrigue, intricately woven plot hooks and more death and destruction than you could shake a stick at… if you really shake sticks at stuff like that.

I’ve alienated more than my share of Christian friends over this end-times stuff (including my mother) and just want to write a compelling story that hopefully will make readers wanting more throughout this massive tome of mine.

So I’ve come up with a plan.  It involves alienating even more people (probably) and hopefully we will all get a good laugh out of it someday.  I plan on writing a parody of all the end-times stuff.  You heard it right, I’m going to write a novel that parodies the Left Behind series, what it means to be an end times hero, and generally poke fun at the entire genre by saying in essence that nobody really knows what will happen in the end.

Wish me luck.  Any feedback I could get will be appreciated and heeded.  I will be handling this with kid gloves as I know I don’t want to offend people.  I won’t be going about it as a skeptical non-Christian would, but as someone exploring my own thoughts about it, and the logical problems I have with a lot of it.  It will be funny like the apocalypse was in the final episode of Angel season five.

Just know, dear reader, that if you are in the middle of a project that you no longer believe in, don’t waste all that research and hard work by hitting the delete button.  Spend an afternoon or two (like I did) trying to find a way to salvage it so that you can then pour yourself into it again.

My first attempt was in third person singular and was very dark in tone (two things I don’t do well), but now I will fall on my strengths which are first person narratives and off the wall humor.  Here’s laughing at the apocalypse.  Maybe I’ll get it done before December 21st of next year.


Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

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