The protagonist of Gods Among Men is Damon Roth. Recently I had an epiphany where I saw behind Damon’s tactics, which I had instinctively settled on long ago, and grasped his strategy in a clear manner. I glimpsed into the devious mind of a character I had created and truly understood him for perhaps the first time. I saw how he treated the world as a chessboard, and people as pieces moving on that board. The reasons behind his actions became clear to me, and I appreciated the elegant brutality of his solutions to problems.
This knowledge allowed me to write a clear, concise summary of the fundamental story. I tried to write down Damon’s strategy and tactics in a similar manner, but found myself balked by my mythology. I discovered that to understand “why” Damon acts as he does requires understanding:
- The world he lives in
- The nature of the threat he is responding to
- His ideas for addressing that threat
- The reasons some oppose him and others support him.
- How he plans to eliminate those who oppose him
- How he plans to reward those who support him
- Why he sees himself as a threat to his own plans, and his solution to that problem.
The finished story is the ultimate, and definitive, explanation for all of this. But a summary of what I intend the story to contain, written so it is clear to the average person, is a reasonable goal. In fact, such a summary is necessary if I hope to someday be published.
Which brings us to the point and purpose of this series of posts, which I am calling The Big Picture. In this series I will explore the history and mythology that forms the setting for Gods Among Men. I shall explain how the world transitioned from the way it once was to how it is now; and why that is important. I will reveal enough of the back-story of central characters, along with their motivations, so that their goals are put into context. I will explain the threat that Damon is responding to, along with his solution to the threat. Finally I will reveal Damon’s byzantine plot and what he hopes to achieve. I shall reveal the cost he must pay for his plans succeed.
This is not to suggest I am going to post on this subject exclusively. Merely that I will return to it regularly for some time to come. It is, after all, a subject dear to my heart. Plus, I don’t want the vagaries of memory and the demon of time to steal my current clarity of thought.