I’m coming to the end of my second book, ‘Kold Kronicles Book Two: Defiance’ and am in the middle of writing a big battle scene. As always you need to balance being descriptive with not glorifying violence. Can be a difficult balance as I know from my own experience and reading comments of other authors. However, I need to remember, I’m merely writing fantasy…
The other thing about coming to the end of something that, in this case, has taken almost two years to write is that you begin to feel a sense of loss. Y’know, guilt, sadness, but most of all, what the hell am I going to write about in the next book? That’ll be ‘Kold Kronicles Book Three: Deliverance’ then.
As you would imagine, research is important in any writer’s work. For Book 2 I looked at the impact of a laser guided bomb exploading near a human body. So, what effect would that have? Answer – it ain’t nice. What would be the result of gene splicing a Brazilian Banana Spider with a Camel Spider, aka Wind Scorpion? Answer – somewhat frightening. How dangerous would a group of gene spliced super beings be, i.e. the Schlachten, as a war-fighting unit? Answer – you don’t wanna know. Seriously, you don’t. They even frighten me. However, I’m merely writing fantasy…
Let’s then consider the world your characters inhabit. You can look at the works of various political writers from throughout history for help in devising what you might create, (remember, I’m merely writing fantasy.) I’ve found Montesquieu’s philosophy that ‘government should be set up so that no man need be afraid of another’ quite interesting. Look him up, quite a guy. Obviously good points as well as some that are questionable, but he was a writer of his time, 1689 – 1755. Context again. He talks about the distribution of power. About not linking the three elements of judicial, legislative and executive power because if you do: There would be an end of everything, were the same man or the same body, whether of the nobles or of the people, to exercise those three powers, that of enacting laws, that of executing the public resolutions, and of trying the causes of individuals. (‘Montesquieu: The Spirit of the Laws, Book XI Chapter 6)
He also defined three types of government: republican, monarchical, and despotic. In the first the people is possessed of the supreme power; in a monarchy a single person governs by fixed and established laws; in a despotic government a single person directs everything by his own will and caprice.
So, I’m thinking this could be the basic scenario for the next book. The Connectome, (the über bad, rich group mentioned in Book 2), are after a world which will bend to their will and allow them to accrue even more wealth. To succeed requires a puppet head of state. They make use of what I laughingly call ‘social media’, (I’ve written about that misnomer here); ‘dark money’ and a browbeaten, morally corrupt, bicameral system; add blackmail and violence and the result is the placement of a head of state who has, by using all of the above, been able to conjoin all three elements of the society concerned into one person’s hand – his.
This, as Montesquieu wrote: ‘… would be an end of everything…’ Since you’d have a despotic government, where ‘a single person directs everything by his own will and caprice.’ Yep, that’s worth thinking about as a framework since, as I’ve already mentioned, I’m merely writing fantasy.
Let me build on that a tad further. In the next book I’m considering a scenario where a key character is someone whose business background and personal appetites make him puppet to an enemy power; who uses ‘social media’ to direct foreign and domestic policy utilising dog whistle politics; who alienates foreign countries who have been allies for decades; responds to opponents with vitriol and spleen; and who, finally, is unaware of those manipulating his strings. He thinks he is successful because he knows his base believe he can do no wrong – no matter what he does; whilst others cannot believe that their country is sleepwalking into tyranny. That is until my ‘good guys’ take him on.
Hmmm, could work. Needs some character development and fleshing out a bit though.
Obviously, this scenario can never happen since I’m merely writing fantasy.
Phew! What a relief, eh?
J J Mitchell
‘Never leave anyone behind’