InProgress 5: Tie-in

Something interesting happened while I was musing about how to introduce the third character thread in my current project. (If you’re new here, I’m preparing to start writing (and posting) the 3rd chapter of the 4th story in the current series.) In the first two chapters, we caught up with several of the characters that appeared in earlier parts of this series. For the 3rd chapter, I’m introducing two characters that were part of another series of stories. Derek Boa led an activist group called Constitutional Evolution in my novel, “Burnout Fever”, which is available at the Nook and Kindle stores. Later, I wrote a series of short stories, collectively called ‘Peacefare’, about Derek and the people in his organization, for which you can find a link in the Series page of my WordPress blog. Their objective was to use role-playing to workshop potential improvements to the US constitution. Midway in that series, I introduced a spy-in-training, who they eventually knew as Craig.

Initially, I had decided that Craig would play a crucial role in this story because I needed a character who was investigating the cause of the effects wrought by Burt’s ‘pods’ on how conflicts were now playing out. That person would be in some intelligence service, and Craig already existed, so I drafted him into the story. His investigation was pretty easy to lay out, but something felt missing because he was working alone.

I had, until that point, considered the fact that both that series and the Bert’s pods were inextricably tied up with the idea of peacefare as a handy coincidence. But when I realized I needed another player, Derek Boa was waiting for my call. After all, he had tasked a member of his group to research peacefare, and Craig had begun his career in the agency by infiltrating Boa’s group in order to learn more about their leader. When he discovered that he supported their objectives, he resolved to have their back, making him a self-defined double agent. It seemed perfectly reasonable that Craig would want Derek’s assistance in his current work.

So here I am, contemplating how to open the next chapter in the story. And all I can see is Craig, faced with an intractable problem, turning to the one person he thinks can help him to resolve it, a man he once spied on and then became friends with. This story is become more fun the more I get into it. And that just feels right.

Check back for further chapters in “Interrupted Podcast”.

—— P. Orin Zack / Sept 16, 2019

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