I walked into my boss' office today to find the whole section poring over a scribbled org chart. Before I could ask, one of the higher-ups turned to address the room. "Okay, so I think we'll be able to send four people to Vancouver in 2010 to help with the Olympics. Now, we just need to find out if that's four people including Denton, or four people in addition to Denton."
Mind you, the driving factor for that decision wasn't so much about merit, as it was my childlessness and expendability. Still, I'll take it.
I was thinking about the novel today, and I tossed out the "municipal politics" part of the storyline. Higher stakes make for a more thrilling story, but they also require far more suspension of disbelief. I ran into this problem last year -- at some point, things get so intense that the main character has no logical alternative but to call for help, at which point the tension drops abruptly.
However, I found a smaller-stakes venue that works much better: minor-league hockey! This sleepy little city's getting a WHL team, but there's a little problem with the mascot. Either he has no sense of humour, or he's a criminal, or he's starting to distract the crowd with the socialist manifestos he writes during intermission. I'm not yet sure which.
Now, instead of writing backroom politics, I get to invent a hockey team. This is more like it.