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More Character development and time integration across books


I thought you might be interested in how I keep track of character 're-use' across the 6 book series. If you have read the series and are keeping track of time, I hope you have noticed several of the operations (QUINCE, QUOHOG, QUAGMIRE, ELIXER) have aspects that overlap on a timeline. So, yes, the Warlock is managing several covert actions across the globe concurrently.


The resource matrix above is a visualization tool I use to keep track not only of what is happening in a particular time slot (in some cases, very real events like Turkey acquiring S-200 surface to air missiles in 2017), but of whom is doing what/where. I do that by cross referencing to the next pic, the timeline. The Warlock, as do I the author, can't have one bubba at two places at once- that just won't do. In the red scribbles above, I also am highlighting a skillset that a character possesses, just to be certain he/she has the right tools for the job. I also keep track of true name, pseudo and call signs on this chart. You don't see them here, but there are over 35 major characters over the 6 book series that spans at least the same amount of years!

The master timeline is too big to fit, so I had to chop/hide sections, and it still only fits three books here. You get the general idea tho, a given activity or real world relevant event (i.e., the S-200 example above) occupies a time slot to which I apply the person to enact. I had mentioned in a previous blog, this is a team effort-- sure, the Warlock is the central figure/coordinator, but he has a large enough staff to distribute the execution of his plans both in time and space.


Last time, I focused on Mojo and his story arc ( it is a very brief synopsis). Since I spoke about Maine is some detail, let's discuss Stu Hogan. Stu is introduced in LVOTDAD as a junior O-3 LT in the Navy, whose background comes from the submariner field. Stu is also an engineer and a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) pilot-- the under water equivalent of a UAV/drone we all have seen in the news during the war on terror. Stu winds up playing a reconnaissance role in When Towers Fall (you have to be paying attention to detail on a bathymetric product that is mentioned), and he returns in The Baltic Chain to do the same, as well as 'fly' a minisub to a target on the Black Sea.


To the right is an ROV (made by Saab, a Swedish company) similar to what is on the cover of WTF. Stu returns for another recon effort in The Boomslang Gambit, but part of the broader story is the Warlock senses something very special about Stu's intellect, and to keep his Navy career healthy, makes arrangements for Stu to return to a leadership role as a Deputy Commander in a small boat element in Mississippi.


The fifth book begins at the end of the fourth, and Stu is mostly absent until Brine of War. Since you learn in WTF that Stu's father had died, BG Ron Clark (ret.) takes Stu under his wing and has a special mentoring relationship to the young man. I suppose there is some possibility that Stu takes a more central role in the longer series, but let's not count our chickens before they hatch. Stu only does minimal underwater shenanigans in Brine of War; his role is he returns to his small boat Command to provide a seaward escape and evasion contingency route if needed to support operations in Norway.


Stu is a very bright young man who has done a great deal of clandestine operations or support to clandestine operations from a very early age in his Navy career. Many of the infrastructure targets are on strategic ports, so his aquatic services are necessary for the success of the target's exploitation. What has caught both the Warlock and Ron's attention is Stu's intellectual maturity; as a character, he is quite likable and zealous in not only performing his duty, but giving his best efforts in all he does.


We might just have to find a girlfriend for this promising young man...

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