In the last update I gave you a brief overview of what I was working on and my plans for a module assessment. My plan for the module being to write something focused on experiences of the Trojan war. This is no longer the case. I have in the last week or so changed my focus and idea drastically to a piece of science fiction prose. The reason for this is as follows. For a module entitled Contemporary Writing, I wanted to do something a little different. Play with some of the themes the ‘Contemporary’ texts I was reading for my course had highlighted and I didn’t feel my old idea could do that.
My current idea stemmed from a class writing exercise I was given to write from the perspective of someone not in the centre of the action. An outsiders point of view if you like. This was an exercise I later repeated and came up with a planet housing some of bio engineering’s most disastrous results that humanity is attempting to reclaim . Not terribly original, but what is these days? I wanted the difference in my work to be in the characters and the themes conveyed. Believable, well written characters have long been lacking in my writing and I wanted to embrace the challenge of putting setting and concept to the side and driving my narrative with my characters Pratik and Varun.
The feedback the first two thousand words of draft got when I work-shopped it in a seminar was largely positive. My peers generally agreeing that the characters were the primary strength and enough hints were dropped about the backdrop to make it interesting. But some of the feedback I received suggested that the work in its current state was a little ‘vanilla’ Sci Fi. I hadn’t done enough to make the world strange or to disorientate my reader. Something that was done very effectively in a number of my course texts this semester.
Which brings me to my current challenge, taking the strong characters I was aiming for and making the world around them, more alien or ‘other’ to the reader. To do this I’m planning on trying a couple of different things.
1: I am planning on enhancing the perspective. At this point Pratik, doesn’t have a clearly defined set of duties. As the primary perspective and already being one step removed from the action I believe giving him a more clearly defined role in the piece will make him being distanced from the action more interesting to read and tap into the sense of estrangement I am trying to transplant from this semesters reading.
2: Taking the concept further down the rabbit hole. At the moment what I have is a hunter and his support crew. I’m looking at making the hunter or ‘humans’ different to audience expectation. Whether that’s through cybernetic enhancement, the complete removal of an organic body or a mutated physical state I haven’t decided.
3: More description and interaction with other species. In my draft I mention that there are other species and that they were biologically engineered in an attempt to produce certain results. Here I think I could not only play with what it means to be human, by having different human mutation paths influenced by a version of the designer baby debate.
So there we have it, lots to work on to try and push this piece along. I’ll be back with updates on how I’ve gotten on probably late next week when I’ve had some time to write, without work getting in the way.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.