Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why I know I live in a free country, and what Sheer-Zan is to me

Unlike the world of Sheer-Zan: One, I did not live in a world of fear for secret police. I mean, I could imagine the paranoia from life in Georgia, but it seems like something I would not get right.

See, the thing that makes it work is that the protagonist, from the first, is aware she is in over her head, just beginning to learn anything at all about her enemy---and her self, it seems. But up to this point, she is very accomplished. It is the nature of the challenge ahead that her every weakness will come exposed.

Like Batman, she can do anything if she has time to prepare. But she is not like any Batman at all, save maybe for the one who nearly bungled to his doom in the early parts of Miller/ Mazzuchelli's Batman: Year One. The years have allowed me distance, but there are scenes so talked about in comic book circles that recollections have come anyway.

Still, I won't re-read those, don't have them on hand, and further, wish to learn nothing more from them, but rather, examine how one's environment could be made hostile by humankind in a way that is foreign, indeed, to me as a citizen of the United States of America. But those bullied people trying to find a way to band together without drawing attention are an inspiration to me. I just can't make it all about me, or America, without remembering this is real life now in the Arab Spring. Where will the changes in the world end?

So what then of this story?

I think it needs to be set aside. Read up, talk to people, let real life come to the fore, and appreciate the need to keep sweet freedom for all who will but find it in themselves.

That's my first clue how to start writing Sheer-Zan: One. The heroine is liberated by her freedom of movement. After knowing life that way, she wants free movement for all. That is her motivation as a human being.

Sheer-Zan. It's Persian for "Tigress," or "Protector."

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