Here is my evil plan. I will become a bestselling author of action novels*, a la Tom Clancy. In my novels, the good guys will always triumph, but only by the skin of their teeth, overcoming¬† the villain’s superior planning, financial advantage, and ruthless nefariousness through a combination of good fortune, unbelievable physical resiliency (including the ability to not need a pee break for more than 72 hours during the exciting climax), and sheer willpower. No main characters will ever die, but at least one will always come close.

This basic plot will serve for all my novels, so readers will come to know and rely on the fact that in my novels, however dire the straights, the good guys will succeed. In fact, you could just read the novel to find out how the protagonists win, not whether they will.

Then, with my reputation as the next Clive Cussler well established, I will write a novel where the bad guys win. It will be exactly like all the other novels, except in this one, when odds are impossibly stacked against the good guys, the good guys fail. They don’t get there in time and the President is assassinated, anthrax gets put in the NYC water supply, or the global financial system is hacked and irretrievably confounded. And then they die, because they were caught trying to covertly do something exceptionally complicated, fiddly, and unlikely to succeed.

Then I would go back to writing ho-hum, predictable, and brainless action novels.

This is my evil plan.

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* This would be quite a feat, as I can’t readily think of any female authors of action novels, possibly because few women can describe all types of weapons, vehicles, and machinery with the kind of lavish and loving attention to detail normally exhibited in this genre.

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