Culturally, we love our labels. They help us create those eternal notions of us and them. They help others divide threatening social classes into groups that can be pitted against one another.
In editing Blanc Noir, I found plenty of connections to Nazis and fascism. While I did intend for this story to channel those elements within the antagonists, I’ve always felt the fascist button got pressed more than necessary. Blanc Noir is an anti-corporate tale, one I started writing years ago, one that echoes as much with the current Administration as it would with Clinton ideology.
However, I’ve found a way to make this work the way I always intended–or at least closer.
By using the titles Herr and Fraulein, I create a distinctly German sensibility. If I replaced those with INC and LLC, then the tone shifts. A glance will lead the reader to think corporation more than fascist.
Here’s an example:
Old Draft: Fraulein Margot Lauschted
New Draft: Margot Lauschted LLC
One seems like a person, perhaps an evil person. The other sounds like a small corporation, likely one that’s indifferent to the suffering of others.
All I did was change a word.