Thank you all for accepting my writing experiments! To be honest, I wrote “Prologue” on the spot because I had an urgent need to write, and knew I wouldn’t work on it if no one could see it. (It’s probably me getting used to instant gratification.)
I realize now, however, that I did not work out the timeline in advance, and that I skip forward from my own familiarity with the early Web through early “gay”-rights years, and then seem to jump forward to the current apocalyptic scenario of climate change and pandemic, while dropping 15 years off of my narrator’s age (as compared with my own experiential perspective).
That means that should I continue the story in that framework, it will be an alternate timeline…one in which we’re 15 years in the past and still experiencing trauma via our environments. That also means that I might be looking at the CFC/Ozone Hole scenario gone uncorrected; which, most strikingly to my mind, mimics what I have had to do recently, with becoming nocturnal. That is, if we had not stopped using CFCs, the ozone layer would likely have eroded to the point where skin cancer rates would have jumped, crops would have burned and failed, and it’s probable we would have had to become active at night to avoid the sun in the daytime.
That’s not to mention the ramifications of what would happen if we allowed DDT to continue killing top predators. Then there is the drought I lived through in California in the early to mid-1980’s, which it seems everyone is used to, now. (We’ve gotten better at water conservation, since then, at least in California [though not so much in agriculture]…unless you look at the newer practice of hydraulic fracturing poisoning the groundwater. I don’t know if that is happening in this state, however.)
But I’m not aiming to get into worldbuilding. I’ve tried it…I don’t really like to do it. Maybe it’s because I was doing it without a focus on the main conflict; there are a lot of things that I could change, but I need a compelling reason to do so. At least, if I focus on minimalism and function in the story’s architecture.
I do have a couple of friends about 10 years younger than myself, whom I might be able to consult with as regards their experience of the IRL timeline…I haven’t, because I didn’t think of it. I actually don’t know what it must be like to have grown up with the Internet and Personal Computers and Web subculture(s) already established, or even having grown up in a time where gender fluidity and nonduality were recognized.
When I was young, we were still dealing with Fundamentalist hate, the AIDS epidemic, censorship of LGBT depictions, and lack of LGBT hate crime protections. We hadn’t gotten to the “QIA+” part of LGBT, and the “T” in LGBT often went unknown. We were, that is, largely operating on the basis of “sexual orientation” without realizing that the situation of protecting people from targeted emotional, physical and societal violence was not equivalent to toleration of perversion. (Not that I see non-Straightness as perversion, but the fact of the matter is that the mass of the hate coming out in those days had to do with [nominally] Straight people thinking that difference from themselves equaled Evil.)
I can’t even remember the last time I worked on the story I began in, “Prologue.” I’m dealing with some fundamental shifts in perspective and subject. There are so many things to work out in that piece that it will have to be rewritten from the ground up. I’m not particularly sure how best to do that on a platform such as this. I’ll have to age up my protagonist, which means I can’t let them shoot their mouth off like their 23-year-old self anymore. :) I don’t know, maybe that would keep more readers, heh.
I realize I left a hook in that piece, and don’t know how to satisfy it now without …well, let’s say that I made an attempt to write a beginning. The voice seems forced; the scenario is there, though making one of my characters an older transgender non-physically-transitioning person (for now)…that’s new.
They were always older, but making him/her transgender or nonbinary (s/he hasn’t revealed this yet) as versus a not-particularly-manly male with affections for another male…it kind of inserts a lifelong learning situation which could lead to the possibility of his/her empathy. The way s/he was defined early on (when I was a teen)…they were essentially nearly genderless, a creature of dreams and not, particularly, the human world.
That’s a good point to keep in mind, I think, although giving them a voice of their own also implies that they have thoughts of their own and interactions with the human world. (In earlier versions, they controlled the environment, which was their, “voice.” I may be able to work in a reference, to that. Of course, it’s referring to my possibly-obliterated 3.5″ floppy disk copies of work done in the 1990’s…but who’s counting.)
All of which is reminding me of an acquaintance. They’re actually really cute, but I’ve been too shy to say anything…which I bet they would totally understand!
Then there’s the role of the character who narrated, “Prologue,” which is separate from me but also an iteration of an initial main character/narrator, who honestly wasn’t thought through…particularly when it came to what he did when upset. He had always been sheltered/protected, so it is really unclear what’s going to happen if he gets pushed to his limits (though I did have a nightmare about that). I’m not entirely sure who he is, at the moment, as viewed by other people; though I have conjectures.
The painful part of this is that he does have an element of relative darkness (which I had been afraid to get into in my early work with him, on and off the page; I was trying to sanitize things). It’s likely going to drive the earlier parts of the plot. It will be interesting to have an intrinsically flawed narrator.
There’s another post in me, but I’ll type it in separately; it’s a different topic whatsoever. I didn’t intend or expect to get into this post, the way I did…