Yes, it is part of a sequel. Yet the stories are not linked. It is a view that grew whilst contemplating the previous story, but it is not linked to that story. It is actually a spy story. In these stories the timeline is important, but the facts can be jumbled to add to the suspense in the story. We can use Anna, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the Night watchman as examples. Of hand I will tell you now that the thought of equalling anything John Le Carre has written is ludicrous from the start, it is the delusion of a lifetime and if the writer did not work for a serious intelligence organisation, any dream of equalling Le Carre is plain folly.
Yet there are a few things we can learn from the master. I loved both Tinker Tailor as well as Smiley’s People. Not in the least for the fact that they were played by Alec Guinness, but the setting of the story was real, it was more than an exercise in nitpicking. Information and in that stage intelligence is about verification. I personally reckon that is why the CIA has failed more than once. We all want the setting of a mind boggling conspiracy, but what if the cogs are small? What if we have a setting with a former president and allegiances with other governments and that becomes a larger hindrance?
You see if the man was indeed a former president, governor or senator there is a larger field. You cannot be certain that the people verifying the information can be trusted, so how to go about it? Smiley took a small team of people HE trusted, but they were in the cold, their allegiance was everything (as well as their love of country). We can mimic this to some degree, but too much makes for a copy and we want our own laurels. So we have two options. We can seek another player, in the light of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Yet there is a problem. You see whomever is that person has their own agenda. In this case we can fall back on the Art of War by Sun Tsu and seek the wisdom of applying a setting of Reverse spy, inside spy and a few dead spies. The latter needs to be multiple and all but one get exactly the same story, one gets a slightly adjusted truth. When this is done we create a form of verification, what is the reverse spy playing? What is his or her personal agenda and more importantly how trustworthy is that data. The longer the dead spies are intact, the more reliable the data is seen and that is why one will have adjusted intelligence. In the mean time, the inside spy awaits certain information sources to ring or not ring that becomes the setting. Yet to apply that to a script is massive and time consuming. I reckon that the watchmaker approach is the best (but this is a personal view). We insert cog after cog and adjust the stories for each cog if needed, if a new cog is added we look at the timeline, we look at the interactions and we test the story and even better, if we have a person we truly trust with that story, we ask that person to read and test the logic of the approach. It is a way and if someone tells us that this is not the most efficient way, I would wholeheartedly agree, but re writing a spy story is murder on several levels, as such I personally believe that a slow and steady testing of all elements is the best way, moreover, as we see certain elements fall over, we can decide to add another cog, or perhaps join two cogs into a larger cog. The larger cog tends to need a much larger backstory, yet that is the smallest consideration. Consider the secret agent Demons Jab. What would that agent be without a support and information setting?
Is there a reason? Well consider that there needs to be a reason to off a person (see previous article), the setting could be vengeance, the reason could be spy related, terrorist related or national security considerations? The latter part is often better served through smear campaigns and the media is always up for exclusive information, and they do not always properly vet that information, so there are alternatives. Yet the alternative might not be enough and then that act becomes a cog in the machine we need to build.
Anyway these are the thoughts I had on creating a spy story and perhaps I am no good at it, but I reckon that I might give it a go when the other book is done, at 65000-70000 words I am well over half way at present, so whilst I await certain players to consider a few options (as well as a 5G solution) I might as well remain creative. Personally I would love to write one book in every genre but I am clueless on romance (Jane Austen) scared to death on Horror (Neil Gaiman), too present for Science Fiction (Arthur C Clarke) and optionally a little too dim for intelligence stories (John Le Carre), all masters in their own field and there are so many more fields to consider, but as life goes, I might not be bored until the day I die, which suits me just fine.