Over the course of the week, Travis decided to spend some time trying to add some details to the plot he had thought for his story. He went over the idea again and again during his daily commute from home to office and back. But he did not get any fresh ideas worthy of consideration.
On Tuesday evening on the way home, it suddenly dawned on him that it was probably because he was thinking at a very superficial level. Maybe if he refreshed a little of his basic concepts on the subject he might get some direction in which to proceed further.
So, some time after reaching home, he located from his bookshelf a few introductory textbooks he had used during the course of his studies. These he planned to read with the hope of getting some concrete plot for his story.
As far as the idea itself went, Travis decided to mix a bit of both fact and fiction. The basic idea at the heart of the new power generation concept would be based in reality, which would then be elaborated upon by some other fictitious concepts. He was not interested in coming up with something that would be too complicated for the readers to understand (or for himself to end up making a mess out of it). So, after dinner he picked up one of the textbooks and started skimming through the first few chapters.
The first chapter was the usual introduction to the subject dealing with its scope, applications and other usual things that can be expected to be in an introductory chapter. The second chapter was a revision of the basic laws, theories and formulae that form the foundation for the student of electrical engineering. These also did not provide any sources of inspiration.
The next chapter was on circuit analysis. This chapter was mainly about how to simplify electrical circuits, or how to replace a certain portion of the circuit with an equivalent circuit. As expected, there was nothing of interest here, as far as the subject of Travis's NaNoWriMo story was concerned.
After this, things started to get a little interesting, as the content of the chapters started to become a mix of theoretical and practical knowledge. Finally, Travis found what he was looking for in the chapter on electric generators.
Towards the end of the chapter, there was a concluding section devoted to describing the recent advances and areas of research in the area of electric generators. Among these, Travis came across the mention of the Nanogenerator, regarded as one of the up and coming areas of research and development. Travis immediately looked it up on Wikipedia, and found that the article provided sufficient information for him to serve as the 'fact' on which the 'fiction' was to be based. Now he had to come up with a believable idea for his futuristic invention.
The remainder of the week, he spent exploring all the possible ways in which a nanogenerator could be used to conjure up a futuristic invention for his story. Should it be present as a wearable technology on clothes which ends up being exploited somehow by the bad guys? Or should it be something along the lines of the nanogenerators being used as some sort of a weapon? But he decided that it would be better if he first established the nanogenerator in his main story line, which was being a part of solving the energy crisis.
This took some thought to arrive at. But finally he thought he had a believable concept. The futuristic invention by Energised Inc., would bring the nanogenerator to all household appliances. Due to technological innovations (exact nature to be decided at time of writing), Energised Inc. were able to make a majority of appliances run on powered generated by nanogenerators. This meant that the televisions, fridges, computers, mobile phones and the like did not need electricity (as in being plugged in a power outlet) to operate. They were self sustaining.
This, he figured, would also be in line with the plot, which had one or more power companies conspiring to sabotage Energised Inc.'s invention. This invention meant that the power companies would lose out on a major chunk of their current customers. And that would lead to another major problem. How do you justify a high price when the supply exceeds the demand? And another little detail, which he felt would fit well with the story, would be that of having Energised come up with an announcement of a future project to make this technology available for heavy machinery and industrial equipment, something which would make the power companies obsolete.
Which brought him to the next part. The plot twist (or the need for one). What other ulterior motive (or motives) would Energised have had in developing such a technology? Could they be planning to use it as a weapon of some sort? Or would it be for monopolising the electricity generation, so that they could charge exorbitantly for their products and services? Or should there be nothing of that sort, just a simple story about competitors trying to sabotage a company which threatens to end their business? Should he also get the Government involved in it somehow? And if he were to, on whose side should the Government actually be? Should it be with Energised? Or should it be against it?
To solve this dilemma, Travis began to analyse the situation from the point of view of the Government. Siding with the power companies means that the energy crisis does not get solved. Which can be somewhat good, as you can indirectly keep the people on your side by pretending to have a proxy war with the power companies. This would also make for a pretty neat plot twist, thought Travis. Have the Government appear to be on Energised's side at the start and gradually build doubt about their motives as the story progresses. Then towards the end of the story, the reader will come to know the true motives of the Government in "helping" Energised.
The other option also seemed to be equally appealing. Having the Government side with Energised would also open some more possibilities to make the plot more interesting. For instance, once case would be that the Government actually plans to weaponize this technology, and is thus helping Energised in their fight. In exchange for their efforts, the Government would ask for full access to the research, and threaten to resort to force in if Energised did not comply. Or they could be made to use a bit more cunning, and try to convince Energised that it would be better if the research be with them for "safekeeping". Another motive could be the need to garner some much needed public support. One more different story would be having some people within the organisation trying to sabotage Energised's plans (Travis still had to give it a name) know some dirty secrets of the Government, and the Government's decision to help Energised being just a pretext to silence these would-be whistle blowers/blackmailers. This would also provide for a nice plot twist.
So one thing was clear. Whatever story line he chose, it was possible to make the Government as one of the villains. Travis decided that he would leave it at that for the time being. He made a note of some of the probable story arcs for the Government which he had thought of, so that he could refer to them later at the time of writing the story. As for deciding the names of the other villains, he got a flash of inspiration on Thursday.
It came from a discussion that was going on between some of his colleagues at work. They were discussing the latest instalment in the ongoing political drama between the ruling party and the opposition. What had happened that the one of the lower ranked members of the ruling party had used his influence to secure a lucrative real estate development contract for one of his relatives. Fortunately or unfortunately, the project had a few questionable sources of finance, which attracted the attention of the authorities. This led to an investigation and financial audit of the entire project for possible money laundering. As the investigation progressed, the story about the involvement of the ruling party member was one of the many things that had jumped out of this proverbial can of worms.
The discussion was proceeding along the general line that if the finances of the project had been in order, this incident would have never come to light. And how the authorities had done a commendable job by running down every little clue which came their way. One colleague expressed hope that the government would take an impartial stand and set an example to deter such power mongering in the future.
It was then that Travis had his eureka moment. 'Power Mongers' would be a nice term to describe the corporations that were conspiring against Energised Incorporated. He would probably need some sort of back story to explain how they came to be known by that name. This, he decided to worry about next week, when he actually would begin writing his story.
The only thing that remained now, as part of starting to write the story, was to update the details of his story on the NaNoWriMo website. This Travis sat down to do on Saturday. He read the summary he had written last week. As he had expected, he could not think of any ways to improve or build upon it. He then logged in to the NaNoWriMo website and entered the details of his story. It was then he realised that he needed a cover image for his novel.
The next hour or so were spent in searching a cover image for his story. Finally, Travis came across one public domain image he liked. It was a shot of a power plant taken at night. He downloaded the image and uploaded it to the NaNoWriMo website. Then he did a final review of the details he had entered and submitted his entry.
Once this was done, Travis thought that it would be a good idea to create the story on Penana as well. So he logged in there and was in for a pleasant surprise.
It seemed that Penana had made special preparations for NaNoWriMo. There was a separate page on the site where all the NaNoWriMo works were showcased, and that same page also had the option to create your own NaNoWriMo novel on the site. That page would also keep track of your word count and the number of words to be written per day in order to reach the target of fifty thousand words. He remembered that he had joined Penana in early January (as part of his New Year Resolution to start writing stories online) and had that was why he had ended up missing all the hype and excitement surrounding last year's NaNoWriMo.
He read the blog post which detailed how to understand all the preparations Penana had made for this event. Then he created his NaNoWriMo novel, with the same details which he had used on the NaNoWriMo website a little while ago. There was also a society for NaNoWriMo participants, which he joined.
Now that everything about his NaNoWriMo participation was official, Travis felt that he had finally started on his novel. As there were still a few few days before NaNoWriMo officially kicked off, he decided to go over the story idea once again, and refresh some basic concepts about generators, and locate some articles related to nanogenerators which he could use for building up the futuristic technology involved. Even though he was eagerly counting the days to the start of November, he could not help feeling a little bit anxious, for the thought of being unable to complete the story loomed in the back of his mind.
However, on thing he remained certain. His aim behind participating was to have fun writing a novel, and this, he resolved to do. He had decided to enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination.ns 18.104.22.168da2