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Hi all. I'm Chilari. I found this place through a link on NaNoWriMo (where I am known as Anezka). I've been looking for a community like this for a while, without any luck, so I'm glad to finally find one.

I'm a postgrad student studying the archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean. I find it interesting, and also pull ideas from what I study to influence my stories. My favourite authors include Terry Pratchett, Diana Wynne Jones, David Gemmell and Charles Stross. I tend to prefer writing soft or light fantasy, set in other worlds but without elves, dwarves, dragons and magic; or if there is magic it's a passive force affecting certain aspects of the world rather than something people can control.

At the moment I'm working on a story in which an early industrial world (they've got guns, early trains, printing presses etc) is devastated by a plague which kills three quarters of the population. The story follows a group of survivors and the choices they make in what becomes a very complicated political situation as various different groups try to gain (or regain) control over the local area. I'm still working through some of the kinks before I start writing in earnest.


Welcome! I'm glad my link on NaNo has pulled a few people ^^

Your novel sounds very interesting. I tend to write the same thing - light without the elves/dwarves and such, and I always want magic... there, but not wielded. It's nice to see someone with the same tastes ^^

How are you finding the political aspect of your novel? I notice that it's usually a theme in the books I love the most, yet I simply can't write it in - I don't know enough about it, I suppose, though trying to do research to make it easier. I'd like to know how you're using it ^^


Well, I haven't actually written it yet, but I just figured I'd have characters with different political aims and loyalties making decisions based upon them. I want to keep the story character-driven, particularly since I have quite a big cast, so there will be characters from all factions involved in the story.

I'm not exactly certain how I'll handle it though, to be honest, but I've got the factions roughly planned out: pre-virus, the country, consisting of three major trader cities, the town of Kingstown, and plenty of farmland, was nominally ruled by the king, though each of the three cities was de facto ruled by a council of wealthy new-money traders and less wealthy land-owning old-money aristocrats, many of whom had royal relations.

Post-virus, there are the monarchists, trying to put the king's grand daughter on the throne and rule through her; the merchants, who try to get rid of the monarchy and rule their cities completely rather than answering to the new Queen; the revolutionaries, who see the virus as a chance to build a meritocracy; and the first-wave feminists, who are part of all three political factions and just want women to have rights to do things like own land (especially now many of them are now widows), hold council positions, wield arms (guns) etc. The feminism movement existed pre-plague, and in fact so did all the political factions, but with the plague killing so many people and changing basically everything, the way they each act has changed, and rather than being diplomatic and political, now they see an opportunity to seize power forcefully while the other factions are weakened.

I'm thinking there might also be a group based upon the army of one of the cities which seeks to seize control through force of arms and install a dictator.

As for how these things actually affect my characters, well, they live at a farm half way between one of the major cities and Kingstown, on a slight hill, so the farm itself is strategically important to the factions, who want not onto to control the position, but also to recruit from the occupants. To do this, the monarchists assist the characters against bandits, the merchants try to buy them and then force them, and the revolutionaries try to play on their ideals and morals. So this means that various characters from all factions will at various points visit the farm, trade with my characters, occupy the farm with their forces, request tribute in the form of food, forcibly take food, shelter overnight at the farm, attempt to recruit soldiers, burst in looking for particular individuals who they call traitors, attack the farm, and come to the rescue of the characters.

My charaters, for their part, will discuss the merits and drawbacks of each faction, join and leave factions, attempt to stay independant and neutral, pay tribute to factions, attempt to get rid of visitors from factions, leave the farm as a result of factional activity, ask one faction for aid against another, and of course argue amongst themselves about whose fault things were when stuff doesn't turn out as hoped. I'm hoping I can convey the way the factions interact with each other through the eyes of my characters, and the way they deal with my characters at the farm.
Hi Chi! Welcome to the fold. I hope you find us helpful and insightful. Based on the quality of posts we are all very open about different aspects of writing and storytelling and I know I've gotten some great feedback from other weavers. Your novel sounds really interesting and I look forward to reading your work once it gets started. I also find it interesting about having magic as a general force and not something that is only wielded by a select few. Though my writing tends to be more on the magic being wielded side, but I've always had magic as something that everyone knows about and it's not some needs to be kept hidden from mankind. It's always all around us. But that's just my style.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. :)

Philip Overby

Article Team
I found this place from starconstant's NaNoWriMo post too. Mayhaps we should try to get more people to check it out? Seems like a pretty cool community. No trolls to be found.