Monday, November 8, 2021

More on writing fiction

Several people commented that something to the effect " matter what you come up with there will be people who thought it up and wrote about it before you did..."

I do not dispute that.

But to write a realistic piece of fiction I need to research the topic and that throws out a multitude of scent trails that look like "evidence of intent". 

It is my impression that the FBI is very, very weak on boots-on-the-ground investigation but extremely diligent for cyber footprints.

Yes, I know there are all kinds of "anonymizers" but that looks like evidence to a prosecutor building a case.

Consider the research that goes into one attack scene. Let's say the bad-guys want to take out a set of power transformers because they take longer to replace than transmission lines.

I would have to find a substation with transformers that would be "interesting". And as much as the residents love Brandon, South Dakota it would not have the same dramatic impact as a substation 20 miles from Foggy Bottom.

Then I would have to research the guts of large transformers to determine the axis of attack that was most likely to produce catastrophic, cannot-rebuild damage.

Then I would have to research drones, limpet mines, Tannerite and shaped charges.

Even if I detuned the information to make it less useable, I would still be leaving footprints all over the internet and move my name up that list that everybody is on.


Every person has one book in them but very few have two books worth writing.

I have been lucky.

It would be boring to write the same book over, and over, and over again.

Some authors churn out hundreds of books. They change Barbara-> to-> Brenda, Brant-> to-> Brent, Architect-> to-> Geologist, Seattle-> to-> Tacoma, Stucco-> to-> clapboard,  Chestnut St-> to-> Walnut St. I swear they must have an Excel spreadsheet with pull-down menus of popular women's names, guy names and so on. It works for them but it will not work for me.

I ENJOY the act of digging into new things and the pain of trying to wrap my mind around them.

And I don't have the time right now. It feels like we are in a lull and I am busy battening down the hatches and inventorying items I might need in a hurry.


  1. For the love of Pete! What ever happened to the good ol' Acme Company supplying dynamite, anvils, spears, rockets, roller skates, flying suits, giant fly traps, railroad locomotives, invisible ink, disappearing fluid, portable holes,and anything else you may think of?
    I'll bet Marvin even got his P.U. 234 from the Acme Company. They had drones before we had drones! That's where we got the idea of using drones!
    *Hat tip to Warner Bros.

  2. You are right Joe, and no good book will go unpunished.

  3. Yep, research IS the key to believability... And is a huge time sink, in addition to getting you on some 'strange' lists at NSA, FBI, et al...

  4. As an electrician who did highline work in the Navy- for what it's worth all you need to take out a transformer is something powerful enough to go through the outer case that holds the cooling fluid. When it drains, the transformer overheats and fries itself....

  5. The only reason the FORMER the Demonrat KGB is any good at sleuthing out cyber evidence is that a handful of ACTUALLY SMART employees for the Fed Gov have written programs that allow COMPUTERS to do the real work of sussing out the electron trails. Left to the agents themselves very little useful work gets done. Plenty of soviet style intimidation and oppression....but little actual accomplishment.

  6. Did you ever have the impulse to correct a post and think to yourself, "No need to advertise that I know THAT."

    Opie Odd


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