Forum / Using The Bible in stories

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    Kevin Myrick
    Feb 02, 08:20am

    Good morning Fictionauts!

    For the past few weeks, I've been on a Bible-themed writing kick. So my question to the audience is this: are a) these types of literary fiction stories interesting to anyone and b) is it cliche to use scripture these days?

    I'm not writing anything I'd call "Christian-themed" instead I am looking to write stories based loosely on the stories told in the Bible. For instance, Cain and Abel or Daniel in the Lion's Den, etc.



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    sara t.
    Feb 02, 10:38am

    Check out the work of Beate Sigriddaughter here on fictionaut, (i think thats how its spelled). She uses the bible in very very interesting ways and has gotten some good feedback.

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    Kevin Myrick
    Feb 02, 10:58am

    Thanks for the suggestion. Will do.


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    Josh Spilker
    Feb 02, 03:57pm

    think i'm going to do some stuff w/ old hymns. the language is really rich.

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    Kevin Myrick
    Feb 02, 05:50pm

    I've done that with an idea I have for a novella Josh. Let me know how it works out for you.

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    dj barber
    Feb 03, 10:04pm

    Oh,so many themes, good v. evil, family disputes, sex, war, incest, kings, queens, dreams, visions, ET's...
    A great resource for the imagination to expand upon.


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    Andrew Bowen
    Feb 05, 01:53pm


    There's a reason the Bible is the best-selling book on the's a great short story collection.

    There are ways in which using the Bible could end up cliche, and that's only because it's done with such frequency. The trick is to create something fresh. All of my fiction has something to do with theology and I'm getting great feedback. I think the trick is in using theology as a flavor to the story instead of allowing it to dominate the plot. That's where folks get twitchy.

    Hope this helps.


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    Kevin Myrick
    Feb 05, 02:45pm

    Thanks Andrew! I'll keep that in mind for future stories.

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    Tree Riesener
    Feb 18, 09:02am

    I write a lot of stories loosely based on, circling around, reacting to the Bible. Insofar as submitting them to magazines and having some acceptances, I have found places that tend to have well-educated (in a classical sense) readers are more receptive. Beloved singer Leonard Cohen once said a writer can no longer count on a readership sharing a common body of knowledge. Now that we are so multi-cultural, it's obvious that's true, especially when we are not being Christian-centric. Whether working intertextually or with allusions to mythology or with Biblical underpinnings, a writer must ensure that the story works on different levels--a level where readers may be missing a lot of allusions and structure and a level for the discerning who get a lot more out of the story. I think I can point to one of my stories posted here, Who Do You Say I Am, as a good example of this. Many people enjoy it who have no idea of the theological "stuff" going on inside the story. If you give it a read, I'd love to know what you think. Oh, one more thought. I've found that sometimes "regular" editors will say they don't like religious stories and religious editors will say the story is blasphemous. Yup. It's happened to me, about a very serious story.

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    Jon Davies
    Feb 18, 09:32pm

    I'm with Andrew Bowen on this. (Or you could go the Steinbeck route and make everything an allegory--but I'm not too keen on allegory myself.)

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