Revelations of Polyamory

According to Wikipedia:

Polyamory (from Greek πολύ [poly, meaning many or several] and Latin amor [love]) is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It is not to be confused with polysexuality, which is attraction towards multiple genders and/or sexes.

My Kingdom Come Novels are about a society where the most traditional marriage consists of four men and four women. Other combinations are common. Marriage of just a pair is quite unusual, and often leads to having friends fix up said pair with other “small” marriages in the hopes that the couple could find the happiness inherent in group marriages.

So, my characters are polyamorous.

SCANDALOUS!

Well, yeah, when you consider how unusual it is in our own present society. But the point of the book is showing the relationships as being very normal, traditional, and happy. Just as Ursula K LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness shows a society where the very human-looking beings (supposedly descended from humans, evolved in their own way after thousands of years) are androgynous.

All right already… what’s the revelation?

After completing the rough drafts of several novels, I’m stalled on the one that will be the first of the Kingdom Come stories. These are primarily romances… the characters are not saving the universe from certain doom. They are simply living their lives and falling in love in a society very different from our own.

The story is called About Damn Time and it focuses on Mia, who has been happily married for about twenty years. Mia and her husband Andrei spend a year on Earth (It’s a business trip) with the family’s three oldest children. While there, they meet AiMei… and the feelings of being attracted to this woman while desperately missing the six spouses who remained back home lead to a complicated love story.

I decided to write a story about a family visiting Earth because it would make a good contrast to establish the setting of all the Kingdom Come stories. But as written, there is no conflict regarding the couple’s polyamory. I simply mention it like a fact.

My revelation? I need to include Mia having to explain her family’s tradition to people on Earth who think that group marriage is weird, or even offensive. There has to be that kind of tension while they are on Earth, and it should be relieved when they return home.

Now… to get the time to write. This first semester back to my old teaching gig is taking up a lot more time and energy than I realized it would. Of course, before, I could recycle a lot of content from one semester to the next. Now, I’m recreating everything since so much has changed in five years.

I’ll figure it out. We’ve got a new Round of Words in 80 Days starting soon, and I can re-evaluate how I divide my time.

Wish me luck.

It’s about damn time I got something ready to query an agent.

The shortlink to this post is http://wp.me/p1qnT4-Fl

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About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
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6 Responses to Revelations of Polyamory

  1. Pingback: One Week to Go | AmyBeth Inverness

  2. Eden says:

    I really don’t know how I missed this post… but the truth is the “limited” family arrangement we have now is far more modern a construction than most people want to admit. It would be a great research project to try figuring out when polygamy/multiamory became so acceptably frowned upon even in our own Western Society. It’s stupid that we restrict love and supporting structures as much as we do, but…

    Can you have them land in a relatively populated center of society that may not even “notice” or during a period of history where polygamy might be more accepted? Or do you wish to use this as a way to increase conflict in the story?

    PS: I’m nagtagging you on my page this weekend’s check-in for the Lucky 7 Meme. I know you’re busy, thought you might have fun with it.

  3. As written now, I’m assuming that civilization on Earth is still quite diverse, although there is a unified government. Non-heterosexual marriages are unremarkable. Polyamorous marriages might exist in certain segments of society, but are considered very unusual.

    The business trip has the family living in Hong Kong for the first half of the year. Dad zips all over the eastern hemisphere from their home base. The second half of their year is spent in Denver, from where Dad zips all over the western hemisphere.

    I had written a part about how the parents talked to the three kids about how they weren’t going to hide their polyamory, but they weren’t going to advertise it either. Part of the reason Andrei suggests taking just one spouse, a woman, with him on the business trip is that the m/f combination is the most socially accepted combination. The parents talked to the kids about how all the areas they were going to visit were modern societies that would probably look at their polyamory as an interesting anecdote, but there exist some communities and people who would find it offensive.

    This talk was mostly backstory, and it really seemed to be going overboard with explanation. I have worked out a lot of details, exhaustively even, but the trick is how to get the most important information to the reader without having them feel like they’re reading a textbook on the history of my fictional universe.

    Oh, and thanks for tagging me in Lucky Sevens! I did it a few weeks ago… here’s the link http://underlochandkey.amybethinverness.com/2012/03/21/777/

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