Writing the End Times Mystery


Posted On Oct 1 2013 by

end-times

I was a fan of the Left Behind series. Seriously, who wasn’t? Jenkins did a superb job of story telling that spanned 16 novels. That’s an amazing feat. I enjoy any novel about the last days and God’s final plan for the Earth. But I’ve been thinking lately…what if the End Times could be used as just another setting? I looked it up and found one novel about a cop in the last days. It was a secular novel and a good premise. Imagine investigating a murder when you knew the end of the world was approaching.

From a Christian perspective, however, we know that the last days may take ten years, a hundred, maybe even another thousands. In fact, the New Testament writers of the first century claimed they were in the last days. The arrival of Christ marked the beginning of the end. So we’re quite correct when we say we live the last days. Of course, that’s theology. We want fun fiction.

the calm before the storm

I named my site “the calm before the storm” because that’s where I see America, and the world, right now. Or very soon. I imagine an entire set of genres built around this end times setting. After all, just because the economy has crashed, or an EMP has been detonated, or a plague has wiped out 90% of the population, it doesn’t mean that life doesn’t go on. We’ve had devastating plagues before. People still fall in love. Murders still happen. Suspense is still in full swing.

A romance in the calm before the storm? Why not? We could have another fifty years before God’s final judgement. Ain’t gonna spend it alone. A murder mystery after a devastating plague? Sure. People still commit crimes. Someone has to solve them. A thriller is a given. The vote’s still out on Chik Lit, but I’m up for any possibility.

 Writing the End Times novel

My current novel in progress, For Another Tomorrow, takes place after the Last Great Crash. The economy is in ruins. Starvation is rampant. America is divided into a pre-Constitution type of civilization, where every state and community create their own laws, their own currency, and fight among themselves. No zombies. No nuclear fallout. No roving bands of cannibalistic bikers (seriously, just once I’d like to see a roving band of vegetarian bikers). Just people trying to make a new life in a new America, or Americas, depending on how this shakes out (I ain’t tellin’).

In For Another Tomorrow, my protagonist finds himself the key witness in the murder of a cop. The problem? My protagonist is on the run from the federal authorities, who are still trying to hold America together, so he can’t reveal himself. Because he values justice as much as he values his freedom, his only choice is to solve the murder himself and lead the local police down the trail without giving himself away. In his quest for truth, he discovers that faith is his, and America’s, only hope for reconciliation.

That, my friends, is an End Times Mystery. It’s the calm before the storm. When life goes on. While there’s still time.

What are your thoughts? Can the End Times before God’s final judgement serve as a setting for any genre?

 

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Last Updated on: October 1st, 2013 at 6:06 am, by Ron


Written by Ron

Just about everything I believe has been shaped by the written word. But books don't force a belief; they stir the imagination so that you, the reader, eventually draw your own conclusions. We grow richer in spirit when we read, deeper in our understanding of the universe and our role in it. That's why I read. That's why I write. To offer you a bit of myself. Come along on my journey, won't you? There's plenty of room.


4 responses to “Writing the End Times Mystery

  1. Ron;
    This is an interesting idea – placing the Christian Contemporary novels in the END TIMES as a setting
    without it being a Speculative Fiction. I hadn’t really given it much thought due to the LEFT BEHIND SERIES. I kind of had the thought it’d been covered and other than some of the earlier films that came out it all used THE END TIMES as the subject rather than the setting.
    I’ll be watching and ‘following’ you as you go gather info here.
    I can see a Romance, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, and even a Western. I probably wouldn’t write any of those myself, but I’ll sure be interested in seeing what you and others might come up with.
    Blessings on your projects,

    • Thanks Joy. After Left Behind and a slew of other end times fiction, I began to tire of the genre. We have to remember that our fiction is first and foremost the story of one or two characters. The setting is incidental. I think that’s where most end time fiction gets it wrong. They try to tell the whole story, instead of focusing on a smaller part of the story as seen through one character’s eyes. I’m really pulling for the end times romance. If someone doesn’t take up the slack I’ll just have to do it myself!

  2. Great post. I’ve been thinking about doing an End Times novel for NaNoWriMo this year and this gave a lot of insight. Good luck on your work in progress! 🙂

    • Katie, I may do the same. I’m hoping to have my outline comlpete by then. Once I have that, 1500 words a day isn’t too bad. Keep in touch. I’d love to see what you come up with.