As soon as the news broke that Pope Benedict XVI was resigning, the cogs in my head started to turn — the cogs that drive the writer and world-builder in me. I could not help but think what a perfect opportunity it is to observe, learn and possibly borrow and tweak practices to be used by groups, societies and even countries in world-building settings.
How do societies in your world handle transition? It is a very important aspect that writer’s need to consider, which is why I recommend writers follow the choosing of the new pope, something might strike a cord that you can use in your writing — even if you aren’t Catholic or don’t agree with them. Let’s face it, it is an interesting, complicated and secretive process, which makes it particularly tantalizing for fiction.
Besides watching the selection process, I am once again going drop another plug-in for writers to look to history for inspiration for transitional periods of power not just for the papacy but for different governments throughout the world: There truly are some very interesting rituals and practices out there for writers to make their own and add to.
Current events and research are truly some of the best ways to be inspired!
[Writer’s Note: I will go more in-depth into governments and power structures in the currently running World-building Series]