I know that BlogHer is not a specific-for-novelist site, yeah, I know. But for the love of all gods and goddesses of teH interwebz, why, oh why, don't they have a writing category? I mean, yeah, we're all doing it here - writing. But there are writing for blogs, articles, speeches, novels, thesis.. all of which have different characteristics, different methods, different grammaticals, different everything!
Anyway, back to writing. Mine.
My novel's location is in New York City. US of A. I have never lived in NYC. I've been there, sure. But I've not lived there, unlike I've lived in SoCal, Singapore, and - obviously - Jakarta, Indonesia. Regardless, I moved through the neighborhood where I'd placed my characters as if I was describing my backyard (which I have none, unfortunately). I relied on the almighty googlemaps to figure out the little details of Central Park - as much as it could be zoomed in.
My characters are American with various ethnic and religious backgrounds. I make them angry, righteous, happy, sad, delirious - even a little mad - easily.
Some time during today, while watching Kick Andy Show that was airing Indonesians who made international world gasp at their merit (Andre Surya Wiryawan, Agnes Monica, Reindy Allendra, and Goris Mustaqqim), I feel a little pang in the back of my nationalist brain.
I wondered why I'd never made a story that's located right here, where I'm at, in my own country.
Then I looked at the strongpoints of my stories: protocols, procedures, discipline, righteousness -- and out of the four, only righteousness made its place in my country. Unfortunately, it was often not made heard by the righteous folks. The voice of righteousness was uttered -- no, hollered -- by political people. People with hidden agenda which includes their bank accounts, respective or collectively. People who has enough means (read: money) to rape rules and ignore injustices. People who uses religions to hide their ignorance and megalomaniacal intents.
The last part, the religions (and in a smaller scale, the culture), was one of the massive hurdle I have refused to topple, simply because it would not work - not while people dwelling on those are still uneducated enough to be categorized as stupid. Not while people are still uneducated enough to be willing to be herded around like sheeps by those whose voice is louder - albeit emptier - than theirs. I have no wish to start fire, nor to smother down the fire I started, by noting down those who do not deserve to be acknowledged. No, I do not want to go down that road.
My country still has a long way to go to educate her people, modify and reconstruct the law that was made by the colonial Dutch - law made to repress the poor and aid the rich, fix herself, before she fixes her people. And until that, I cannot place my heroes here. I love my country, yes. She has a hella truckload of potential and potential people to admire. But my characters are my children. I have no wish to place them in harm's way that is my countryfolks' ignorance and uninformed-ness.
So yes, I shall remain - or rather, my novels will remain located - overseas. Someday, maybe, I'll bring them home. But not now. Not today.
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