Regarding SCAR, I've come to the conclusion that I've created a world so dark and grim and peopled with such dark characters that readers don't care if the crusade comes along and wipes them all out.
The technical term for this is "OH SHIT."
I think I found a solution, one that requires me to further research Peak Oil. I've taken a look at this before but the general consensus (some of it reads like someone from a compound wrote it but it makes a damn lot of sense) is that we'll be thrust back into the dark ages well before the end of the century. Even "alternative fuels" all rests on oil. There's even a theory that kids born after 2005 will never need to learn to drive a car. (I'd push that to 2010 or 2015; 16 years goes by FAST and people just don't change their ways that quick.)
My husband has done some work for the oil industry, and while yes, we have peaked, leaving us with the difficult half of the oil to retrieve, and yes, it won't take much of a downslide to make prices soar and fighting over resources to break out (coughcoughIraq), our technology to retrieve that difficult half has grown exponentially.
But my interest lies in the fact that by 2065, the world very well may be very different, and much smaller, than the world we experience now. That's my target date for the book. I think I chose it because I'm guessing it's just outside my lifetime.
I believe this much is true: we're already in the Oil Wars Age. By 2065, we may well be on the other side of it, or near the end (or Armageddon, which signifies Major Change to thinking Christians). And then what? If transportation is so expensive that it stops global war, that it cuts mass food production, medicine, research, the internet and all technology, what then? How do we survive?
The Cubans learned how, when the USSR collapsed in the early 90s. And in SCAR, my Indigos have learned. My Wiccans have learned. Each group has a particular respect for the world. Those groups aren't perfect, but they're my pockets of hope. It's funny. I saw the book heading that way naturally and I pushed it in another direction. Now I get to go revise. Yay. But I think it'll help solve my issues. And no, I don't believe the "Christian Establishment" will do all that well. I think they'll react very similarly to what I've created in the book: with walls and martial law.
So I'm off to face this particular struggle. What's your struggle today?