Plot Heating up





prose writing that is based on facts, real events, and real people, such as biography or history.

Green Hydrogen 100% Carbon Free

After wrangling four novels between the covers of a book I’ve learned a thing or two. Fiction is speculative. A novelist isn’t bound to dutifully report a precise biography or accurate historical account of an event. Because a plot benefits from being devised to enhance the story’s drama a novelist follows other instincts than truth.

Turn things around for a moment, Mario Puzo, screenwriter, novelist and journalist while writing The Godfather would have made a hellish nonfictional project, much of what might have been true could not be told because so much of what the mafia did was so difficult to prove. A journalist would need three different sources, on the record, each independently confirming the same set of facts.

Baker, Nevada Population 64

While in the initial stage of plotting a novel, before there is a plot, I flirt with elements that might help build a story. Speculative fiction can play as loose or tight with the facts as an author might wish while altering the imagined circumstances caught within the fabric of reality.

 I have been traveling between the San Francisco and Denver. Since March when the pandemic hit, I have completed four and a half trips. I’ve traveled to Baker, Nevada. Baker a town of maybe 100 people has been fighting over a water grab by Clark County in Las Vegas. Baker is home to eccentric types, Jeeps are beat up, women are available, and men are desperate and lonely but not entirely reliable.

20 Gigawatts Per Year in Size

Like a journalist I am digging into the facts, at least as I begin to plot. The Gigafactory has been built in Reno by Tesla, the lithium mine south near Tonopah sends refined lithium ore north to build batteries for their electric automobiles. East of Baker, Nevada in Delta, Utah a partnership between Magnum Corporation and Mitsubishi are building what they describe as the world’s largest renewable energy storage system, manufacturing green hydrogen to be injected into underground salt chambers to be used in retrofitted natural gas power plants so they can generate carbon free electricity.

Lithium Mining Operation west of Tonopah

Nevada is rife with geothermal resources. There are seven commercially scaled geothermal power generating stations that dot Nevada with more planned. There is a existential climate emergency civilization threatened rush to develop this resource. I want to point in particular to the odd role Nevada, a place of brothels, casinos and the atomic test site find their state playing in the quest to save a world spiraling out of control as the atmosphere overheats. As unlikely as it may seem there is an argument to be made that civilization’s solutions are being prototyped and readied to save the world from going over the falls and triggering an extinction event. As they say the stakes couldn’t be higher! Placing characters into a struggle for the entire world’s survival I tend to see as a potent comic formula. As for making a one-man-show, you know The World Emergency Full Catastrophe Climate Change Comedy Show we are well on our way to a show plan.

A true fact I’ve discovered is that fracking drillers are falling on hard times with the decline in value of oil and gas and that this drilling technology with the development of well casings that can resist the high temperatures of geothermal resources are about to unlock an immeasurable source of heat for producing a carbon free source of electricity. Frackers already know how to drill down into the earth, and with the help of geophysicists there are plans to go deeper. You get down 6 miles in depth geophysicists estimate there is virtually enough heat to power our civilization for tens of thousands of years.

McGinness Hills Geothermal Complex in Nevada

Geothermal power generating stations in Nevada are proving grounds for the surface part of this emerging technology. Won’t be long, I’m speculating here, until some whiskey drinking wildcatters come in from the Texas Oil Patch and with expert guidance of geophysicists start punching deep wells that tap civilization saving geothermal resources.

Baker Railroad Car Home Conversion

So, this is just how plotting a novel begins. Storyteller’s prefer outlining a hopeful path, and we have plenty of hope using climate change saving means of creating power. Still, this isn’t a plot yet, this is just one element, but you know some bad ass wildcatter coming out to Nevada to punch wells and give the girls in town a little hell starts to get at something that might offer a reader a ride worth reading.

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jennie madrigal
jennie madrigal
2 years ago

Thanks Dana. This is real and educational.

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