As I was listening to the radio and I heard that Ben Gibbard, lead singer of the band Deathcab for Cutie, has referred to his inspiration as words that were beamed down into his head and just come out as they were beamed in, it occurred to me that it is possible my muse is similarly situated.
Tonight, as I was working on the book, I am to the point where I am working on a more bleak part of the story which requires some pretty dark happenings. One area of concern that I find in many dystopian books is the simplicity with which the 'end' comes. Zombie invasions? Flu pandemics? Come on, that just is not a likely way that eight billion plus people will die all at once. Too many reasons why it just would not happen.
And once the end is nigh, the world will look a lot more like Mad Max than anything else. There won't be a lot of softness and pleasantries with traveling musicians and actors. There will be murders, pestilence, savagery, sickness, death everywhere you look. It will indeed be a bleak world for many, many years. There may come a time, after the shock of change, when people will start to look for some sense of normalcy, but they will have to fight for survival to get there. It will be a war of attrition and only the strong will survive to create whatever they can from the rubble left behind. And, honestly speaking, the chaos and anarchy that would follow might just lead to the destruction of not just a human race, but the planet earth as a viable host for said species.
But, you know, there have been thousands and thousands of books which have captured this - and they are all genre specific books not looking for a higher plane of writing. That is what makes this book such a challenge. I want to rise above the subject matter and tell a satirical story using this sci-fi conceptualization of many worlds as a back drop. Will I be successful? Who knows, that is something that only time can verify. In the moment, I must follow this muse into the darkness and see what she has there for me, otherwise, I am nothing more than a paint-by-numbers artist.
Here is a portion of tonight's work. I particularly like the last sentence 'As we talk, we die.'
‘I know Liv. We have crossed a line and I don’t think there is any way out of this. We cannot go back in time and unfence the District. I fear, though, that the more we isolate ourselves the more we are at risk for future attacks. We were already condemned by some as liberal elitists who accept as true that only our beliefs are right and that those who disagree are fascists. And while there is a sliver of truth to that consensus, it is not the entirety of our belief system. I think we are at a war; not a true civil war, but a philosophical battle which others find less difficult to engage in the physical aspect of, while we attempt to use logic and reason. As we talk, we die.’
Just a little glimpse into how the dystopian world which is a part of the book becomes a dark and lonely place for one man - the last man.