This blog post is brought to you by the awesome Cedar Sanderson, author of nineteen novels in science fiction / fantasy.
Yes. I feel I now need to step up my game. The best I can do is a guest blog over on her site.
Like me, Cedar is also not someone who likes .... gah ...politics. But, again, like I did, she tried to get away, but they reel her back in. Even when she's designing kittens with butterfly wings from scratch.
No, I'm not kidding. Though I may be getting ahead of myself. She's obviously a metric ton smarter than I am, as she is currently going after a dual degree in forensic science and microbiology.
I better let her explain.
That, and I have this tendency (again, I never meant to do this!) to write fantasy, which involves creating whole new worlds. In order to explain how they work, and the civilization hangs together, I must dabble in politics. It drives me crazy, and every time I have to get into it, I wind up blocked and behind schedule.
It’s taken me a while to figure out what it is that gets me, and why I wind up unable to write politics. I am, on a personal level, determinedly apolitical. I vote, and I won’t vote unless I have some idea who I’m voting for/against (and I won’t get into the voting for lesser weevils most Presidential elections leave me doing). But I’m not at all interested in it other than that. This is why I have trouble with writing it. Politics makes me feel like B’rer Rabbit fighting the Tar Baby. No matter how much you struggle, you just get stucker.
Which leaves me feeling all sticky when I write about politics. In the current series, I’m writing a fantasy world which touches on ours, and which is run by a non-heritable monarchy backed by an aristocratic council. In some ways – they have a Charter – it’s a bit like the American system. I didn't write it intending to be that, I was spinning off threads in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the king and queen of Faerie. It’s a very old, stagnant society, but it works, and as one character points out, why mess with that?
I think that is the core of it. I see politicking as lying, and I can’t abide deceit and manipulation. Any political-types in my books are likely to be portrayed as shady at best. The Queen of High Court in the current book was given an offer she couldn’t refuse – not and keep her life and freedom. I think I’m looking forward to the next book, set in our mundane world, with a little plot and… darnit. Small town politics.
‘Scuse me. I have a muse to go hunt down and have a conversation with.