I’m slowly honing in on the plot for Suns. Er, sort of plot. Here’s the problem (and this is always the problem): I have characters. I have a world, or at least part of one that I can later flesh out. What happens? What’s the conflict?
Um. Conflict, right. I’m more interested in what’s going on inside people’s heads than I am in the external events. Which makes for fascinating reading for me, but not so much of a novel.
I’m thinking some sort of coup or radical political disaster because, hey, that’s how I lean. Which brings up another thought that gives my brain something to play with: is it possible to write, for an American audience, the tale of a coup that does not succeed? That is, could I write a book that has the established order challenged by an outside force that’s not necessarily evil, and have the established force prevail? How much moral ambiguity do I get to play with there?
Reading the books that I do, they tend to fall under one or the other type: an evil (something) is looking to overthrow the Good Guys, generally with nihilistic intent, and Our Heroes need to stop them. There, that’s most of fantasy. Then, there’s the Evil Corporation/Government/Society that’s repressing the individual, and Our Heroes must overthrow them. That would be science fiction. Can you actually write a book that’s Our Heroes are part of the established regime, and they’re fighting against Someone Else’s Heroes (maybe misguided, but not evil) and Our Heroes manage to keep the current government, etc, etc in charge?
Are we wired now to think that all governing bodies are corrupt and should be overthrown? Or that all that oppose us are necessarily evil and must be repelled? How does that work?
Fantasy may not be the place to explore that … but it might be. And Egypt, where most people were pretty satisfied with the social structure – satisfied enough that it managed to survive mostly intake for nearly 3000 years – might be the place to do it. I can’t work out precisely how that would work, but it’s an idea I’ve been kicking around for awhile. Indeed, it might work better if I ever revive the Mythic Heights project.
Consecutive days of writing: 001
Longest previous streak: 007
Word count since 4/30/09: 5859