Day 13: Cultures
What’s your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?
I would have to go with the Elari culture, for a few reasons. The main one is, I guess, that I don’t focus too much on culture in other novels. In God-Chosen, I actually try to show that Lucian and Amara are somehow separate from their culture; they’re different. Natiae, however, is her culture. She is an Elari through and through, and then they betray her. The rest of the novel is breaking her culture down piece by piece.
There is a lot to the Elari culture, but the biggest point is that it is dystopian, based off control through religion. Most Elari do not realize this, and those that do are “Rehabilitated.” In other words, they undergo an operation to insert a computer chip into their “core” of Vitraeia — into their chest. This chip controls their thoughts and actions, making it impossible for them to go against the Sanctuary. Nobody knows about this because it is impossible for one to see one’s own chest (the Elari don’t have mirrors) and it’s considered highly shameful to see another’s core. The more I write this, the more I hate the word “core,” but I currently have no other word to refer to it as.
At any rate, even for those who have been Rehabilitated themselves, it’s impossible for them to know what has happened. The chip controls their thoughts, words, and actions so there is naught they can do about it. The only ones who can are Mediums, like Natiae. I could explain why, but that would be another few pages of explanation in regards to what a Medium is and what the Sanctuary claims they are. So instead, I’ll just say that Natiae is special and still retains her own thought even after Rehabilitation, which is what allows her to flee. She doesn’t regain freedom of speech until the chip in her chest is removed.
I’ve spent a lot of time working on the Elari culture, which is probably why it’s my favorite to work with. It’s my first really in-depth culture, and I can’t wait to write about it in detail come November. I do intend of broadening the demon culture I use in God-Chosen, but that might take me another round or two of rewrites, or perhaps a sequel/prequel.