Nov. 6th, 2014

leaflitter: Nanowrimo, just keep writing (nanowrimo)
I'm attempting the first draft of a fanfic novella/novel for NaNoWriMo this year. It's more Ursula Le Guin fic; it's set on the world of O, the original setting for the sedoretu concept. There's quite a few sedoretu AUs, but not as far as I can tell any fic set on O.

I don't want to spend too much time here when I could be making word count there, but in my last big writing project (a dissertation) I did find inconsequential blogging a little bit helpful.

So, a few things.

First, I'm a bit shy of 5000 words right now, which means of course that I need to up my daily word count. As of today, it needs to be 1800.

Second, I need to work out how a technologically advanced civilisation that apparently still uses upwards of 90% of its population on agriculture and completely lacks cities works, at least to some degree. There's mention of Centers rather than cities, I'm not clear on what the distinction is. I think they may be universities without townships attached to them.

Third, why does Le Guin bother to specify in Another Story that brother-sister marriages are taboo? They're actually a special case of the moiety taboo: all siblings and half-siblings would share a moiety (absent an moiety-incest violation, even half-siblings that share a father would be born to different women who share a moiety and therefore also share that moiety). I thought for a time she meant that a brother and sister cannot be on the same side of a sedoretu, but in that very same story, that's what goes on to happen: Hideo and Koneko, full siblings, are the Evening spouses in their sedoretu. So that half-sentence bugs me every time. The moiety taboo is a society-wide sibling-marriage taboo to the point where you don't need to separately specify things.

Fourth, it seems unlikely to me that there is really no word in the ki'O language(s) for one's not-spouse, as in, the other person in the sedoretu with your own moiety. This person would be one of the most significant people in your life. They are married to the same two people as you. The potential for both teamwork and jealousy is beyond saying.

Le Guin doesn't give a word, and the Mountain Ways introduction says "The forbidden relationships are between the Morning woman and the Morning man, and between the Evening woman and the Evening man, and they aren't called anything, except sacrilege." Funny to not acknowledge the intense and fraught social relationship there, especially since that story has the only example of it shown from the point of view character. (Hideo and Koneko in Another Story, per above, are siblings already. Hadri and Sasni in Unchosen Love are never seen to speak.)

And there would be two of these highly charged non-romantic relationships in every sedoretu. It almost makes me wish my story was about an established one. Perhaps some other time.


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