There’s an interesting subtext to a lot of the political talk going on in social media right now. It was on my brain as I worked on an argument in my story, where the queen and the MC are arguing about another person. It’s all in how they label her-The MC calls her “my best friend” and the reader has seen this in action throughout the story up til now. The queen is calling the same person an attacker and traitor to the crown, because she was possessed temporarily. Neither is wrong, from their own point of view. They both believe things must go their way. But there’s no way for them to both get what they want, and this character’s life hangs on the dagger’s edge. Neither wants to hurt the other, but neither is willing or feels like they’re able to compromise. Both are willing to jeopardize their futures because they believe they’re right.
Sounds familiar, right?
Of course, because it’s fiction, something will force both their hands.
Words are a writer’s tool and weapon. We have the luxury of editing them, and fussing at them, until we get them right. I’m no where NEAR as insightful or witty in person as I’ve been told I am online. I tend to try to avoid conflict and drama, in my real life. I prefer the clean space of the page, where I can throw out the words and redo them, and there’s no “I should have said this” after.
I hate calling people. Probably because I work in a call center, but I generally avoid it whenever possible. I angsted the first phone call I made to an elector. I went over my words time and again, using the best of my call center experience to form something resembling coherent, compelling speech. And I got a voicemail that was full. And another. I resorted to email for the rest of the week, as by Wednesday all I got were full voicemails. Do I think anyone’s listening to them? Probably not. In their position, I can’t say I would be. They think they’re right. Why should they care what I have to say? Yes, civic duty, but when duty faces emotion, emotion wins in our culture.
I have no answers, except to keep writing. My Nano novel this year is a queer, feminist, intersectionally diverse little skeleton of a project right now. I had no plans when I started this to try querying it, but if I can knock it into shape in edits, I damn well might risk it. The worst they can say is no.
I’ll keep editing, doing what I can to help amazing #ownvoices books get out into the world too. And even when it feels futile, I will keep standing up. Especially when it feels futile. Because there’s a little optimistic bit in me that hopes that maybe, with everyone else doing the same thing, this little bit can add to an avalanche.