Back from surgery, the pain meds haven’t quite worn off, and I’m feeling more ambitious than sensible. I took the week off work without pay (starting now, running thru next week), which is what I raised those funds for. During this time, unless I get my sense of reality back, I might try to compose a short novel. And I’ll share it with you right here on the blog.
I’m going to use the setting from this RPG I’d like to make someday in my pipe dreams. It’s a stock fantasy setting in a Final Fantasy way. Think high magic, lots of “character classes” and “races.” The difference is that LGBTQIA people are heavily centered. In my pipingest pipe dreams, book one will be about gay boys, book two the gaydies, book three the bi, book four the trans, and book five the ace. In the world, different types of LGBTetc people would be associated with different walks of life. Like, everyone would think of adventurers as gay dudes, which would become a self-reinforcing concept like gay dudes in performing arts IRL.
Book one of the (possibly never to exist) RPG is a stock adventurer-focused game which assumes all adventurers are gay dudes. That was the first idea I had, which was a way to show people the absurdity of presuming cishetness by presuming all players to be gay dudes – the most classically reviled type of queer people ever, still the focus of homophobic propaganda from Uganda to Utah. To have the other rainbow RPGs be set in the same world, I’d need to come up with other subcultures for the characters to be associated with. So in that world, lesbians would be associated with the defense of settled places, from farms to cities. Bi / pan /etc people would move in aristocratic circles, have adventures of court intrigue. Trans / gender variant people would be associated with the arts (in a high fantasy / adventurous way of course), and ace / adj-ace-nt people would be scholarly esoterical wizardy types.
All this could be taken as problematic, like the voice of this universe making big assumptions about inherent qualities of different rainbow people, but it’s just a setting thing, not my beliefs, right? Plus I don’t care too much about upsetting the most aggressive LGBTQIA partisans because I ain’t gonna read my reviews, heh. But all this explanation of my RPG setting is just background to explaining where my novel that i’m totally going to write in a week is coming from.
So I’m gonna do the Bi RPG novel tie-in, working title: “Tales from The Amphisbæna: A Chain of Beauties.” I need a plot about court intrigue, and will ponder that on this post. Seeing as how I’m doing this work publicly, if you want to make suggestions on the novel, you can. But I’ll be moving pretty quickly if I do this, and belated suggestions will be less likely to be implemented. Gotta get those ideas in quick.
I haven’t read much history of the feudal / monarchist era upon which fantasy is typically based, but I’ve been struck in what I have read by certain recurring motifs. Nobles and royalty were often at odds, with the greatest domestic threat to any monarch typically coming from noble schemes to replace the current dynasty with one of their own blood or one that will treat them more favorably. As the nobility were the most direct oppressors of the peasants, those serfs would sometimes have a more favorable view of a monarch than a local lord – especially if that monarch took a strong or adversarial stance with the nobles. IIRC, this was true of both Ivan the Terrible and Vlad the Impaler.
So I’m thinking the story takes place in castle of the monarch, where schemes abound. Maybe there’s assassination attempts and nobody knows who’s behind the plot. Maybe the monarch is the big bad and noble schemers are in the right. The best way for I, as the author, to show proper solidarity to my class is to have all the rich be scumbags that must drown in their excess and be eliminated by peasant revolt. But, you know, I’m liking the romance of a monarch today, if only in the context of pure fiction. Charles Windsor can have his head turned into a hood ornament.
I don’t have any firm ideas yet, but I’ll need them quickly. Holler at ya comrade. What I need is the bones of the plot. A monarch who is romantically delicious is in conflict with some kind of enemies. Takes place with mostly bisexual characters in courtly settings. What kinda twist could make this interesting?