Tuesday 22 March 2011

So, what's the story?

Hello again

Since this is, ostensibly, a writing blog related to my writing process, I should probably give you an idea of what it is that I am writing.
I'm in the process of writing a fantasy book which is going to be split into three parts. Or a fantasy story which is going to be spread across three books; I'm not sure which (and that will be a topic in a later blog post), although I know where the two clear "inflection points" are.

In any case, from now on I'll refer to it as "the book".

The book is set in a land called Tínadé, which is ruled as a theocracy. The Laws are enforced by monks - who are sort of like the police (not The Police; they're not a white ska-reggae-funk combo with a tantric-sex practicing lead singer/bassist, although I'd imagine they are alike in that they all hate the drummer :-)) - and priests - who are more threatening and dangerous, and, as the book begins, are the only people who can use magic.

This set-up is the result of a Great War fought centuries ago between two races of men (in this world, there are only humans - no elves or dwarves or ogres or other fantasy races), and the victors have enforced their particular doctrine ever since.

In the aftermath of the war, the victorious race hunted down the remnants of the losing side, and there are now very few of them left.
There are various traits that are used by the monks to identify members of the other race, and once identified, these people are punished; one of the key traits is that only the losing race is physically able to give birth to twins.

It begins - and the majority of Part 1 is set - in a small village far to the south of Tínadé, where one
family find themselves drawn into the remnants of this conflict due to matters beyond their control.

As the book opens, a harsh winter is setting in, and a woman is pregnant...

The intention is that the plot, the history (and various sides' interpretations of what truly happened) will be revealed gradually through the book.
I've taken the idea that "history is written by the winner" and its logical counterpoint - that the loser will have a different version that is simply not written down - and added to that the knowledge that the true history lies somewhere in between, with plenty of subtleties that are ignored by both sides, and I'm trying to challenge the reader's conception of what they think they know at a few key points of the story.

I don't want to say too much more on the story, since I'd hope that the beauty of the book (if it has any) comes from its gradual unfolding of the plot. Since none of the characters have more information than that at the outset, that is the information that the reader has too.

In a later blog post, I'll talk about the challenge of writing a fantasy novel and the idea about whether it's a single novel in three parts or a story written across three books.

Take care,

Mad Iguana......

No comments:

Post a Comment