Six months into the worst pandemic in a century, we’ve passed five million cases with more than 170,000 dead, more than 30 million out of work, and the economy collapsing faster than it did during the great depression. Our politics have grown even more divisive, making it harder for us to act together. The world is changing around us in ways that we can’t possibly understand because we’re right in the middle of it.
So let’s talk about how this affects your current work in progress. That is, assuming you’re actually working on your novel instead of binge watching or binge baking or binge eating or binge drinking or crying quietly into your pillow every night. Or all of the above.
Of course, if you’re just starting out on a new manuscript, the virus offers all sorts of opportunities for drama. Covid is the ultimate A Stranger Comes to Town, upending peoples’ lives, putting them under strain, and revealing their true character – think Shane in virus form. But there’s something you’ve got to watch out for if you do decide to work Covid into your story — we still don’t know how the pandemic is going to end. Stuff could easily happen in coming months that will eclipse anything you might use as a background now, leaving your story feeling dated before it’s even finished. [Read more…]