THE STATE TRILOGY A-Z GUIDE: E

My A-Z theme this year is a guide to my trilogy of novels called ‘The State Trilogy’. Set in an unnamed island country known only as ‘The State’, in the imagined near future, the books follow the intertwining stories of a number of characters, principally a State police detective named Danny Samson and an assassin, Gabriella Marino, over a period of six years. It begins with the assassination of an elected official and spirals into revolution and civil war. Part political thriller, action story, war story and dystopian science fiction, the trilogy took three years to complete and the books are available to read now – you can find links to purchase them HERE

In The State Trilogy, ‘E’ stands for:

Eilidh: Eilidh first appears in the second novel, ‘State of Denial’. She lives in the wilderness, in a small gathering that Danny Samson eventually finds shelter in. The two grow close and Danny helps Eilidh care for her diabetic son, Lucas. She is forced to give up her son when it becomes necessary for him to receive medical help in the city, and Danny volunteers to take him. Later, Eilidh appears in the city, searching for Danny and asking him to help her be reunited with Lucas. There is the hint that Eilidh and Lucas may provide Danny with a new family and a new purpose in life through their relationship. They do love one another, but can that love survive in the world of the State?

Elections: Rigged elections. I want to say that the election of the State Chancellor and Senate, rigged by the ruling Central Alliance Party, that we see unfolding in ‘State of Denial’, was plotted and written a year before the recent Trump/Biden election in America! In the State, elections only occur every ten years and are structured in such a way that the ruling Central Alliance Party will always win. Any disquiet or attempt to overturn their majority is swiftly put down, forcing a rebellious group to find another, less democratic way, to bring about change and sparking off the events that lead to the civil war in the final book in the trilogy. I would like to say I had amazing foresight when I wrote this book, but of course, rigged elections and corrupt politicians clinging onto power are nothing new, and are not solely the preserve of modern America.

Editing: I don’t plan my novels before I write them, other than holding some of the information in my head and having a rough idea of characters and where the plot will go. Then I sit and write a first draft. What that means is that the editing process becomes quite important, as I go back and correct things that have changed during the course of writing, or add things that come to me along the way. I enjoy the editing process. That’s where I feel the book and the writing really start to come together. And hopefully where any inconsistences are ironed out. This obviously won’t work for everyone, and most writers prefer to have all details planned out before they start writing. There are plenty of great book editors out there, if you are willing to hand over some control, and feel it is worth paying a fee for the benefit it brings.

European Union: I don’t think I’m giving much away by revealing that The State referred to in the books is modelled on what a future Great Britain might look like, and the isolationism that the State exhibits is a reaction to Britain’s recent exit from the European Union. I voted to remain in the Union and believe our exit is one of the most crass, misjudged, unforgivable political mistakes I will ever see in my lifetime. Writing these books was another bit of therapy in dealing with the unfolding real life events as they happened. The northern part of the State, where the main action takes place and a rebellion ensues, is, of course, my own country, Scotland, and one day I hope an independent Scotland, freed from England, will be able to rejoin our European neighbours in the Union. Whether I get to see it in my lifetime remains to be seen.

Elisabeth Sand: Owner of illegal, but State-sanctioned underground night clubs that are off limits to ordinary citizens, for whom such places are outlawed. The great and good, the powerful and rich, the corrupt politicians gather in her clubs for alcohol, gambling, music, and for private meetings away from prying surveillance. Although she only features in a couple of scenes in ‘A Justified State’, it is Sand who instigates the plot and exposes the corruption at the heart of Central City and the Central Alliance Party. Without her decision to take direct action, none of the following events would occur. Alias: Symington

Next up – F is for: Franklin Samson, First Strike War, The Fort and Future

All the entries in the A-Z of ‘The State Trilogy’ can be found HERE

The books are available from a wide selection of online retailers, including AMAZON

37 thoughts on “THE STATE TRILOGY A-Z GUIDE: E

  1. Interesting to read about your writing style in Editing. I am far from writing a novel, but whenever I’ve written longer pieces I have an initial idea and then let the characters take over, as it usually ends up somewhere I could never have planned!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Emine, that’s it exactly. I think if you over plan and meticulously plot, then you lose the ability to be spontaneous and let the characters go where they want to go – and can end up tying yourself in knots! There’s a definite balance to be struck between the two.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds as if you write your books the way I do. I don’t outline or plan my books. I grab an idea and go with it. I’ll write a chapter and then go back adding details and fleshing it out as I go along. If I think of something else, I’ll go back and add in what i need to so that it doesn’t appear like magic in the story, especially if it’s a critical piece of information for the plot. I also research as i write, so every weird fact has been checked and verified. The only way i can write is to write and edit as I go. When the book is finished, the final edits are quickly done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A similar idea Susanne, although I tend to go from start to finish in one go, without going back until I’ve finished the first draft, just making notes of what I need to add as I go along, then a second pass to add in everything, followed by an edit pass. Like you, I tend to find the edit fairly quick and painless, and quite enjoy that part of it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing your writing process Iain. I write in spurts.
    Like you, I leave the editing till I’m done writing. Have only written short stories and a few chapters thus far, so a long way to go still:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I know you hinted at it before, but I didn’t put it together that you are a Scottish separatist (is that the word?) I’ve often wondered how that works. Do you think Scotland will ever separate from Great Britain? That would be huge if so. I agree, from across the pond, Brexit seems like one of the weirdest things for a country to do in a world of increasing interconnectedness. It seems as an outside viewer that it would be beneficial long-term for England to have that kind of trade/travel partnership with a larger entity and to resolve differences within that entity rather than leave it. As an outside observer with minimal knowledge. Of course, we trumped it so to speak with Trump, proving populism does stupid things. But still, why did your leaders let this happen? It seems weird. A lot of great E’s also!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funnily enough ‘separatist’ isn’t really used by the media to describe those wanting independence much, it tends to be used for the more extreme wing of supporters! Whether it will happen or not I have no idea, the last few months have shifted to polls suggesting a narrow majority are in favour of leaving GB, but so many things need to happen, it will be at least a few years yet. The pandemic and Brexit have certainly left many Scots disillusioned with the government in London. The unmitigated disaster of Brexit is being hidden by the pandemic at the moment, but you are right in your assessment on a basic level – just a really backwards, daft decision!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s interesting you put it that way, because I always thought of it as being an extreme thing only a few people wanted. I looked it up after reading your post and was surprised by how close to 50-50 the numbers were. Now I’m curious about this on all kinds of levels that you are probably familiar with, like what kind of infrastructure and how would this work – like, is UK obligated if most Scottish residents voted, is this binding? I’m thinking for example of Puerto Rico which is a U.S. territory and they can vote for full statehood all they want but it ain’t happening. Which I think is terrible, by the way. I know it’s not your job to explain these things but now that I know it is so mainstream, I am sure there must be some real thought behind it and that is interesting on so many levels.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. One of the big arguments is that the Scottish Government needs to ask the UK Parliament to grant them the right to have a referendum on independence. More than likely we will have a Scottish government in favour of independence after election in May (they’ve won the last three), but London can just say no to any referendum, which is what they are saying they will do. How long they can keep saying no if a majority of Scots want it remains to be seen.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hari Om
    While am enjoying the author insights into the characters and place… it is the process that is catching my attention (as other commenters it seems). I do tend to be a ‘flow of conscious’ writer and then go back and edit. Then again, the majority of my work is under 5000 words! I do have two items on the go that are in the six-figure words realm… but am kinda editing as I go on that; perhaps editing is not the correct term, more like rechecking my characters – but am conscious that this is stymieing the flow a bit.

    Am not sure if you are reading my Wild YAM blogposts for AZ – you might find a kindred spirit there… Saor Alba! YAM xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Yamini! Glad people are finding my posts about the writing process interesting. I say go with the flow, don’t worry about rechecking until you get to the end! 🙂 Need to check out your other blog, so many to find for A-Z. Do you have a link for that one? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I wonder if anything else you’ve written will be as predictive as the election?
    Whilst I’m not even thinking of writing a novel, I’m a great believer in writing things as they appear in my head rather than planning, altering and agonising over ideas.
    Brexit and an independent Scotland? Don’t even get me started on those!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Keith, yep, just go for it I say, and see where you end up! We’ll know more about an independent Scotland after May, but the shambles of Brexit is a key driver of the increased support for independence. Who knows if my predictions will come to pass? I sort of hope not!

      Like

  7. Sounds like a prescient story. I’ve only made a couple of novel writing attempts and my approach was kind of like yours except I didn’t really finish and go through the process of intense editing.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by Arlee. It is a long and sometimes painful process to write a novel. Maybe one day you will try again and get through to the end! 🙂

      Like

      1. Yep. When it’s time to let go of the editing process, sometimes I have to tell myself (borrowing from Babe), “That’ll do pig.” ;-D

        Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of writers seem to feel the same. I seem to be in the minority,but I like the fact that the hard work is done, the novel exists, and wditing just shapes and improves on it, and it will soon be ready to go out into the world!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. As far as the editing is concerned, while I definitely love it as even I feel that it gives the book a more finished feel, I sometimes start to doubt whether I would be biased. And instead have recently opted for a different pair of eyes and some professional help only to see things from a different perspective. Not sure it would work. But nonetheless just giving it a try :D.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So with you on the isolationism, and do envy you the thought that Scotland will one day be able to re-join. Being a southern softy, I don’t see that option being available to me and mine. I briefly considered investigating my Irish roots to see if there was a possibility there… but the grandchildren are here and their parents have no intention of leaving the capital.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As we’re seeing now with Northern Ireland, Brexit is quickly turning into the disaster many suspected it would be. The upcoming elections in Scotland will be interesting. Brexit, and Boris and the Tories, may be the thing that finally breaks up the UK.

      Liked by 1 person

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