1. Yuli Ban
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    Yuli Ban Member

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    Mission, Themes, and Plot for Mother Meki

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Yuli Ban, Mar 18, 2014.

    There is a novel tetrology that I'm booking on as being my bread and butter, and this is the one that I treat with upmost importance when discussing. It's neither as campy as Passion of the Roaches nor as ridiculous as Belle Grand-Mär (though that's for you to decide).

    It's a tad difficult for me to discuss because it's such a big project and I'm so inexperienced (which is one reason why I work on other projects; as we speak, I've already come up with a brand new idea that I've already pegged as being my first serious short story). But I hope I can get what I want to say across to you well enough. Now then, enough with the pleasantries...

    First of all, the protagonist of Mother Meki goes by 2 names most of the time; 1- Meki. Not only is that her self-appointed nickname, that's also her narrative designation. 2- Mackenzie Seville. You can add "Her Royal Majesty, Princess Mackenzie Seville," "Her Royal Majesty, Empress Mackenzie Seville", and "Citizen Mackenzie Seville" at the points, and you'll know when these points come about. I don't refer to her as Mackenzie/Seville in narrative though other characters do and have their own nicknames for her.
    Mission of Mother Meki: There are 5 reasons why I want to write Mother Meki, what it has to say, and why it won't leave my mind
    1. Class warfare in the future, taken to its logical conclusion. The whole premise of Mother Meki is: "What if the poor overthrew the rich with the help from someone amongst the ruling class, and this person was not forgiven?" Most cyberpunk deals with corporate espionage, government abuses, malevolent AI, and invisible warfare to begin with, usually against each other at the expense of the poor and disadvantaged. Then some lone anti-hero, with a bit of help, takes down the system with maybe some insider assistance.
      Mother Meki takes this beyond its logical conclusion: the system is overthrown (though not by a lone wolf), but what happens to its rulers, including one of whom helped the disadvantaged to actually overthrow the ruling class? 5 years after? 20 years after? 100 years after? Does a new ruling class rise, or is there something else brewing?
      One might also claim that Mother Meki (especially MaMeki 2) can be seen as a bit of Marxist literature due to its extensive discussion of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Red Terror. Not that socialism is glorified (oh no, there's something else I had in mind), but that it's really the only way one can get away with persecuting the wealthy based solely on social origin.
      Out of all of them, this is the backbone of the series. Nothing else in Mother Meki matters quite as much, though the series would be a bit bland if it lacked these other four premises.
    2. Human Growth and Technological Change, taken to its logical conclusion. One other aspect of Mother Meki that has not changed and will never changed is that it's setting starts in 2082 and goes on from there, with some major event (revolution usually) occurring between 2099 and 2102. Ever since June of 2013, the revolution occurred in 2099, and I think that's well set today. But ignore that: because this is a late 21st/22nd century tale, transhumanism runs rampant, as well as artificial intelligence.
      How would people react to this? Realistically, I mean. It won't be a utopia... but guess what, it won't be a dystopia either. Especially since the ruling elite were overthrown, so the concept that some shadowy corporate figures can control our destiny through electronic control goes out the window (legitimate plot point). But hey, one man's utopia is another's dystopia, and I'm sure they year 2014 would be considered a utopia to someone in the year 1014. About as much change occurs between now and 2114.
      So you have primitivists and transhumanists at it, from across the political spectrum. The added socioeconomic chaos only speeds things up. So basically, humanity has to deal with something that feels primal to me: Growing Up. Can we do it? Can we deal with being superhuman, posthuman, especially when we don't have those nasty fascist plutocrats controlling us? Can we deal with non-human superintelligences living amongst us?
    3. Immortality, taken to its logical conclusion. The protagonist of Mother Meki undergoes a lot of things following the revolution, some of which I'm not comfortable mentioning quite just yet. But let's just say that she's now semi-immortal (meaning she can die, but she will be resurrected each and every time). How would one deal with such a thing? To compound this issue, she is mentally ill (nothing to do with the revolution; I'll talk about that in a moment). Can she deal with herself being incapable of true death? In the story, an immortal tree with odd colored leaves symbolizes her own immortality as well as her internal struggles.
    4. Daily Life. This might be a mistake to do, but I'll never know 'till I try. What I noticed about most science fiction is that its protagonists and antagonists live incredible lives, killing robots, crashing AI, defeating alien hordes... not much about realism. Most space opera sci-fi takes place on space ships and alien planets, while most cyberpunk takes place in grim East Asian corporate-run cities. So I decided to break this trend: let's take some unbelievable characters (empresses, princes, anarchists, and superhuman robots) and put them in mundane settings doing mundane things (most notably in MaMeki 4). Have them in and out of cities, realize that it's a realized future, and that they've led interesting lives. Have them say they'll do things and never do them. Stuff you and I would do, but in slightly more interesting scenarios.
    5. What are we doing? Something several characters dwell on is why we do the things we do. How and why did we get to this point in history? Do we look at things too subjectively? And, most importantly, where the hell are we going? The same questions we ask ourselves today.
    The tetrology is meant to progress this way: Cyberpunk >> Dystopia >> Post Cyberpunk >> Cyberprep/Cyberdelia

    So as for a plot, what are some conflicts we can run off of? I have these in mind

    1- Meki vs Herself. She is young throughout Mother Meki I and II and arguably III. She makes mistakes, and is well aware she can't change them. She's schizophrenic (disorganized, though leaning towards catatonic), as well as synesthetic. She believes that she has some sort of duty to do, and this duty is why she aids the revolution so greatly. She'll even kill her father and willingly have herself killed for it. She believes humanity must ascend. But she's also a Masochistic Personality Disorder; she enjoys the pain and stress she receives, but she's introspective to an nth degree and knows that what she's doing is fucked up in so many ways. Her actions indirectly lead to 30 million deaths, including that of nearly her entire family. Her brothers even convince her that one of her sisters was raped and burned alive. Is this what she fought for? She doesn't know, and she doesn't care after the revolution: the ruling classes would be swept away, so why should she worry about what happens to herself? If there is a Hell, she's going.
    More than that, after becoming immortal (against her will, obviously), she has to deal with immortality anxiety.
    Now understand, Meki is only 17 when the Revolution succeeds, and is only 24 when she's first killed. She's little more than a child throughout all of Mother Meki I. And before age 13, she was an arrogant, supremacist, spoiled brat who was crowned empress far too young by her father. This was an Absolutist corporate-monarchy, so this would be something more akin to 18th century French nobility than modern liberal-democratic nobility. It is one of her hallucinations that forces her to change, and it is learning that she's meant to be her father's sex slave that leads her to making more of her choices in the future.
    Her reality is hopelessly skewed, and this will become more apparent in any further synopsis I post.
    So in summary: she has to choose between giving up her privileges for the satisfaction of the world at large, hallucinations and delusions ravage her mind, she has to choose between whether she wants the world to be a fascist hellhole run by the current elite or give it a chance to be run by the people and possibly ruined that way (with no other option other than human extinction), and whether she wants to live for herself or die for the people.
    That's Mother Meki I.

    2- Meki vs Her Father. As you may have gasped at a few second ago, the whole reason for Meki's existence is because of her father's desires. Meki is a designer baby, complete as a pedigree Aryan. She's otherwise very attractive (possibly one of those few situations where physical beauty exists for more than just sex appeal), but mentally ill. This is her father's doing; he once loved a schizophrenic Irish whore who took her life because he wouldn't let her alone. Meki is meant to be the reincarnation of this person, but in her father's maximized desires. Her father is sort of a plot device in and of himself in that he also makes love with a few other people who are not unimportant, to say the least.
    What's important about this man is that he's the world's richest man, wielding 700 trillion USD by 2099. He's the background ruler of a corporation-state. He's had two waves of children, three in the 2030s, two in the 2070s after youth regeneration, and Meki herself in 2082. He also had a child with that schizophrenic Irish whore in 2040 (and he does appear in the series). Her father's a somewhat amiable man in some ways, but despicable in others. With him in the way, the world's destined to become a neo-feudal wasteland. Hell, he's the one who brought back titles of nobility and hereditary rule!
    But Meki was conditioned before birth to be forced to love him. So can she kill her father and do what she needs to do? Don't forget, this is the 2090s: fly on the wall? Try nanobots in the brain. It'll be hard to get around surveillance, even as an elite.

    3- Meki vs Her Brother. This is more Mother Meki III and IV, but her brother is the one who tries to introduce Meki to anti-government movements in Mother Meki I. At the time, however, Meki was squarely a princess and didn't want anything to do with it (besides being too young to understand). Her brother thought he had chosen right, but as time went on, he began doubting himself and wondering if maintaining the status quo was the better choice. Also, Meki accidentally purges the movement so he is bound by his own honor to try to assassinate his sister.
    But the revolution occurs before then, and he loses his titles and wealth during socialist expropriation. He gets drawn into a far right wing movement, where he remains. He winds up looking down on his vagrant sister, and, as part of the movement, is again forced to attempt to kill her.
    The problem being she's semi-immortal...

    4- Meki vs The People. Following the appearance of a new hallucination and another action, Meki chooses to side with the people and aid a revolution against her own throne. She realizes that the only way it will succeed is if she overthrows her father/husband, take control of the country's wealth and droid connections, and allow them to win.
    Then she wants them to slaughter her like the tyrannical dog she is. She hopes they will do what they need to do to her all throughout the 2100s, and to be honest, the class differences are there. But then junk happens between 2104-2113 and you'll someday read the rest.
    Mother Meki II, III, and IV, all of which are post-revolution, continue this story as to Meki can regain the trust of her old people, now that she's nothing more than a broken peasant.

    5- Meki vs Her Hallucinations. She was raised by the voices in her head, but that doesn't mean she likes all of them all the time. They've told her to do things, some great, others horrible. But she's so self-destructive, she doesn't know that she doesn't want them. So it's a struggle between her will and theirs.

    6- Meki vs Fate. Meki was born transhuman, but loves primates and aliens alike. Some claim that she'd want to be the new Jane Goodall if she had the chance, while others compare her to a Ufologist. Well now that she's immortal and has had ample time to wonder about death (including how weird but oddly humbling it feels to imagine a 'Post-Meki' world), she has to choose whether she wants to remain human (ala primates) or ascend to posthumanity (ala ET; this is providing she gets the chance any time soon).

    7- Meki vs Mydella. Mydella Miyakuro is an anarchist. Mydella is Meki's friend. They've actually known each other since before the revolution through an anonymous chatroom, and they first meet for real in 2103 when Meki is working near a makeshift town and happens to run into her. By this point, Meki's already been humbled. By chance, someone tries to assassinate Mydella and Meki saves her life. That's the last they see each other for 13 years. They meet again and Mydella takes the homeless, shagged, and destitute Meki in. But then Mydella is told by the government (the new, AI-run government) that she's actually broken a revolutionary law for doing so, and the only way to avoid consequences is to hook Meki up to a machine that keeps tabs on Meki's neural activity.
    This is Mother Meki III and IV, and this is the first of many times Mydella sticks her neck out for Meki. Luckily... let's just say that the two are very good friends.

    There's just a little bit more going on here that I'll pick up on later. Please comment.
     
  2. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    No one can tell you if it is good until you write at least part of the book. Almost any plot can be good with the right author.
     
  3. Yuli Ban
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    Yuli Ban Member

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    Not asking if it's necessarily good, just what you think of it sans narrative.
     
  4. Wowzie
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    Wowzie Member

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    You say that you're inexperienced. Sit by yourself and play until you've got something cool to show. This is design notes. Show us when it's a story.
     
  5. stormr
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    stormr Member

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    judging from what you posted here, I think it will make a great book, or series of books. just sit down and start writing them out, as you outlined here. I think they will make for some interesting reading :)
     

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