Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tribes Of The Earth

Trinity again!
Yesterday I finally sat down and wrote the synopsis for my NaNo novel, currently called Tribes Of The Earth, which is a working title, since I'm not 100% sure I like it or that is fits. If anyone has any ideas for a title after reading the synopsis, be sure to let me know!
Now, this synopsis can be seen under my "About Trinity" page, but I'm gonna post it here once more just to get the preliminaries over with. If you've already read it, just skip over it.

"In the year 2027 an enormous earthquake literally rocks the world. The consequences are mind-numbing. Tsunamis ravage the coasts, traveling farther in than ever before. Nuclear power plants are destroyed in minutes, houses crumble, and cities disappear into gaping chasms. The earth is forever rearranged. In the aftermath, only half of the world’s population has survived.
It takes over a hundred years to recover from what no one could ever have been prepared for. The age of technology is now only a faint memory in the oldest of survivors.
Thrown back to the dark age, humanity must relearn how to feed, clothe and protect themselves. Some forge swords, build plows and begin to tame the wilds, while the truly desperate scavenge the ruins of huge cities, which are teeming with feral animals and dangerous chemicals.
Banded together for safety’s sake, the new tribes of the world are mistrustful, and hostile. Traveling is a dangerous proposition, and straying into another tribe’s territory almost always means death.
Desperate for power and a life of ease, a savage tribe risks it all by exploring the nearest abandoned city. There they find old, advanced weapons. Though it costs them several lives, after experimentation, they discover how to use them. Using their newfound power to travel to the next city, they gather more followers and destroy the tribes that stand in their way. The next expedition results in more lives lost and more power gained. Again and again they repeat the process, gaining followers while they travel and losing a few in the cities.
The leaders begin to notice that the tribe becomes sick after each visit into the cities, with symptoms that match radiation sickness, an affliction that is known and dreaded, but is called by another name. They deal with this by not going into the cities themselves and quietly ridding themselves of whoever shows the worst signs of sickness, all the while hiding the signs of the sickness in themselves.
Meanwhile, in the savage tribe’s path, two large tribes are simultaneously feuding and trying to survive. Adopting a medieval lifestyle has worked well for them, and they’ve crafted and are proficient with swords and bows. When word arrives that the savage tribe are heading their way and they’ve already assimilated and enslaved several other tribes, the two tribes must either work together or be destroyed."

This synopsis is not only up for revision, it's practically required. I need to work out my main characters and protagonists and sub-plots (which is an extensive project in and of itself), but it is going to require just a ton of research. I've given it it's own research notebook, which I am attempting to systematically fill so I can get most, if not all research done before it's actually time to write. 

And not only is it going to be a lot of research, a large portion of it is going to be rather grisly. 
For example, the earthquake will cause almost all the nuclear power plants across the world to suffer catastrophic failures. There's probably a bunch of other consequences of an earthquake of that magnitude, and those consequences will probably be factored in, but right this moment, I'm focusing on the nuclear effects. 

First, you have a massive amount of painful deaths, and for those who survive, you have mutations in their descendants. Radiation, as I currently understand it, weakens the bonds between molecules, and so basically, it tears you apart on a molecular level (I'll have to research that a little more closely). The less morbid symptoms of radiation sickness include loss of hair, anemia (which leads to weakness and fainting), bruising and inability to heal wounds, and diarrhea. I'll have to find out how long it would take low levels of radiation to kill you, exactly how much radiation you can be exposed to and still survive, and how long it would take a city flooded with radiation to become safe again. So researching that is gonna be very enjoyable.

Secondly, you have to worry about the radiation itself. What can absorb radiation? Can water?  Can stone? If the radiation seeps into the land, does all food grown on the land become dangerous? Will food grow on contaminated land?

Thirdly, I know that metal can absorb radiation. My two threatened tribes use bow and swords. I doubt they can mine or refine metals for themselves, so the only other option is to scavenge it from ruins. Which would likely be contaminated. They've probably figured this out, and everyone knows that metal carries the radiation sickness (which I also need to name), so they don't use it. Which begs the question, what do they use for their weapons? Wood, obviously, would be available, but wooden swords would really just be fancy clubs. So, stone then? Like, flint arrowheads? Or how about a stone sword or dagger? What exactly would it take to craft one of those? And they would be remarkably heavy. Or could you use a strong, lightweight type of stone? And does stone absorb radiation, which would make it dangerous as well?

Fourthly, what would be the effects on wildlife? What sorts of mutations would occur? Would any pose a danger to humans (size, temperament, etc)? If there were zoos nearby, has any exotic wildlife escaped and made itself at home? Is there any danger in consuming the mutated offspring of a contaminated animal?

Anyway, these are the things I will be researching and struggling with  for the next thirteen days. I really thought that two weeks until November was going to be too long to wait, but now I'm thinking it may not be enough... We'll see. 

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass! 
~ Trinity 

1 comment:

  1. That looks fascinating. You're a brave girl to take on so much research, but if you pull this off, it'll probably be one of the most interesting post apocolyptic story worlds out there. It really is quite fun figuring out how people will develop if stuck in certain civilizational situations. ^.^


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