Friday, August 29, 2014

The Approaching Storm

Behind the Story of Threat Multiplication (Part 4)

Warning:  this post contains spoilers for Certain Hypothetical and Threat Multiplication (though hopefully not for future books in the series) and I recommend reading those books first.

Also be warned that this shows the ‘sausage-making’ aspect of writing, which some of you may not want to know about.

Having figured out what the bad guys would be doing, I then needed to flip that around to see how everything would appear from the points-of-view of my main characters in order to understand how the story would actually start and in what direction it would head.  The biggest, most dangerous threats – Lacey, Eric, and the governor’s forces poised to attack – would all be hidden from view, but their influence would definitely be felt.  At first in very small ways.

It would all start with the disruption in communication with the outside world.  The timing of that wasn’t an accident – it was the governor kicking off his campaign against them as soon as he learned that a small team had left the FURC compound to travel to the Cameron estate.  Thinking that causing confusion and keeping those far from the FURC from being able to make contact with those on the inside to give them warning would only help his plan, he had the nearby cell towers sabotaged.  The next step was for Eric to upload the computer virus and bring down the FURCSnet.

That was never going to work, at least as intended, but it did begin a series of power outages that would cause trouble in themselves and give the saboteurs on the inside an opportunity to make even more.  Those elements were the first intimations of the approaching storm, and I thought a fitting part of the prologue.

The first big problem for those remaining inside the FURC would be the poisoning of the guards.  Of course they would suspect the work of moles yet undiscovered within the compound, but they couldn’t be sure and would have to investigate.  It would take time for all the threads to come together.

At the same time there was Kat, far away on the outside and finding problems of her own to deal with – a gang of white supremacists getting in the way of her and the Camerons traveling to the FURC, as well as the nasty piece of work that was Bart.  And then there was the hidden-in-plain-sight danger that was Lacey, who would at first present a different kind of difficulty for Kat (not to mention the trouble she would have with Fiona.)

There I felt I had all I needed to get the story going and propel it along its way (with more in store for the climax.)  But while it had been obvious from the start that Kat would be a big part of it all, I was still unsure who the other main characters would be, and I needed to know that before I started writing.
Next:  Part 5 – Questions of Perspective

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