November 15, 2016
Note to readers: the following letter was originally written in August 2014. It has nothing to do with current politics. It was never mailed.
You are welcome to share your thoughts on my questions. I’ve spent 2 1/2 Nanowrimos on this fiction novel so far. I wasn’t able to participate this November and sorely miss the opportunity. But I do want to thank all the writers over there for their help during previous years.
Here was/is my “working title and cover.” It’s just something, you know, something.
I kept this letter to Donald Trump within my notes because although I never mailed it, I figured the questions within it could still help me flesh out my novel. I still have to answer them even if no one else helps me. But in view of the recent events, I remembered this letter, located it within my novel-notes, re-read it, and thought it might make an interesting post and who knows, perhaps readers will offer some insights that will help me make my novel sing. This also, I hope, qualifies for my Day Eighteen: Compose a Series of Anecdotes WordPress “assignment.”
Note to Donald Trump, now President Elect: Well I’ll be! Maybe I should have seen this coming. I do hope you read this. I do hope you take the time in between all the real and current pressing matters to think about the questions posed within my letter and have some fun talking about them with your family and whoever else you want to—because you can—nothing within my letter is “TOP SECRET” so it is something “safe” to discuss—and respond to me. You could think of this letter like others think about crossword puzzles or chess moves. Treat this like a game, something to take your mind off other things, and have some fun brainstorming. But do get back to me. Please. I have a story to write. Okay, here’s my old letter to you:
August 19, 2014
Hello Donald Trump,
I have a call in to the FBI. It has to do with profiling—character and crowd profiling. Apparently, the rumors are true; there really is an FBI department writers can call with their questions. But even so, there is only one person alive in the entire world who, according to a multitude of mentors, is capable of giving me credible insight into what might make a particular character within my fiction novel tick; and that’s you, Donald Trump.
I hope you take that as the compliment it is. Even though this character is not by any means always a nice guy, and even though some view him as notoriously evil, there is more to the man than myth. I am asking for your help in making this historical personage more realistic and therefore relatable to my readers.
I don’t want to know how Donald Trump came to be; I would like to have you share your insight and reasoning as to what might have been my characters background—his profile—what made him the man he became, with the understanding that you don’t really know. All you can do is use your imagination, with logical plausibility based on the same limited information others have about this historical man, and I’ll help.
Please help me “flesh him out” by allowing your thoughtful imagination to ponder his life and my questions and either call me, write me, or email me your input. Thank you so much.
My novel is fictitious and takes place about the year 36-3,700 B.C. My main character (I think at this point,) is a man named Peleg. That sentence in the Bible about Peleg has always fascinated me.
Genesis 10:25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one [was] Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name [was] Joktan.
I have wanted to write about that time for many years now. It captures my imagination. That was a real pivotal era to live in and a huge challenge to write about, even if only in fiction. Therefore, I’ve been researching those times scientifically and Biblically, geologically, and archaeologically, for a very long time.
The character I need some help with was a great-grandson of Noah, grandson of Ham and son of Cush: Nimrod.
Isn’t that something—for better or worse, the only living person people could compare him to for my sake is Donald Trump. That must feel weird to you. I repeat: I don’t want to model this real man after you. You and he are both individuals. But you do share some things with the mighty Nimrod that no one else does, like accomplishing multiple huge projects.
You’ve probably known about Nimrod for a long time. If not, he is certainly readily available to researchers. But theological or archaeological research about the man remains superficial. For character and plot development within a fiction book, I need to make him more human than myth and also give readers some aspects of his character that they can relate to and sympathize with.
Questions and/or suppositions for my story:
- Nimrod was born about 67 years after Noah’s flood. He has kids probably starting about age 30, when others of his generation did. But none of them seem to have been legitimate if he did.
- He was a man I estimate (using Biblical references) to have lived at least 239 years. That puts him about midland range in the age category of those times. Call it artistic license on my part. Not unreasonable.
- He, by my estimate, could have been born in Noah’s 666th Well, he could have, again, artistic license on my part. (I’m writing fiction, I just need things to be reasonably possible.)
- Nimrod was the sixth born son to Cush, and the youngest of his brothers. Was he a favored younger son? Did his brothers hate him or love him? Was he a class clown sort of guy or one who loved the limelight like youngest kids often do? Or what? Was he too much to handle? Was he sent away from his family for some reason or cherished? Did he strive to outdo his older brothers? Did they bully him? Was he submissive or vengeful?
- I know he had to have been smart, real smart.
- Documents record that he began his rise to fame and fortune by hunting, and not merely hunting, but by eventually using cheetahs (or leopards) to help him hunt. This makes me think he had to have an affinity with animals to be able to train them. Perhaps he began his familiarity with the animals because he was Noah’s great grandson (one of them.) Or perhaps he rescued a bird with a broken wing or a sheep from a wolf. However, I don’t picture him as a tyrant abusing animals as a small child. I don’t think Siegfried or Roy abused animals as children. Perhaps besides cheetahs, Nimrod developed hunting with falcons too. (Or maybe his eventual wife and perhaps also mother, Semiramis did.)
- Somehow, Nimrod gathered around him a following, and by the time Peleg was born, I estimate Nimrod was in his sixties—what would have been his prime. Babel, the tower of, was Nimrod’s first architectural endeavor. It failed. Languages were confused and chaos reigned. I find it of interest that humanity has not been able to achieve that one-world type of communication until now, with the internet and technology. So I find this significant. This will be a major plot point. Peleg’s birth.
- Some theorize that the continental drift happened then and peoples dispersed to far reaches of the globe. In spite of whatever really happened then, Peleg was born (a great nephew to Nimrod) and Nimrod, instead of being discouraged and compliant, somehow overcame the extreme communications barrier, regained his following, and went on to build at least three to five major cities.
- How did he do that? How did he manage and maintain his following?
- He had to employ architects, scribes, accountants, and maybe slaves and other workers, etc. Would people fear God or Nimrod? It could not have been totally by fear alone that Nimrod either kept or regained his followers.
- The man had to have charisma. He had to be able to convince people he was worthy to be listened to.
- Did he convince people God was more to be feared than himself?
- Did he connive to have people attack people and perhaps animals to attack people so he could make himself out to be their protector?
- Were his generals heroes of the people like Russel Honoré after Katrina or ruthless?
- Some accounts have Nimrod going to war. Wars would have been with his cousins and uncles, people who might have had good relations with him in his younger years. Why would he do that? What sort of slights would have caused the animosity? Those accounts have Nimrod as being the winner and Semiramis continuing to wage war after him for another forty years.
- What happened to that young kid I envisioned as helping animals? Did he begin his journey wanting to help people? Did the adulation of the crowd eventually distort his vision of himself? Did he wind up believing a lie about himself just because it was told so often?
- Did he build the world’s first zoo?
- Was he married during these exploits to Semiramis yet or did that come afterwards? Or, like some theorize, did he never get the chance to sow any wild oats because his own mother was Semiramis?
- Was she like his own mother? Was she his own mother as some documents hint at? Was she the opposite of his mother? Did his dad abuse his mother or brothers? Was his mother abusive? Were they normal parents? Did he love her or did she disgust him? Did he realize her vanity and manipulation? Did he use her before she used him?
Somehow, out of all these tangled webs sprouted over millennia about their relationship, I have to go with one that is at least plausible, however imperfect.
- Interesting to me is the fact that many of these cities of Nimrod surround the one city where Noah (who was still alive) settled. So, if this is all true, Nimrod sort of spit in his great grandfather’s face, maybe. Or was it all because Semiramis wanted it that way, kind of like King Herod’s daughter asking for John the Baptist’s head? It interests me because Nimrod’s father, Cush, settled in the area of Egypt. That’s pretty far from all the cities Nimrod built along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers—considering. Why did Nimrod do that when he could have continued to build in Egypt/Africa? Like a chess move with a reasoning behind it. Why was it done if not to spite Noah and Noah’s God?
On a side note, it is also interesting to remember the archaeological sites located around (and beneath) the Black Sea and the recently discovered Gobleki Tepe, a temple reportedly older than Stonehenge long buried with sand. (smithsonianmag.com ) Somehow these spots and the fairy chimneys in Turkey are going to figure in my story.
- What things might Nimrod have found offensive and wasteful? What things would he have found invaluable in people and acquirements? What would he have delegated in the years of the first “civilizations?” What things would he have not delegated under any circumstance? What type of person would he have had as his mentor? His sidekick? His enforcer?
I am not asking you for facts.
I am just looking for some possibilities. You are not Nimrod, which is a good thing. But of all people living today, I must agree with my mentors; you are in a unique position to offer me some valuable insight into what could have made Nimrod tick that no one else can. Will you play the game of what if with me for a little while and imagine?
Your participation could be in writing, or on tape, or via phone conversation or in person. (I live in the top retirement community within the US, so it is a nice place to visit.) Some of my best interviews happen while walking around here. (Read Interesting People I’d like You to Meet for examples.) I’d be surprised if you haven’t visited the “Blue Hole” on the Olympic Peninsula already.
Anyway, I’m hoping to have Nimrod fleshed out pretty well while I continue to plot and write this story.
Thank you for your time. Have a great day!
Sincerely, Leneé Cobb, dba: A Writer’s Helper
End Note to all readers: Okay, who’s game? What insights do you have on Nimrod? You are free to comment on Nimrod and Nimrod’s family and his generals. What were military terms back then? I have a big battle in my story I must write. I am still looking for people to interview who have visited or live in these areas: Lake Van and Cappadocia, etc. Please keep in mind I have had to figure out (according to the Bible flood story) how many trees and how tall they’d bee and how many animals there would have been at intervals: 20 years after the flood, 30 years, 236 years, etc. Where the descendants of Noah were (and keep mental track of all that) and (make up) what brought them to those places. There is a lot of research for this particular historical fiction novel (or series.) My M/C is Peleg who operates something akin to the Pony Express.