I have spent the last few weeks trying to figure out how the last third of the book goes. My original outline for that part of the book was all of seventy words long, so you’ll understand it needed some expansion. I mean, my outlines at the best of times are usually a couple of vague sentences and the fuzzy shape of the idea somewhere in the back of my mind and I have that, but it’s one thing to say, He killed him because he did A Very Bad Thing. It’s a whole other thing to have a complete understanding of what that Very Bad Thing was.
So last week I said unto Paul M: I need a conspiracy. Something a corporation would do that’s subtle yet evil.
And then we plotted and schemed and came up with something malevolent and appalling and creepy and a little bit brilliant.
It’s also going to have to be a massive sub-plot if not plot-plot later on. Which is sort of inevitable. I mean I needed the conspiracy to be significant enough to have a dramatic effect on one of my characters, so naturally it wants to hang around in the storyworld making trouble.
It also has an… unintended side-effect. Which really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Science always seems to have unintended side-effects. Especially if the people performing the science are on the dubious side of the morality line.
When this particular side-effect occurred to us it made us to snicker a bit (par for the course with this book) and then to make slightly underhanded literary comparisons. So naturally the next time it came up in conversation Paul called it, Professor Xavier’s Underground School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And I beat my head against the table.
Okay, not literally, I would have got ketchup in my hair. Also, there’s no school, no professor, no witchcraft and ‘underground’ is metaphorical, so the analogy is ridiculous. But it’s also kind of hilarious and does send my mind exactly where I want it to when I’m looking at that part of the story.
The worst part, really, is that there are an awful lot of literary references in this book, so I am going to have exert a great deal of willpower to not make that joke in the text. I clearly have a terrible, terrible sense of humour and shouldn’t be allowed near literary allusions of any kind.