Fact and Realism to the Impeding Conflicts – The Ministerial Role (oh fook!)

I don’t dislike officialdom, it’s just not a fun thing to write about, although I love to read back and see it there – detailed, neat, but most of all succinct (nobody wants pages and pages of the stuff) – I don’t want to concoct ranks and roles and, worse, dozens of names for individuals who really aren’t Who and What the story is about.

I blame Khekarian royalty for all of it. I actually didn’t intend to put royalty into my books. At all. This series is science fiction, so my main aim was to write about the adventures of explorers.

It evolved. A long, long time ago (long before the first book reached publishing quality), I decided to put an alien war in the background, a long ongoing dispute between the Khekarian and the Chiddran Empires. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

From that backdrop of interspecies conflict – okay, galactic war – I decided to make my lead villain more powerful and influential in the scheme of things.

You learn very early on in the book (so it’s not a spoiler) that Sturn, the Prince, is the son of an Imperial elite family. That ramped up his personal desires, expectation and power. As one of the top eighteen families in control, he – exiled or not – had the personal fortune to do pretty well whatever he wanted. It also gave him reason to want to capture an alien-native of Zumaridi, bargaining his way back into Imperial grace through the procurement of a species that could bring about a sure win on their side.

It served, too, as a reason why even an untrained psychic might be helpful to him (to get him back in the door at home and to act as a psychic watchdog) and why he wouldn’t care if the Terran girl went against her will or not. He was above such concerns.

And, of course, it gave him Sevi as an elite Khekarian soldier bodyguard/companion.

Way back at the beginning of writing this, of course, I didn’t know the book would become a series and we would be meeting kings and soldiers and officialdom and that it would entangle me in research for details to give the leading parties flesh and blood realism.

You can’t write royalty without layers and layers of officialdom. Well, you can, but you end up with one ruler, one adviser (possibly with evil intent) and a couple of guards standing by the door. That’s just not realistic.

*

When Book 2 came along, I learned how fun it could be to write official crowd scenes and how refreshing it could be to read – Ialle and his people, Emperor Kyhlin and his massive entourage.

Officialdom evolves along with civilization, it’s going to be there, alien civilization or not. Likewise, taxes and commerce and education, but I don’t want to describe pages and pages of Who’s in charge of What and Why it might even be remotely important.

The whole point is to skip lightly across the lot and to feel and show the “weight” of that officialdom without landing the reader (or the author) in a mire of unimportant administrative detail.

That is probably why things are slow-going at the moment, I’m in the middle of it. I could jump from decision to action, but really, with the people I’m dealing with, it’s going to have to go through layers of administration and I have to know what it all is before I can shortcut my way through the bureaucracy.

Fleshing this area out and getting it right still leaves me wading through lays of blinkin’ officialdom and I don’t like falling asleep at my desk… But I’m doing it for you [*violins, please*]. I’m doing it so you won’t have to (wading through officialdom, gentle readers, wading, not sleeping).

When it’s done, the results will be worth it, of that I am sure. Hang in there. I am.

Cheers all!

😀

Allyson

6 thoughts on “Fact and Realism to the Impeding Conflicts – The Ministerial Role (oh fook!)

  1. fakejameh

    i agree. I think its so easy to misplace the facts surrounding such an arrangement. and its hard to summarize a decision not in context of its outcomes but in an instantaneous, boring fashion.

    I wish you luck with this endeavour as I myself have struggled with similar pains of bulking out something

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      Thank you – it certainly feels like a struggle at the moment. The end results are usually good, going on past experience. Giving a realistic sense of scope sometimes means wading through things writers are not interested in. I usually love research, but not when it comes to political operational channels. It’s important though because I want that sense of authenticity.

      Thanks for your encouragement. 🙂

      Reply
  2. writingsprint

    Believe it or not, this is very inspiring, because I’m threatened with looking at the interplay of the royal families in the story I’m working on, too, especially the villain’s. Good luck with this! I only read the first of the Game of Thrones books, but I thought the author did a good job of keeping the book focused on the story. It got swallowed in the details a few times but not many. You can tell he used the hierarchy to serve the purposes of the story and not the other way around. There are also parts of the book where you’re with characters who live outside of it all.

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      I’m with you. If you have a character who’s a member of royalty, that’s going to show – and has to – but that flavor adds power to the presentation. Such people are given different consideration their entire lives and act and respond differently as a result. Can you imagine, say, Henry the Eighth getting up in the morning and wondering what to do with his smelly socks? Or worrying about such things as collecting eggs for his breakfast or what necessities to get at the marketplace? Nor would he roam through his palace unattended.

      You’ll get a taste of how I handled it towards the end of The Khekarian Threat when Sturn and Ialle meet up. Ialle is a conquering king who has taken a Chiddran String (of planets). He is also an old friend to Sturn and the one Sturn turns to. It continues on in The King’s Sacrifice and is flipping everywhere in The Bastard Line.

      I know I said here it isn’t fun to write, but it is fun to get right and to see it, particularly if the balance is right.

      It also makes great contrast for those characters outside of it all, especially if they are closer to the bottom rung in society. I really get a kick out of all that. 🙂

      Reply

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