Thursday, August 6, 2009

The problem is this book, this historical novel. We imagine ancient warriors as rough, tough, wild and wooly hombres. Here's the thing though. These particular warriors believe God has deeded a land to them through promises made to their forefathers and a covenant (treaty) made with their people after He delivered them from 400 years of slavery.

Now, to have a good story, there's gotta be a catch. Here's the catch: there's already somebody living there. A lot of somebodies. And these folks are also rough, tough, wild, etc.

I mentioned the covenant, didn't I? This is important. The covenant stated that God would give the land to these people He rescued (He has His own reasons for wanting the previous occupants gone. Let's just say that it's kinda like owning a rental house and having bad renters). In return these folks have to live there and take care of the place and not serve any other gods. You know, set a good example for the rest of the neighborhood.

So here we are about 500 years in, and the new guys aren't doing so good. They're fighting each other as much as the people they're supposed to kick out. Plus they are having real problems with serving just one God, so He's not helping them as much as He might if they were faithful. I mean, honestly, would you be prone to very nice to your significant other if he/she were out foolin' around. Nah, me either.

Fortunately, we have heroes. One in particular. This guy fought so hard and so long in one of these battles that the muscles in his sword hand seized up so that his hand froze shut on his sword hilt and he couldn't turn loose. His buddies are just as hardcore as he is and together they wreak a whole lot of havoc.

But we can't have several hundred pages with just one long fight scene, as much fun as that stuff is to read (and write). So being people (like you or I), these guys have issues; you know, like a life away from the battlefield and dealing with other people and all the other junk that goes with being alive and running around loose on this planet, trying to get your stuff together.

More about that later.