Sunday, February 24, 2013

End of Act Two

I finished writing the next part of my new novel last week, and it continues to be the easiest novel I've written, with over 80,000 words coming out in just over six weeks.  This part is entitled "Act Two:  Conflagration," and it's about the new Red v Blue Civil War catching fire.  It all started with a single spark at the end of Act One, and events have now spun entirely out of control.

I have little doubt in my mind that most folks don't want things in our country to boil over.  However, I'm not sure enough people are engaged to prevent it should the right spark occur.  The debate is controlled by the edges of both sides of the political spectrum, and those in between don't pay enough attention to notice when things are going really bad.  Oh sure, they'll listen to sound bites on the news or skim the headlines on their favorite Internet blog or news site, but the few that even go that far will rarely dig deeper.

We're on the verge of a political budget act called the Sequestration.  This was put in place to force a deal between Republicans and Democrats, but no one can now agree what that deal should be.  The President wants any budget agreement to include new revenue and an increase in the debt ceiling while Congressional Republicans are saying they already agreed to higher taxes as part of the fiscal cliff deal in January, so they now want the promised spending cuts.  Each side is screeching at the other about the impacts, as well as whose fault it is.

The public could probably bring enough pressure to bear on one side or the other to force a deal, but unfortunately, the average American barely knows what the Sequestration is, let alone which course of action is best pursued.  Instead, most would rather see what the latest news is with Honey Boo Boo or which movie that no one saw wins Best Picture.  Budget talks around which accounting method to use or the rate of governmental growth or shrinkage are boring, and since most people wrongly feel that such things won't affect their lives, they don't care.

It's in this environment that Act Two rages.  The event at the border of Washington and Idaho has sparked a potential impeachment of the President of the United States, and each side decides to use the (contradictory) constitutional tools available to it.  Law enforcement, and eventually the state national guards, of the respective red and blue states get embroiled in the conflagration.  The agencies become tools for those at the top, and those tools don't understand how to get themselves out of it.  Some resign or try to sit out in protest, but the majority blithely go along with what they're ordered to do.

Most folks remain observers to these events.  Those caught in the middle of the warzones try to escape, but even then they find it's hard to escape(such as when Arizona cuts off electricity to southern California).  Instigators within several cities spark riots where a stray comment can spark a beating from neighbors who happen to hold different views.

Also, both the media and the Supreme Court become involved, with unforeseen and frightening consequences.  Media based in cities where extremists from the other side are the majority find themselves in jeopardy, not just for their journalistic integrity, but for their very lives.  After all, can anyone honestly deny that there are those on the Left that would like to torch Fox News, or some on the Right who would like to hang the anchors from MSNBC?  And then, since most of the nation has abdicated its own judgment to that of an unelected and usually skittish body - the Supreme Court - when that body still can't decide which way to go, the wheels of both government and the nation become paralyzed.

The only drawback is that Act Two is very much story driven as opposed to character driven, but that's about to change as the next part gears up and introduces a major player.  At the end of Act Two, the nation is in flames, with passions high for the edges, and those in the middle wondering how to get out from under the mess.  And in all of this, the US Military, unsure which side to support due to ambiguities with the way things have been decided, is in the middle, setting the stage for Act Three:  The Coup...

3 comments:

  1. Hi Russ. Congrats on finishing your novel! You write at a ferocious pace. I wish I could do that...... though my wife is always on me to get off of the computer on the weekends. (She is right...I need to spend time with the family though)

    Your book sounds fabulous and enticing..... our country is so fractured with different ideologies. I hope that something you outline in your description never happens but I look forward to reading about it in your fiction format!

    Ah sequestration.....so nice to see our Congress actually doing their job....OK, I won't dovetail into politics on your blog!

    Again, congrats on your fabulous achievement.

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  2. It's not done yet, Kevin. Still got two more acts to go, but it should be done by the end of April(hopefully). I plan for this to be my third release once I start publishing.

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