Monday, November 15, 2004

The story of a story

About a year ago I started to write a story. I didn't get far. The story was planned to sort of be a bit of a debate about whether or not monarchy in its various forms is good or bad for a society. Thinking back, a lot of my thinking seemed to reflect some of the republic debate here in Australia. The basic outline of the story was as follows

Big tough guy deposes a cruel tyrant. He then proclaims that for 1000 generations his heirs will rule. Over the next 1000 generations the small country (a bit like something from a Conan story) grows into an interstellar empire (not to big, 20-30 star systems) and the ruling family go from being absolute rulers to almost figureheads, a bit like the Queen of England, but with more power in setting the general policies of the government. The problem comes when the 1000th generation dies and a controversy arises as to whether his son is allowed to become ruler.

The general idea was that the story would consist of a number of sort of debates about how the existence of a hereditary ruling family has shaped the culture, and if it has had a positive or negative effect. Various people have different opinions based on their position, experience and outlook. Some of the alternatives looked at include a directly elected head of state in some form or another, the return of rule to the tyrant’s descendants, and maintenance of the status quo.

Part of the problem in writing this is that I'm not too good at dialogue, and as most of it would be discussions between the heir and other people, this is a bit of a problem. The other thing is that I'm still not sure what I want the final resolution to be.

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