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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Intrigue, Muse Whispering, & Inspiration

I see lots of blogs about where story ideas come from.  Author interviews where inevitably somebody asks what the author’s inspiration was for a story.  Whether it is a muse whispering in your ear or simple intrigue from something the author saw, the seeds of inspiration come from everywhere.
I personally feel most of mine come from thinking about concepts and asking questions, or something I see that doesn’t quite add up, therefore causing that initial intrigue.
So today I thought I would begin an experiment which I shall visit repeatedly as this seed grows.  It will develop into a story idea and eventually lead to a story or it will fizzle out into the hogwash of useless knowledge and tidbits gained from years of researching related crap for my other stories.
I mentioned in my last blog post that my next book “Leviathan Deterrent” will deal with Wiley Randolph’s training to command a Submersible Aircraft Carrier.  Part of my research for the book was to determine what the current qualifications are for becoming a Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine Commander.  I also had to figure out what the qualifications for becoming an Aircraft Carrier Commander.  What classes do these guys have to take?  What training do they require?
Along my journey I ran across an unusual website which mentioned a guy seeing a sign in the middle of the desert on a fence for U.S. Navy Underwater Warfare Training Center.  The site goes on to discuss this person’s investigation into this seemingly unlikely place for an underwater warfare training center.  It includes reports of interviewing undisclosed former navy personnel who claim that enormous underwater caverns exist than run under the Pacific Northwest as far inland as Nevada.  Where this secret training facility is located that happens to have a sign on the fence with the actual description of what it is, on the sign.
While the stupidity of our government never fails to amaze me, like the underwater phone listening and taping device we had submarines place over underwater cables between land and the Soviets Naval Base, which had a label affixed to the inner casing of the device, “Made in the U.S.A.”  Not exactly what you want labeled on the inside of blatantly espionage hardware left to spy on your cold war enemies.  So it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch to see such a sign on such a facility even if they were trying to hide it.  This is the same government which deems it necessary to put on a page in a manual (This page is intentionally left blank.)
While I am aware of underground water tables and monstrous aqua ducts as not too far away is Mammoth Springs.  North of there is a sink hole where you can throw in a bale of hay and later that same day the bale of hay will bubble up through the Springs down south.  It has been determined that the water from Mammoth Springs originates from Canada and travels over halfway across the United States to gush forth from Mammoth Springs.  Is it possible giant underwater caverns exist that extend from Nevada to the Pacific Ocean and that the U.S. Navy has been aware of them and mapping the caverns out since the 1930’s.  Possible?
Then comes the questions.  What if the author of said blog about this secret base is crazy?  What if it doesn’t exist?  Well that would be the best case scenario for writing a fictional science fiction story about a secret base and some mission involving submarines.
If it is real, that poses more questions.  What if the sign is really there as retarded as that would be?  What if it really is a secret underwater warfare training center?  What if the caverns exist?  Would you be blowing the lid off something that should remain a secret?  Would you be compromising National Security in any way by writing a story about the place?
The last thing I would want to do is spend a year or better writing my next block buster edge of your seat keep you up all night reading masterpiece to have the CIA sweep in and clear my computers and present my with an injunction to stay away from computers and no more writing or I will get locked up in prison!
So this is the seed of an idea.  Now comes the checking it out, subtle research, talk to some old retired Navy vets, research water tables, and see what percolates.  Later after I get some more information I will still need to develop an initial mission that would take us into the caverns, something that could go wrong, and something to add some tension to the otherwise boring secret base that nobody is going to believe exists anyways.
I will revisit this post and develop this idea, piece by piece, here on my blog so aspiring authors and readers can follow along the journey.  It will either turn into nothing, or it will grow and develop into a story, that who knows may someday be that next great book.
It helps to be creative.  I am a Sci-Fi/Adventure Novelist, so off the top of my head.
If we can drive submarines from Nevada out and into the Pacific Ocean what would keep an enemy from driving a submarine in from the Pacific Ocean and detonating a nuclear weapon subterraineously under our country?  Would a nuclear weapon going off down there blow up through the surface, or just cause tidal waves in the Pacific from clearing out the water in the giant caverns?  Could it cause a geothermal event such as an earth quake or volcano in Nevada?
If my blog stops after today it will more than likely be because I just exposed some terrible threat to our country and gave away a huge government secret and I am in prison with my books writing my next novel on a roll of toilet paper with a crayon.  So whose crazy, the web site guy or the Sci-Fi writer.  Stay Tuned ! !

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