What’s it about?

Before I start a new section or chapter, my first question is what needs to happen next and from whose point of view? Even though I have a rough outline, there can be a hole that needs filling to keep the story moving or smooth out the action. In the Ruby Spider Conspiracy, each side knows it must either win the battle or cease to exist. There is no middle ground, so it becomes a punch and counter-punch battle between the ICC (Raisa and Cholpon) and the Ruby Spider (Kassar and Ai-mei).

In Chapter 44, the Ruby Spider prepares to test its most virulent weapon against the city of Lagos, Nigeria. The battle lines are being drawn as the ICC identifies the conspirators and collaborators. Kassar knows that a successful demonstration in Lagos will increase recruitment for the Ruby Spider and make it less necessary for them to operate in a clandestine manner. They will have proven their power so that they can increase their numbers to eight hundred million and have a weapon powerful enough to eliminate the remaining three billion people who are against them.

In Chapter 45, Cholpon informs Raisa about the Ruby Spider’s activities in Lagos. Raisa rushes to produce a universal inoculation that will counter Ai-mei’s plague. She knows she doesn’t have time to create a perfect antidote, but takes it one step at a time, waiting for Cholpon’s direction to proceed. All of this activity lays the groundwork for the next three chapters leading to the third plot point, in which Raisa and the ICC suffer a major set back.

Each section and each chapter leading to the third plot point in Chapter 48 must answer the question: “How does this expose the weakness in Raisa’s character that leads to a major change following the third plot point?” All through the novel, to that point, Raisa has fed the misconception that she cannot be a successful scientist without sublimating her emotions and shutting out other demands.

After her failure in the third plot point, she will set aside her misconceptions and step into the role of emotional leader. As a leader, she will recognize that the battle is not only for people’s lives, but also for their minds and dedication to making a better world. The final quarter of the story will concentrate on that growth in Raisa’s character.

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