Sunday, May 17, 2015
Warning: this post contains spoilers for the first 3 Slowpocalypse stories, and I recommend reading those novels first. Also be warned that this shows the ‘sausage-making’ aspect of writing the book, which some of you may not want to know about.
So over the course of writing Threat Multiplication I’d been developing the basic idea for Compromised Inside. It wouldn’t be until I actually began writing book 3 that I’d start to see how that story would unfold, but it was clear that the focus on problems within the community – the unrest, the election, and the outbreak – would give me greater opportunity than usual to explore the various characters and their relationships. Because I focus on how a story impacts selected people and how their actions influence events but don’t dwell on their backgrounds or relationships except as they’re relevant to what’s going on at the moment, you’ve learned about these characters only gradually, over time. But this story would depend on these people’s relationships more than before.
Director Miles’ plots to handle the various crises meant we’d see a bit more of him and delve a little deeper into the dynamic between him and his assistant Verity. And not only would the old friendship between Tony and Caroline come to the fore, the mother-daughter relationship between Caroline and Kat would be important to both their stories. And Kat’s history with Sara would come into play, as would Sara’s relationships with men and her superiors at Security. Indeed, the increasing tensions inside Security would afford me the opportunity to look at how Tony and his supervisors and the officers all got along. And the election would mean taking a closer look at the councilors representing the community and thus the community itself. David’s work with Dr. Harker would see how she dealt with her attraction to him, and how he would deal with that. Most important of all, Kat and Tony’s issues would come to a critical juncture.
I only had a handful of the pieces of this story when I started, but one thing I knew was how that relationship would resolve. When I started writing this series, I hadn’t even known Kat and Tony would be a thing, but whatever was between them had become a central part of the story, and after how Threat Multiplication had ended, I knew I’d have to deal with their relationship in Compromised Inside. But Tony’s resolve to avoid Kat and what she meant to him would have made that a very long and painful process. The end of the book, however, would give Caroline the means to cut that short and force him to face the truth about his feelings for her daughter. But before that, Tony would be struggling to maintain his distance and deny his feelings, and Kat would be seeking a way to get past his defenses.
Now that I understood not only the premises of the different parts of the plot, but also the roles various relationships would play, I needed to know how the actual book would begin. So I could start writing the story.
Next: Part 4 – Precipitating Factors