Fantastic America has always been is a world unto itself. But early iterations of the project had a stronger tie to the reality we know and share in the real world. Celebrities, politicians, and famous people were my means to show a link to the real world. But at every stage of development, writing coaches, editors and critique partners suggested I not use real people. I resisted.
Until this week. I was finished with another round of edits and wanted to explore some ideas about how different Fantastic America is from real life. So I identified a point of divergence before the story began and worked forward to see how those changes played out. The more I replaced those real people, the more fun I had coming up with imaginary analogues. Expect me to introduce some of my favorites as the rewriting continues. Some replacements are more obvious than others, but I had too much fun making them all up.
My only real regret is being too stubborn to have done this before. My reimagined President of the United States is much more fun than her real world model. Having complete control over backstories is a big bonus too. Sometimes, I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to writing. At least I’ve made more progress, despite my hang-ups, and hopefully, the story will be better in the process.