Last week I shared my critique ready version of Grim Curio Chapter 1 Part 1. It was 3600 words long and was the first piece I shared online. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of feedback and felt compelled to revise it right away.
Well the revision is done, and a lot has changed, including the addition of nearly 1000 words! If you want to read it, follow this link to the critique page on Reddit.
So what is the difference between the two versions?
There were a few points of feedback I received which resonated with me, but one overshadowed all the others: the setting is too vague. Readers seemed to picture a British gentleman when they pictured James, not exactly what I was going for. Clearly something was off.
It makes sense why that is. While writing the first 10,000 words, I’d never formalized a setting. There was something vague in my head, but I was having trouble solidifying it.
But once the feedback started coming in, the setting began to develop in my mind. This story will be cosmic in scale, involving the ripping apart of the boundaries between multiple realities. So not typical. For this kind of story, I need a setting equally not typical. And now I’ve got it!
The new setting
The concept of this setting is: 500-1000 years in the future, the earth is a husk of what we know today. It’s been ravaged by scientific progress. A multitude of events have shaped the world to it’s current state: ecological devastation, nuclear war, chemical weapons and more have made the planet an inhospitable place.
What little of humanity remains are packed within relatively non-toxic safe havens. Spores linger in the air, and spore storms are a ever looming danger.
Of course, humanity has divided into sects, as is always the case. Two of these sects are the Scientists and the Naturalists.
Scientists are devoted to furthering scientific progress above all else, even treating sciences as a religion. They believe that those who do not embrace Science will eventually be swallowed up by the desert. So it has been projected by their analytical analysis of the planet and her patterns.
Naturalists are devoted entirely to nature, living simply off the fungi that surrounds their villages. They believe that the only way to survive on this hostile planet is to embrace what little nature we have left, as toxic as it is.
These factions are just subtext. They only have a little baring on the story, but they flesh out the world and expand on some of the themes I’m working on.
This new setting moves the genre closer to the weird science fiction genre, which is the realm of authors like China Mieville. If you haven’t read his work, I highly recommend it. The nice thing about this genre is it offers nearly unlimited freedom to explore the ideas I want to dive into.
That’s all I have for today. There’s a lot more I want to share with you, but it’ll be information overload if I just spill the beans all at once. Here are some hints of things to come: character profiles, the meat factories, how spores affect the environment, and how the layered universe works (plus more).
I’d like to hear from you. So what do you think of this format? Do you find these kinds of posts interested? Is there a topic you’d like me to cover in a future post? Let me know by leaving a comment.