Sunday, April 21, 2013

I Can Explain This Officer

I'm told that government will be monitoring more of the Internet so that no company will be able to guarantee any privacy. When I heard this I started thinking that everyone should start plotting mayhem so that if the Feebs were going to be reading my private communications, they should read something more interesting than my humdrum life.

However, just because MY life is humdrum, that doesn't mean my writing is humdrum.

Some writing includes depictions of criminality. Oh. That reminds me.

Some years back I was hanging out with a friend who's another writer. I told him a story about a friend who had used a mannikin to scare lovers at the local make-out spot. They'd drive to the make-out spot, pull out the "body" and toss it down the almost precipice--it was a very steep hill.

While I was relating this story, the thought occurred, this could be an interesting premise for a thriller. Some youngsters could toss a mannikin off a cliff to freak out the bystanders. And when their compatriots waiting below retrieve the mannikin they discover a real body. Panicked, they put the body in the trunk of their car.

At this point my friend and I spun a number of things that could be done from this premise. Things like how we'd dispose of the body. Or the DNA evidence left in the trunk of the car and how they'd dispose of the car.

That's the trajectory of all the best Hitchcock films. Someone does one small bad thing, and then numerous bigger and bigger bad things escalate and this makes the heroes lives hellish.

After a few minutes of this discussion, several patrons of the Cottage Bar got up and sought tables more distant from our conversation.

This gave me a big laugh.

Circling back to the Feebs, I'm confident that while they are breaking down the doors of aspiring crime writers, the real terrorists will be exchanging bomb recipes using steganographically encoded messages hidden in cat videos.


  1. So sad... big brother is watching. No matter how well intentioned, it is guaranteed to be abused.

  2. I've literally had this exact same line of thought, but my story wound up a little different:

    Guy is writing some notes in a cafe. Some curious bystander looks over the notes and sees detailed plans for a terrorist attack on a major city -- widespread carnage and destruction. Police are notified. The guy turns out to be a writer; he was just planning his next novel. Maybe not in public next time, 'k?

    Except the terrorist attack HAPPENS EXACTLY AS DESCRIBED IN THE GUY'S NOTES the next day.

    It can't be a coincidence....

    I know how I answered that question and I'm not going to print it here. I will probably write this book one day. And it all came from the moment *I* was in a coffee house with my legal pad, planning a story that included a terrorist attack. I thought to myself, "Maybe I don't plan that on the legal pad in public." This story came to me.

    1. Since planning will identify time-consuming preparatory tasks, having it happen the next day after the plan is formulated gives the formulator an alibi: he didn't have time to do the other preparatory tasks. Let's face it. It takes time to get a lease on an extinct volcano, hire minions, build an army of gorgeous fembots with a penchant for evil, and then deploy them to all the world's capitals.

    2. I do like how you two think ;-)


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