Today starts the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it's commonly known. I'm participating, and have begun my alternate history dystopic fiction novel. The working title is I Used to Ride and I still don't have a name for my protagonist.
The story is not about cycling, though some bicycle touring will appear later on in the story. I probably won't update much here on the blog, but you never know. I might be cranking along so well I don't have time to blog and need to summarize the story as it evolves to have filler here. We'll see.
In case I do end up rambling on about it here, let me give you the official pre-written summary (beginning with the backstory):
The original idea sprang from the thought: what would the world be like if the US interstate highway system had never been built?
To get my story idea from that question I worked back in time to what I saw as the most likely point in US history that could have changed that reality, and then I worked forward again to modern times and attempted to frame what modern America would be like.
The point of divergence from our history is the assassination of General Smedley Butler. After Butler is killed Douglas MacArthur steps up to lead the Bonus Army into the Business Plot. FDR is taken out of power and MacArthur is appointed to the newly created position of Secretary general of the United States. The US never enters WWII and is an economic ally to the Axis powers. The US never becomes the world power it is in our timeline and patterns itself after the Nazis and the Italian fascists.
The story picks up with the young protagonist working in an undesirable job in a Midwestern industrial city (Dayton, Ohio to be exact). He's fed up but trapped. He wants out. Finally he comes to the conclusion that his best bet is to move south to his extended family's farm in rural Kentucky where he discovers a different world, free from the fear of the Legionnaires, free from the oppression of an industrial society, and hopefully free from the threat of being outed as a reluctant political dissident. But in his new world he discovers a reality he never knew existed.
It's not too late! You can start your novel today!