Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tidbit Tuesdays: Making difficult choices

It's now time for Tidbit Tuesdays, a weekly feature in which I post an excerpt from my current work in progress and discuss some of my thoughts about that particular section.

I hit a milestone this week by finishing the rough draft of Creators, so that was a very good feeling.  I'm taking a short breather because I always need some space between me and my work, and then it will be time for the dreaded editing process.  (Did you hear that ominous music in the background?)  So, without further ado, here is this week's excerpt:


“Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was led to believe that the dome technology was still untested on anything larger than a prototype scale,” one of the smaller Creators spoke up, looking around meekly as if waiting for the major Creators to pounce all over him. “What are the risks of enacting this technology now without running a few more scaled tests?”

“We don’t have time to do more scaled testing,” Sylvie said, bluntly. The other Creator’s face blanched, and Liang could see he was not the only one who looked uncomfortable. Despite Sylvie’s formidable presence, murmurs began to sweep through the room.

“I’m sorry, I think my numbers may be off,” interjected one of the other small Creators. “During our last meeting, we were told a total of thirty of the domes were being built, and that each dome could support a maximum population of 250,000 people. The current population of the Midwestern region is…”

“We are aware of the current population of the Midwestern region,” Sylvie interrupted. Her voice was calm and her gaze was steely as she surveyed every other person in the room. “When we met last, we talked a great deal about maximizing our resources, if you’ll recall. I called you all here today so we could begin laying out plans for how we will go about evaluating our resources over the course of the next several months.”

“Wait, maximizing resources… You don’t mean that we’re going to have some sort of a…what…selection process?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.”  


Thorny moral questions like this always interest me.  I think it's a good idea to sometimes pose a morally difficult question to yourself and think, "What would I do in this situation?"  The more difficult the question, the better, because it really forces you to analyze your stance on an issue, and I think that kind of self-evaluation is always a good thing.

Much of my writing comes about because of thoughts like these.  More than anything, I tend to be interested in characters, in how they think, feel, what they like, etc.  When I write, I try to really inhabit them and think, "How would this particular character react to this situation?"  

There was a lot of that going on throughout the writing of Creators.  Because so much of Contributor deals with the thoughts and feelings of characters who are caught up in the system the Creators devised, I wanted to explore why that system had been created, and what effects creating the system had on those who had to establish it.

End-of-the-world scenarios like the one in Creators are interesting precisely because they represent such an enormous test to our morality as human beings.  In no situation is a person put more to the test, and at no time do their true colors come shining through than in a moment of calamity.  I think this is especially true of the characters in Creators.