Sunday, June 14, 2015

Caroline’s Coup

Behind the Story of Compromised Inside (Part 6)

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.

One of the basic themes of this book would deal with the essentially secretive nature of the FURC administration and the democratic reforms that were being made.  That meant a political plotline.  The first thing the director would do to provide people with greater representation (according to what role they had in society rather than where they lived) was expand the Community Council.  This would give me the opportunity to dig deeper into the competing interests (and personalities) within the FURC.  It would also give me the chance to bring back some of the supporting characters like Jeffrey and Sara and Alice.  But the wrangling among councilors would just be a bit of fun – the main feature would be the election.

If things were going to become more democratic, they would also need a civil leader for the community (and that leader would be chosen from among the existing councilors, not by their peers but by the public.)  That meant a big vote – at a time when there was growing unrest and protests.  With all the urgent issues to be dealt with, who governed the FURC was a vital question that created the backdrop for plenty of drama.  As an actress, Caroline would see politics as playing a part, and she knew she had the skills to play it well. 

She had gotten herself chosen as the councilor representing the regular civilian population, and naturally she would want to run the council.  So she would also run in the election to win the starring role.  (Though she also believed she’d be the best leader to bring people together and steer them through the difficult times ahead.)

And having Caroline as a main point-of-view character to show the squabbling on the council and the contest to be in charge of the community meant it should be highly entertaining.  The epilogue of Certain Hypothetical had been told from her perspective (and I’d had a lot of fun writing it) but we hadn’t seen much of her since then.  It was time to find out more about Kat’s mother.

But Caroline wouldn’t have everything her own way – she’d face some stiff competition.  Who would that be?  Alice Kittner was the obvious foil, but I couldn’t see her giving Caroline much of a contest in the election.  And since George Radley would have to resign his seat on the council early on, that provided a nice opening for a new character, a charismatic type who could challenge Caroline in the fight to win over the hearts and minds of the public.  Alvin Fox.

He would be the obvious threat, but between Alice Kittner’s history as a radical and the influence of the Gravity Bug, it wasn’t difficult to see an even greater danger brewing behind the scenes.  And that wouldn’t only imperil Caroline’s efforts to win the election, but her life and the future of the entire community as well.
Next:  Part 7 – The Gravity Bug

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