Friday, September 5, 2014

Questions of Perspective

Behind the Story of Threat Multiplication (Part 5)

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.

From the first inklings of what I would write to fully developing the idea, I knew Kat would have a big role to play, but she wouldn’t be the only main character.  She had an entire storyline to herself – everything that was happening away from the FURC.  While I saw no need to have any perspective other than hers on those events, that still left everything that was going on inside the compound, and the question of whose story that would be.

Since David was a main character in the first book, I wanted him to play a significant role, but with the various difficulties Security would be dealing with, the one point-of-view the story really required was Tony’s.  He was the one in a position to see all the incidents as they occurred and eventually pull those threads together (while also worrying about Kat.)  He’d already had the prologue and an important part in book 1, with the promise of more to come, so it would be here that he made the jump to becoming a main POV character.

Including David, that would give me two perspectives inside the FURC and three in all, surely sufficient to tell the tale.  Since Tony would be handling the big picture, I imagined David could give an on-the-ground look at the investigation into the poisoning of the guards (which would naturally lead him up against his bête noir.)  But although I might’ve been able to show the whole story inside the compound with only Tony and David, there was a lot happening, and I thought I could use a fourth POV character to help tell it all.  Also, I liked the idea of getting a fresh perspective on the main characters.

A new POV character to serve both of those functions would best come from the ranks of Security (and I wanted to further develop that small staff anyway.)  So who might it be?  Considering how the story started, I knew Crystal would be a main suspect in the poisoning, which would make David’s part in that investigation awkward.  I decided to use that.

Since David was only a rookie, he would be paired up with a veteran detective who would be in charge of the investigation.  If he got bumped from the case for conflict of interest, his senior partner could continue the investigation without him (and Tony would have to find something else for David to do, but I didn’t worry yet about what that would be.)

Enter Officer Lisa Courdray, a former homicide detective with a lot of experience, who had already been introduced in the first book.  She’d be well positioned to offer a new view of both David and Tony.  But while I’d found my main POV characters, I still needed some supporting players.
Next:  Part 6 – Filling out the Cast

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