I felt like a knife stabbed my heel all night.
Oh waa waa. Enough of that.
I had a wonderful compliment regarding my story in Thuglit. They've been rolling in privately, but this one said what every author loves to hear, which was basically, I was sorry when it was over. I wanted to spend more time with the character. It's odd because I've toyed a bit with the idea of making a book with her. She's just "her". She has no name.
Alas. I'm deep into The Silver Scar and other projects.
I'm thinking a lot about setting as character, influencing everything from political and socio-economic situations for various tribes to faith, which also is a major player in the book. What I fear is that I'm not taking it all far enough. A writer must jump in with both feet and tread cold seas without hesitation. And I feel hesitant. Or not quite hesitant, but not quite enough either, if that makes sense. I haven't tapped into what makes the setting round out into a flesh-and-blood living world.
I think everything must be taken to what I call believable extremes. I've just read a futuristic in which all technology is erased by a mysterious "event" (aka, THE ROAD, one of many things I hate about that stupid book), so people are thrust back into medieval times. They wear armor, fight with swords, and operate under feudal states. I don't think this is entirely believable, set in the US. Even after 9 years of hardship and death, would people blithely just follow? Perhaps, but I sense there's not enough discord or conflict. In a 500 page book only one guy protested, "I used to be an American. I used to be free, damn it." 9 years in, I think a lot of people would still be saying it.
My book is set in 2065. The adult characters have little notion of a world as we know it, though upon revision I plan to have an old character hearken back. Global warming and religious- and eco-terrorism has set in enough to cause poverty and a quick break with American freedom. Local marshal law rules the land while battling ambitious Bishops, independent tribes, persecuted Wiccans, and wealthy Mexican slavers.
The foundation of the story rests on the fact that in dire straights, people turn to their faith for comfort. And with that emotional reliance comes whatever money and aid they can supply and receive. The Church becomes the foundations of the towns because many people in the towns are Christians. Wicca and paganism draw outlying peoples--independents from the mountains and county lands, because in Colorado, many people who live on property or in mountainous, self-imposed seclusion are not Christian. This is anecdotal, of course, but I don't think it would take all that long for organized towns to begin to rely on whoever has the money, and in my book, it's the Church. I chose the Episcopal Church for my town because I wanted an American church heavily rooted in tradition while also being socially progressive, as my lead character is gay. It's also my feeling that the Catholic church by that time might cut and run down to more fertile ground in Mexico. Not that there are no Catholic churches, but the Episcopal Diocese is more or less in charge.
I think I need more though: death and illness, refined place description, back-story of setting affecting decisions and mores of the story. There's a sort of missing cohesion. Maybe I shouldn't fuss over it when I don't even have the first draft finished yet, but there you go. If a fucked up ankle isn't enough, then I'll procrastinate via insecurity.
Sigh. Opinions on this mess?