The Tox is no place to walk alone. Sefe, a cannibal Healer, struggles to keep pace with his migratory tribe. His healing skills can no longer relieve his pain, and many tribe members have been encouraging him to do his duty and ‘take the Knife.’
But Sefe is not ready to die.
Alone at the Crossing, he stumbles upon Ana, a solitary flame runna girl. The green-skinned people are mortal enemies to every living thing on the Tox, burning the land and its creatures without mercy. Sefe’s crippling injury occurred during a flame runna raid, and he’s ready to take his revenge.
But Ana has other plans. She offers him a way out of his pain. A way to avoid the Knife. If he’s willing to pay the price.
To make an imaginary world seem real, a writer has to delve deeply into the social aspects of the fictional population. I am currently creating a futuristic culture based on cannibalism – the ultimate conservationists! How else might they justify their diet?
Cannibals are evil, right? They kill and eat people, and that is inherently wrong. Yet Cannibals are some of the most interesting characters in my story world. How can readers possibly bond with someone who does something so evil?
In Botanicaust, the Cannibals survived the demise of world food crops by refusing to be picky. Yes, they eat humans, but not exclusively. They eat anything. And they don’t believe in wasting. Their culture evolved as the ultimate conservationists. They have laws to protect people with knowledge that must not be lost. And only certain bands, called Hunters, actively hunt and kill other people. The rest of the Cannibals are gatherers, healers, craftsmen, and parents. If the situation suits them, they take pity on outsiders.
Beyond the one nearly unforgivable trait that defines them, Cannibals in Botanicaust have many good qualities. There is a reason for what they do, proven again and again by a harsh environment. Readers can empathize with the need to survive. And that is the crux of memorable characters; the reader doesn’t have to actively like them, only empathize with them.
Can you think of a character with a serious flaw who for some reason, you bonded with anyway? What redeemed that character for you?