Handing over to Matt...
How to plot a Conspiracy Thriller!
Years ago, I bought a business book called 'The Idea-Virus'. The basic concept is broadcast by its name: an idea that acts like a virus by infesting your mind until it cannot be rooted out. Rather insidious isn't it? A conspiracy is a twisted idea-virus, or, if the conspiracy turns out to be true, a straight-line idea-virus.
Just like a regular virus, idea-viruses can be virulent or mild, sometimes even beneficial. When you think about it, all ideas are idea-viruses. They are all concepts which have found a home in your mind and will not be rooted out, no matter the extremes you go to. For example, could you rid yourself of the idea of clothing, or fire?
No, of course not.
A conspiracy is a virulent idea-virus. It is airborne, carried by gossip winds. How it works is a series of real facts are collected together. They are assembled in a new way, using a theory as glue. You can see the trap of such a concept. The theory is what infests you but it is supported by facts. However, there is not necessarily any connection between the facts and the theory. It is this key part of the idea-virus which is missed by most people. It is why an idea-virus works.
Some people are more prone to conspiracies than others, which is why you sometimes encounter some nut shouting his conspiracy viruses at the top of his lungs on the side of some street, trying to infest everyone. That does not mean you can be immune to them. Quite the contrary, in fact. Those it does not unhinge, it molds. That's right. Any conspiracy you are exposed to will change you subtly.
Your life approach will forever be tainted by a question, an idea-virus that will not let go.
If you're starting to feel uneasy, I don't blame you. It is upsetting to discover our consciousness can be affected by others so easily. It certainly bothered me. It is why I wrote 'The Caves of Etretat' and the three books after it. I wanted to expose and explore the idea-virus in depth, to write the ultimate conspiracy theory.