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I hope that this blog will become a place to look after my writing ideas and that, over time, I can use it to archive all my favourite creative sites on the web. Maybe others will enjoy it too.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Setting: a resolution

So, after sleeping on it, I think I now have the problem of setting solved.  Once I'd done that, my main character gave me his name.  Turns out he'd been rather petulant about it because I should have known that the story would not be set in Central Europe at all.

I think it best if I explain it roughly how he explained it to me.  It couldn't be a novel set in Europe, historical or otherwise, because I was essentially writing about the rise of a dictator.  If I wrote about one rising now then the novel would swiftly become out of date and hackneyed; if I wrote in the past I would automatically be creating an alternative history with all of the attendant problems that this would create and potential glaring inaccuracies.  If I set it in the future I would run the similar risk of becoming dated by messing up predictions.  It had, therefore, to be set in an analogous setting, like Europe but not Europe.  Attendant to that I had to avoid Germanifying the whole setting - if I created a Germany and a dictator in it then I would be reinforcing everything that I do not believe about the rise of the NSDAP being peculiarly German.

As it is a mainly character-driven piece I could not really make it too moral a tale either - there would have to be an acceptance that some of what my main character was doing not only made sense but may actually be good ideas, and I can't tell the audience which are good ideas and which are downright evil - that means not focussing on the Jews, you see, and that would require an analogous Europe to play properly.

So, there you go.

His name is William.  He lives in Merkavia.  It turns out the analogous setting was one that I have been inadvertantly creating for some years and didn't notice was a full-blown and working place!

I should also point out that I have been messing with technology level.  We have steam trains and stevedores and top-hatted industrialists but also motor cars, telephones and tannoy.  By the end of the story we'll be dealing with computers, internet, mobile phones and social mobility.  It's all a bit mixed up.  No velcro though because of no rocketry to the moon, which means no ICBMs, but we'll have jets.  Yeah, I know, anaologous settings: the lazy way to plot novels!

Now, on to tonight's writing!

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