On the one hand, I spent most of the day completely failing to get interested in doing any world-building work. And once I did get going, I nearly lost all momentum when I answered the phone and got stuck in a half-hour long survey about the local race for State Senate. (Ironically, if they had allowed it, I could have saved us both a lot of time by saying “look, just put me as max opposed to the incumbent on everything because he’s a legitimate monster and max in favor of his opponent on everything because she’s awesome and I’ve been her supporter since her first campaign for State Representative like ten years ago,” but they would never have gone along with that.)
Um, anyway, I did manage to get back into it a bit after the call, though I did run out of steam before I could finish the template for the France-inspired country. But I only have three sections to go (Gender Roles, Clothing and Fashion, The Arts) so that’s at least something.
Anyway, it was before the call that I came to my big “oh, wait, what’s really going on here?” moment.
See, one of the few strong moments of borrowing specific historical events as well as borrowing cultural influence is that the France-inspired country had a revolution not too long before the books. (Though I did actually come up with a good excuse for it. All the humans on the world of these novels were brought there from Earth between two and four thousand years ago (I haven’t decided how long it was between the arrival of the last humans and the events two thousand years before the novels that broke the humans free of the control of this world’s native life forms) and although their memories of Earth were wiped, they maintained their languages and some concepts of their cultures. The beings that brought them here now live in hiding in the shadows, and they like to mess with the humans, secretly influencing their behavior, including things like inciting a revolution in the group descended from Gaulish Celts in order to imitate the French Revolution.)
Anyway, I was getting to the questions about religion, and how important it is to the culture, and realized I was sort of in a bind. See, one of the major characters to be introduced in the second book is the deposed queen of that country, because she and her children survived, having already been replaced with body doubles before they could be executed. (The king was not so lucky.) Anyway, because she’s a major player in the next book, I already have a pretty good idea of what her character is like, and that’s where the problem comes in.
So, in the French Revolution, the revolutionary government actually attempted to disestablish the Christian religion in France and make their new nation exclusively atheist. In most of my earlier plans on the subject, the revolutionaries in my France-like nation were going to be similarly anti-religion and especially anti-superstition. But then I thought, “wait, wouldn’t it be more cool if they were reactionaries instead, trying to force an outmoded and outdated religious practice on the people?” And I do like that concept still, only the more I think about it, the more I realize that the queen is anything but scientific. She’s not religious, either, though. To most people’s eyes, she’s superstitious, because she’s one of the few who can see the planet’s native life forms, which are now believed to be mythical by most humans. (There is a reason they’re invisible to most people, but it takes about a book and a half (at least) to get there.)
Anyway, so I’m not sure what to do about that. I haven’t written all their myths yet (technically, I’ve only partially written one, and the only reason I have even that much is because I decided that the mythic saga inspired by the Arthurian myths belonged more accurately in France than in Britain, since all the oldest texts were written by French authors and the myth is more of a Breton thing overall, plus there’s already such a wealth of mythic traditions in the British Isles without it, between the Irish, Scottish and Welsh traditions, all of which were there much earlier than the Arthurian cycle) so I’m hoping I’ll have a better idea what to do about it after I do.
Today’s writing time 1:05
Total time in July to date: 15:18:47.21
*sigh* Am I ever gonna stop trying to catch up and get ahead of my goal of an hour a day for Camp NotNaNo?