Well that term is in the news lately… but I do not want to dwell on the latest usage. Instead how this term came into my writing, before I even knew it was a term being used.
This it is not a new term per say but a reinvention of the word for modern times. We first see this word from the 17th century sentence: “Ergo, the Popish Religion is but stochasticke, and conjecturall.” (Raine from the Clouds by Andrew Logie, 1624). In this case the term pertained to conjecture.
The term, as far as I know, has been around since 2000 and the meaning is used referring controlling a population or one person to do what you want. That term is now defined as: 1. The use of mass communication to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. 2. Remote-control murder by lone wolf. Of course the word stochastic comes from ancient Greek: “stochasticos” and means basically the aim to achieve a goal.
Since my “evil guy” uses a combination of mass hysteria, brainwashing techniques, and drug laced water to make the mind more compliant, I would examine various models and reports on just how a culture/society can be tricked. After-all a book will only make it if the research is tight….
When I started out creating my “evil dude”, my goal was to make everyone hate him, not loath, but truly hate. I want no love of this character, for he is evil incarnate. So one of the goals he accomplishes is to make the royal family dehumanized with rumors, strikes, selected targets.
He also will use humanoid drones to take out specified members of the family to undermine their confidence and place wedges in to cause chaos and to eliminate the trust factor between King and military. In doing this I have been researching lots of areas from what a psychopath is to military coups. Amazing what one will research to write a book… again research is the key to making it realistic and plausible…..
So that is how I came across this term in my research as I have flesh out “evil dude” to make him realistic and not cartoony.
Reality is far scarier than fiction, as I have seen this term (stochastic terrorism) being used in relation to acts carried out by individuals who believe or are fulfilling a directive. This is the essence of my “evil dude”… someone so nefarious he will use the people against each other, to overthrow and control.
Even though the book is set in another world, and the people are more advanced than Earth, I think this same kind of methodology would be used in order, especially since the power lies with a royal lineage. That gives “evil dude” a specific target of his anger and can direct those who follow him to a group who appears, by blood lines, to be superior since they rule.
The bones of the book already had elements that represents this form of aggression before I began to flesh out those bones. … a big pat on my back for hitting the key notes before finding out that I am right on the mark. Elements such as metaphors, sickening jokes that degrade the royal family, false stories to pump up the base against the family, using of the religion against them, inciting the citizens with carefully crafted false violent images, and in the end a call to arms to take the royal family off the throne.
And the result of the coup… well let’s say the people are begging for the royal warriors to return and deliver them from the “evil dude”…the grass is not always greener, sometimes it is spray painted poo
But will the royal family use the same tactics against evil dude??? Were is their ethics and how far will they fall to unscrupulous methods to get back their world???? Oh my …….
So these details added to the book is what I hope takes the character from that one dimensional wacky “evil dude” to a truly terrifying evil that exists, no matter where one lives: on Earth or another galaxy.