Friday, March 12, 2010

Seeing Green

I just got home from seeing Green Zone with friends (ex-military and civilians), and was reminded why I politely bow out of anything political. Especially when it involves a huge topic like war and its catalysts.

That aversion includes my novels. Though one multi-published friend told me authors can't write a good sci-fi/fantasy novel without a political structure and the converging plotlines those power shifts evoke.

The only book I've written that remotely contains politics was my first novel (the one I sold), TAKE ME IN YOUR HEART. However, I didn't do straight modern day politics...I went with a caste system similar to the middle ages. Using that structure I created the order I needed without having to deal with the twists and turns (or call it order/disorder) of democracy.

The thing I found most interesting about Green Zone, is that whether or not the viewer believes the events that unfold as truth, what is laid out step by step makes them think about who's pulling the chords to those events. In effect, it treats the characters as chess pieces, just like what happens in every day life. Some of the moves are inevitable like going to school, to work, submitting to your boss' orders, social mores, etc.

However, it's also interesting to think what would happen if people bucked the system...chaos? Perhaps not. What if taking that "forbidden" step is the means to being happy? What if the outcome is love? How many times have we seen heroes and heroines step outside their original selves to become who they were meant to be? Isn't that what makes the character arcs we love and must have in a great book?

What do you fantasy and sci-fi novels require politics be involved to enhance the romance or action with extra conflicts or enhance their motivation?

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1 comment:

Linda Andrews said...

I don't think politics are required especially if the story takes place far away from the heart of civilization. Most of the decisions I make don't involve thoughts of politics so why would I expect that to be in the stories I read?