Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tiwanaku and the Tough Target Story

April 23, 2011
A to Z Blogging Challenge
Day 20 - T

I’m fascinated by ancient lost cities and civilizations. Machu Picchu, Teotihuacan, Easter Island, Angkor Wat, and Tiwanaku.

There’s speculation about just how old Tiwanaku really is. There’s speculation about just who actually built the city. The ruins of the city are near the shores of Lake Titicaca (think El Dorado’s gold) and is generally recognized as important to the emergence of the Inca. And yet what we don’t know is greater than what we do know.

I’ve long wanted to write a story that includes these marvelous ancient places, but I’m unsure of how to proceed. Oh sure, there’s the archeologist, the adventurer, the hapless pilot, but I fear those characters have been around the block a few too many times.

The desire to write something that is likely unmarketable is something most authors will encounter sometime in their career. Our personal interests are not always shared by the masses, and it’s never a good thing to expect our readers to fall into line and love our stories no matter what.

That’s not to say we should allow ourselves to grow stale, writing the same thing over and over and over again. That also is a disservice to our readership. The reader/author relationship is deeply symbiotic, and we need to remain cognizant of that fact.

So perhaps, someday in a story, I will insert a moment like this one:

A lover comes home from a long day at work and flops on the sofa beside the object of his affection. He’ll ask what’s so interesting on the television. The reply, just before they kiss: A special about the ancient city of Tiwanaku.

Mission accomplished.

KC Kendricks
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Shannon Lawrence said...

I've always been fascinated by mysterious disappearances in history, as well as ancient civilizations that left something behind. I'm not sure if it started when I went to Mesa Verde here in Colorado, or if I already had the bug (which may be it, because I also wanted to be an archaeologist a la Indiana Jones), but I read everything I could find on places like Mesa Verde and Roanoke. I'm always a little bit disappointed when an old mystery like these gets solved.

KC Kendricks said...

Roanoke is such a mystery. I don't think we'll ever know for sure what happened. I'm on the east coast and some day I'd love to go to the Roanoke area. I've been to Jamestown a few times, and driven around the island. Fascinating.