Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shadows Behind The Curtains

It is not always what you see that makes a story. Sometimes, it is what happens behind the scenes.

In my upcoming third book in the Dancer series - Defiant Dancer, trouble is brewing light years from where my novel takes place. Earth is losing a war with a former colony world called Corven. The item of contention is a planet called Me'Auk, and Corven is about to push Earth's forces off the main continent.

A meeting takes place within the Corven military to look at the post-victory situation. Sure, they have defeated Earth's expeditionary force, but there are other concerns. Me'Auk was once home to the Me'Aukin clans - a space fairing civilization only recently rediscovered. It is feared that the Me'Aukins would seek an alliance with another more primitive race Earth had discovered - the Qurls. My main character's people. The last thing Corven wishes to see is a hastily advanced race becoming the shock troops for a Me'Aukin return to their former world. What to do?

I envisioned a standard military meeting - dry protocol and charts. Lesser officers reciting reports that the generals had already read. The only real thing left to accomplish was a mutual agreement to be forwarded to the corporate conglomerate sponsoring the eventual colonization. Corven would send one cruiser to the world of Dessa in order to chase off any Me'Aukin interlopers and make their own alliance with these Qurls.

Readers will be spared this scene - one of many they won't see. Conversations between Qurl power brokers to control the Great Suria risen among them will also be omitted. What the reader will see instead is the results. The determination of a former suitor. The flash and heat of a striking missile. The dance of cause and effect spurned on by motivations and scheming by shadows behind the curtains. Most things in my world happen for a reason, and this is the same with any good story. Hidden agendas. Plans. Neither hold well with a target who continues to turn and twist in moments of desperate decision, and spiraling out from such wonderful confusion comes a story of both dimension and depth.

Meanwhile, I am writing the first draft of the final installment in the Dancer series, and have already watched how repressive politics back on Earth has produced a flowering of what had been a minor character into the most conflicted of archetypes - a traitor with solid motivations for becoming one.

It is the things you don't see.