Slouching toward Armageddon

Slouching, which I stole from the last line of W.B. Yeats’s The Second Coming, seems to be an appropriate verb to describe my ponderous pace along The Road to Environmental Armageddon.

I started many years ago, with an outline for a novel focused on ocean acidification, a serious climate change related environmental threat that has not diminished in the intervening years. The problem was the long-term nature of the threat posed by acidification. I failed to generate a climactic crisis whose plausibility I could accept.

Next, I tried a midstory plot shift that would generate the required crisis. This introduced new protagonists and a two-part story with different protagonists. A chronology that went from 2022 to 2050 with substantial gaps magnified the problems.

Beta readers picked up on these problems and several others. After considering my options, I embarked on a version that focuses on the last decade, a period sufficiently far away to let me introduce dramatic events that wouldn’t be plausible if I set them in the 2020s.

I think I’m making progress toward a story that will overcome the concerns of my beta-readers. In the past week, I added a prologue, a chapter that describes an important event in 2027 near the start of part two of my original story. The rest of the story spans 2041 to 2049. I hope that will be a more manageable time frame. The gap from a prologue set in 2027 to a story starting in 2041 should be acceptable. In the past week, I didn’t make as much progress as I hoped. My contributions to the Evergreen Writers Group’s efforts to launch Water’s Edge, its latest anthology of short stories via Facebook live is proving more time-consuming than I hoped. Drama surrounding the US election didn’t help. I hope to get back on schedule this week, including posting next week’s update on Monday, not Tuesday.

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