A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Character creation continued and a glimpse into a new world

When last we left our intrepid authoress...

We were discussing my latest pain in the rear guest Ashe Rae Steinburg.  Ashe slipped in one day during revisions on ONLY A NAME and refused to leave.  We know her general age, appearance, and a little bit of her background.  Over the last week, I have devoted some time to figuring out more about her.  This is what I've put together for my freakish little Domme.

Ashe comes from a world where all forms of sexual pleasure are forbidden.  It is, in fact, a world where breeding is controlled by the politicians in power.  The only time you have sex is for the continued procreation of the race.  You are implanted with a tag when you're sixteen years old if you're male, and as soon as you start menstruating when you're female.  You enter the breeding pool as soon as you get a tag, although typically unless your family is branded as heretic or you're so poor you go begging for the credits you can get for being part of the breeding pool you don't actually get sent to a breeding center until you're closer to 18 or 19.  You're kept in the breeding pool until you're too old to bear children if you're female - typically around 50 years old - and until you're 55 if you're male.

The tag also alerts authorities to unauthorized attempts at breeding - aka sex for pleasure, rape, etc.  Anyone who is caught doing this more than once is sterilized.  Now, this might not seem like such a bad thing considering the forced breeding programs.  But it marks you as a social outcast and most who are sterilized commit suicide, thus removing their "flawed" genes from the gene pool.  There are those who are sterilized, however, that continue to pursue their lives in spite of everything that they've been through.  The sterilization only takes away their ability to bear children.  It doesn't completely eradicate the desire for sexual gratification.

Those who are sterilized and don't kill themselves often become known as Deviants.  Deviants are those who pursue that kind of relationship without the benefits of government sanctioned breeding programs.  The benefit is people who come to the Deviants aren't considered as openly violating the laws since the Deviants can't produce children, so those who feel a desire for sex and aren't up for breeding can get their jollies off without punishment.  (It apparently takes two active tags to alert the authorities and the Deviants' tags are no longer active.)

Now, with this information, we can safely assume that Ashe - with her side job as a dominatrix - is a Deviant.  She broke the law and was sterilized.  So not only is she a sexual deviant in the broadest sense of the terms (BDSM fanatic), she is a Deviant according to her society.  So the religious beliefs of her parents probably came from a State religion exemplifying a pure life of complete devotion to the State until you are released from your obligations.  Did I neglect to mention most humans don't live beyond 65-70 in this world?  It's a rumor that the government uses the tags to release a poison but no one can confirm it.  I'm sure it's true, though...it'd fit in with the world that Ashe inhabits perfectly.  Though why they don't just poison the Deviants is beyond me, unless they truly do deactivate the tag and it's the active tags that can release the poison.  I still have that problem to work out.

Ashe's "college" days were probably the State's attempt at further brainwashing and propaganda by continued education of their most promising citizens.  Ashe was a brilliant computer programmer and was drawn into the upper echelons of the society by her quick mind and vibrant personality.  There were already some bids on who she was going to breed with.

I have a feeling Ashe probably did end up in one of the breeding centers.  For her it was nothing less than rape because she wasn't willing.  I don't know if they use drugs or not but I'm thinking they'd have to.  You  honestly can't tell me that a short session in a sterile chamber is going to make ANYONE all hot and bothered.  Well, there are those fetishists out there who might find it appealing but the majority of the population won't.

Right now, I'm going to assume they use drugs and got her pregnant.  I still don't know what happened to the child.  I do know she doesn't have it.  Was it taken away because she was considered "unfit"?  If so, were Ashe's parents really her parents?  Do they send the children of breeding pairs to other, non-breeders (i.e. older people they aren't using for breeding at this moment but are still in the pool)?  Do they put them in an orphanage style setting and let people come in and 'purchase' children to raise to be proper breeders?  I don't know that part of the story yet, but it's an important part of Ashe's character to know where her child went and what kind of environment she spent her early years in.

Ashe realizes she doesn't want the cold, unfeeling breeding.  She meets someone, gets it on with them, and gets into trouble.  I'm figuring once is overlooked as experimentation and typical youth rebellion.  When she does it a second and/or third time, that's when they sterilize her.  Instead of doing what they expect and suiciding, Ashe drops out of college (or maybe she's expelled once she gets sterilized...that might make more sense) and takes up as a bartender in a bad district in the city.  She turns to the darker sides of human nature and explores the world of BDSM and becomes a dominatrix on the side.

I have a feeling Ashe's story is going to be one of how a group of people who are considered outcasts and Deviants either change the world they live in - or learn how to live in the world they can't change.  I'm not sure how this is going to go just yet, but we'll see as the story creation progresses.  The Deviants aren't the only outcasts.  What makes someone outcast in this society - aside from being sterilized and removed from the breeding pool - I have yet to discover.

One thing I do know is the city she's living in is a dark and gritty place.  I'm thinking Blade Runner here for the type of city she lives in.  Ashe, who was once at the upper half of the middle class to the low end of the upper class citizens, is now the lowest of the low class citizens.  How's she going to take it?  Not very well, as evidenced by  her open rebellion against the "system", I'm thinking.

Okay, so now we know where Ashe came from.  We also have a view of her world.  A dark, gritty totalitarian society with a strictly enforced breeding program in a dystopian future.  The world is made up of massive city-states under the crushing authoritarian rule of a single entity.  I have no name for this world government, so right now it is just "The Government".  Most people don't bat an eye at the way things are run because it's been this way for generations.  The people in this world are, for the most part, complacent about their lives.  Some strive for something better only in terms of material wealth.  Getting out of this stagnant, rigidly controlled society is not a priority for them.

Ashe is an outcast in this society, as are her closest friends and her business partners.  I'm betting most of her clients are also outcasts in one way or another.  They either are in the same position she's in - sterilized but non-suicidal - or they're outcasts in some other way.

When I go to imagine the city, I think first and foremost of Blade Runner.  That movie was awesome, and the way the city looked makes me think of the city I see when I envision Ashe's world.  Her home is dark.  There is no sunlight.  The city-state she lives in is under perpetual cloud cover.  Why is this?  Did we do something like in "The Matrix" where we scorched the sky?  Or has the world become so polluted that it's not clouds but smoke/smog that conceals the sun?  I don't know yet.  That's a very important key factor I have to figure out.  If it's clouds, there's going to be rain.  If it's smoke/smog/pollution, there's the chance people will be wearing respirators or some other kind of apparatus that helps them filter the air.

It's a huge city.  That's pretty obvious.  Public transit is the general way to go.  Very few people have private vehicles.  In fact, you can't get to most places unless you take the public transit.  Most of the "normal" places are above the Alley.  The Alley is what they call street level living.  This is where the lowest of the low live.  It's where the black market thrives.  This is where the bar is and this is where you'll find most Deviants.

Clothing is usually very sober, dark, and not too revealing.  In the Upper City.  In the Alley?  Anything goes.  Which is why I saw Ashe wearing "weird clothing".  She chooses to wear clothing that helps her embrace her new life rather than hiding from it in the "government sanctioned" clothing.  It's not cheap but some of her clothing comes from her clients.  Other stuff she buys from the black market.  Much of what she wears is based on 20th and 21st century clothing styles.  It'd be like us buying and wearing stuff from the 40's or 50's, I'm guessing based on what I can see in my imagination.

So, now we have a character - Ashe.  We have an enemy - The Government.  We have a world - a dark, dangerous city.  We have a general idea of the plot - Ashe has to find her way in the world.  So...where do we go from here?  Well, we actually start fleshing out the plot, the side characters, and the setting.  More details are needed to bring Ashe completely to life.

Now, while all of this is interesting there is a tiny problem.  I don't write dystopian fiction.  I also don't write erotica or even really graphic sex scenes.  It's not something I'm generally comfortable or even overly familiar with.  I only recently started reading books dealing with dystopian futures (that I'm aware of at least).  But it's still a story begging to be told so I am going to tell it.  We'll see where it leads as we go down the path.

At the very least, the journey will be interesting.  Expanding my horizons is a great way to grow as a writer...if I don't crash and burn first.

1 comment:

  1. Hope this posts. tried earlier and it wouldn't. Dystopia is a good concept since it allows you to make up the rules. It also allows for the expectation of great violence. Nice. @oceandog