Writing has me stumped again. It’s just one of those nights. One where I’ll write a sentence, read it over, think, “this is terrible!” and instantly scrap it. Starting over, the cycle continues, and I’m never satisfied with anything I write. There are nights that work in essentially the opposite fashion, where I’ll just get on a roll, and each sentence will smoothly glide into the next, the story almost springing forth from the fertile grounds of my imagination onto the page of its own accord.
Sadly, this is not one of those nights. This is the former of the two. The inspired portions are few and far between, I’m afraid. So here I am, at three in the morning, on this blog. It was a bit busier of a day, so I didn’t get a post in earlier. I feel like I owe one now.
At the top, please find enclosed some music I’m listening to right now. A friend introduced me to this particular group (I only assume it’s a group because of the “mob” in the title. It could very well just be a single person for all I know). It’s some nice, laid back, reflective electronic music, with a little melancholy thrown in. I love melancholy.
I looked that word up up in the dictionary once, melancholy. It was defined as, “a feeling of thoughtful sadness”. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? This isn’t an irrational sadness, this isn’t you feeling helpless against the tidal wave of the world’s constant pressures; this is a reflective sadness, an introspective feeling. There’s a time when it’s okay to feel somber, you know? It’s almost comforting. It’s like feeling as though you are a part of an intricate web that is the world. You feel sort of sad that you cannot be everywhere at once, that there is no possible way to get to know every person on this planet, that you will be missing out on so many stories and lives that could have impacted you in ways you wouldn’t be able to imagine, and that is sad, but at the same time, you realize that your small thread in that giant web affects things around you, that regardless of how small an impact you make, you ARE making an impact.
…maybe I over-think this stuff a bit. Can you blame me? It’s three in the morning!
Anyway, I’ll take this opportunity when I SHOULD be writing to tell you a bit about the world of my novel, I guess.
So the world is sort of a near-future setting. I did that so that I could have some freedom with the technology if I needed it, but I don’t really want to draw attention to the fact that it’s the future or anything. This isn’t a science fiction novel, after all. Most the focus culturally will be on the effect that the “virgin glow” has on society. The virgin glow, to recap from previous posts, being the glow in every girl’s eye that they are born with, that fades when one loses her virginity.
It’s a corrupt, run down city. Crime is everywhere, and so is greed. Families in the “upper-class” are in a constant struggle for power and attain it through selective marriages to others in a higher class of family, or though the wealth of their houses. Family is very important to most people in this world, as it is not only a source of identity, but also of power and social standing.
As you’ve probably already guessed is the case, arranged marriages are common, and these marriages will not happen if the girl lacks the virgin glow. Maintaining one’s virginity is paramount. The view of the world is very patriarchal in this book, and women are not so much oppressed as idolized to an extent where they lose their humanity in men’s eyes, often becoming just a sex object. The glow is the ultimate aphrodisiac to these men, as virginity is prized.
Marriage, on the other hand, works pretty much the same as with our world, save for one difference. Rings do not exist as a part of the ceremony. In a world obsessed with marriage for political gain and elevating social standing, divorce is not commonly practiced and is strongly discouraged. Rings one can remove quite easily. In this world, you are given a tattoo on your hand when you marry. This basically brands you as “taken”. There is no easily going back once you’ve made this decision. The tattoo is a sword wrapped in vines. The sword, a phallic object that resonates with the ideals of brute force and physical strength, is symbolic of the men. The vines, a softer image and a symbol of fertility, is representative of the women. I know, that probably sounds fairly sexist, what with the vines being wrapped around the sword and all, but bear in mind that this IS a very patriarchal society.
Well, I hope that gives you a little insight into the dystopian world that is my novel. It is high time that I got some sleep.
Brendon “Writing Blocked” Regier