Celebrate Bread Celebrate Your Steampunk Writing

Yesterday I made a load of bread.

Until a week ago I hadn’t made bread in decades. I have a bread machine, but it does not make a very good loaf.

The store was out of yeast except for a couple of little packets that cost more than a loaf of bread. I got lucky and was able to order some yeast online. There were very few places that had any for sale.

So I gathered up all the ingredients and dumped everything in the 25 plus year old bread machine and pressed go.

The top blew off the loaf. I figure I should not have scraped up the yeast I spilled and dumped the extra into the machine.

Bread was stuck to the bottom of the lid and the insides of the machine. It took me 45 minutes to clean the crusted/baked-on bread out of the machine.

The bread tasted OK and some of it got used.

For the second loaf I used less yeast and I set the machine to dough. I took the dough out of the machine and put it into a loaf pan and let it raise. The loaf came out half as high as it should have been and it was dense. This loaf tasted better and I made a couple of sandwiches out of it before I dumped the loaf.

The third loaf I used a different recipe and I proofed the yeast. The yeast was active dry yeast not bread machine yeast. I also measured the ingredients carefully. The loaf was much better, but a little dry and crumbly. This loaf taste much better and will get eaten. I still have some experimenting to do.

What does this have to do with writing steampunk?

The first loaf is like the first draft. The volcano hole where the top of the loaf should be is like a big plot hole in the first draft. The cleaning of the bread machine is like rewriting the first draft. They both are problems that take work to fix.

The second loaf is like a major rewrite of a manuscript. Sometimes you over do it. Like that loaf your writing can be dense. Unlike that loaf your writing can be saved.

The third loaf is like your manuscript after heavy editing. It’s close, but still needs work. All the parts are there, but something is not working out. The manuscript is usable, but not sellable. It will be.

Unabashed plug

Recipe for out of bread machine bread

Bread Machine dough for a one and a half pound loaf


3/4 cup plus 2 tapblespoons warm water (80 degrees F, I have read that
110 degree water will cause the bread to raise too fast and make large
holes in the baked loaf.)
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons yeast (dry active yeast is all I could get)
2 tablespoons butter (butter makes better bread than oil in my opion)
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup of nonfat dry powder milk
1 teaspoon salt


Place the water in cup. Microwave water for 10 to 15 seconds till warm
(approximately 80 degrees). Add sugar and yeast to cup and stir. Let stand
for a couple of minutes or until starting to foam.

Make sure flapper is secured in bread machine bucket and bucket is well seated.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients; flour, milk, salt to bucket in bread machine.
Soften butter in cup or small bowl in microwave. Add to bucket.
Add yeast mixture to bucket. Close lid.
Set bread machine to dough. Press on.
After cycle is finished remove dough from bread machine.
Kneed dough for 7 minutes.
Grease inside of bread pan.
Place dough in pan.
Butter or oil top of loaf. Heat oven for two minutes then shut oven off.
Let dough raise in oven (oven is off and not hot but warm) for an hour or until dough it is over the top of pan.
Remove dough.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake bread for 30 minutes.
Cool and enjoy.

Stay strong, write on and may your writing cook.

Professor Hyram Voltage

Why Does a Character Invent and Why Bacon Bits

Why does your steampunk main character invent. Many stories I’ve read treat the inventor as a genetic freak. It’s in their blood to invent, their parents were inventors.

Think about Marconi. His father was an aristocrat. Now some minor royalty did dabble in the sciences but that was considered below the dignity of many of the upper levels of society.

Or take Thomas Edison. His father was a exiled political activist, a lighthouse keeper, and a carpenter. Not an inventor.

Inventors have to eat. They would have to have other jobs, or a sponsor. There was no well fare in the late 1800s. The most complex things at the time were the railroad, the telegraph, and guns.

Railroads and telegraphs were tied together. They needed the telegraph to signal down the rail line to prevent trans from running into each other.

To make things for the rail road you needed a big foundry. Not something a single person could do. The world of telegraph was a hot bed of activity. Back stabbing was common. And Western telegraph companies were ruthless.

Weapons were another hot bed of change in the 1800s. Look at some old Remington catalogs and it looks like there were new versions of rifles and hand guns each year. There were also lots of independent inventors.

What you don’t see is a lot of inventors working on clocks.

Your main character could start out as a gun smith and then work his way into a gun maker. There is a difference. Things like fast firing guns would appeal to soldiers. The finance guys in the government hated them. They cost too much money for all the ammo the guns used. That’s one reason they used muzzle loaders in the civil war.

RollBot and Valentine’s Day Cookies

I recently stumbled across an article about a toilet paper company that was displaying at CES in Las Vegas. Now why would Charmin be at the Consumer Electronics Show? Toilet paper is very not electronic.

They were show casing RollBot, a robot that would bring you a roll of toilet paper. It’s smart phone controlled. If they are smart it would be connected to the Internet and would order replacement rolls if you run low.

How would this impact Steampunk? Well back in the day a saloon or pub would have a man standing at the entrance to the restroom holding towels for the patron to wipe their hands after using the facilities.

A steam powered mechanical man could do that. But could the machine wash and dry the towels, and if it did would it get rusty? Could the mechanical man be programmed to clean the restroom every couple of hours? Would patrons get upset if the mechanical man came in to clean if they were using the facilities?

On the plus side you would not have to worry about a mechanical man getting free drinks from the bar tender. The mechanical man would always be sober. Would the mechanical man cost less to feed in coal than what the human would cost? You would never have to worry about the mechanical man goofing off. Would you have to worry about the mechanical man getting into the bar’s kerosene lamp supply and getting drunk on the fuel?

A robot to fetch a roll of toilet paper is not much of an idea. A robot vacuum cleaner could be modified to do that. Now if the toilet paper robot could clean the commode then you have something I would buy. If it could also vacuum the floors that would be a plus. That would take it from a novelty to something really useful.

Recipe is below add.

Think about buying my book;

Valentine Day Cookies

Sugar Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature (226g)
1 cup sugar (200g)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract²
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (315g)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Sugar Cookie Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted (375g)
3-4 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
red food coloring

Heart shaped cookie cutter
2 Mixing Bowls
Gallon plastic bag
measuring spoons
Rolling pin
Mixer or mixing spoon
Spatula or spreading knife

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

In mixing bowl combine butter and sugar. Beat until creamy (in electric mixer will save a lot of effort). Creamy means there is air blended in and the mix will change color. See Goggle or Youtube about Creaming Butter. It very important for the texture of the cookies.
Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until completely combined.
Line a separate, medium-sized bowl, with a gallon plastic bag. Into bag add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Close top of bag and shake until flour mixture is well combined.
While mixing wet ingredients gradually add dry ingredients until completely combined.
Cover work area (part of table top) with a piece of plastic wrap.
Dump out half of the dough onto the wrap, be careful the dough will be sticky.
Cover with more wrap and mold into a disk. Repeat with remaining cookie dough in another piece of plastic wrap.
Place dough in refrigerator. Chill for at least 2-3 hours.
15 minutes before dough has finished chilling, preheat oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cover part of table top with plastic wrap. Dust wrap with flour. Dump dough onto plastic wrap covered floured table top. Lightly flour the top of the dough and roll out until about 1/8 inch thick. If you want thicker and softer cookies roll dough out until only 1/4 inch thick. As you’re rolling out dough add flour to top and bottom of dough to prevent sticking.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Then transfer shapes to parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake on 350F (175C) for 9-10 minutes. Don’t let edges get to brown, just lightly golden brown.
Cool cookies completely on cookie sheet before removing.

Sugar Cookie Frosting

In small bowl combine sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. If frosting is too thick, add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time. You want frosting to hold it’s shape and not run, but it should be pipeable. If frosting is to thin add powdered sugar.

Add red food coloring
Coat top of cookies with frosting.
Let frosting harden before serving.
You can store cookies in a sealed bag at room temperature.

New Years Eve Celebrations in the 1890s and New Year’s Day recipes

In all the science fiction I’ve read I can remember only one story that mentioned a new years eve party. The story called it a year end day party, but that’s a different blog post.
If you’re looking for a story idea for your steampunk book then mention a new years eve party. No one else has. Better yet make it a central part of the story. The world is going to be destroyed by the villain at midnight new years eve. Or at least he’ll blow up the city, town, castle, laboratory, or airship.
Does the lack of steampunk stories mentioning new years eve parties mean that there weren’t any parties. No, there were New Year Eve’s parties in the 1890s, but they were different. In the 1890s family were bigger and a more important part of life. Children were a source of income for the family. There are many real life stories of boys who had to drop out of school and work to support the family when the father died.
Children were also the retirement plan for many. You supported the children as they grew up, they supported you when you could no longer work. Many families had grand parents living with them and they helped in any way they could.

Being a single woman in the 1890s was a drag. If you had money and went to a party you had to have a chaperone. The host would not let you in if you did not. An unmarried lady without a chaperone would bring shame on the host if he let such a woman in.
Married women and men wore black clothes, it was being much easier to see than a ring on a finger under a glove, and if they were of German heritage they wore a frown. Only unmarried children could wear colored clothing. Bright colored clothing was becoming common as modern production and dyes came into use. Remember flour sacks were printed in bright patterns to entice women to buy their flour because the manufacturers knew that the women made clothes out of the sacks.
Rich people did have parties. They had people to take care of the children. The parties were small. By today’s standards they were tiny. Mostly a dance. Of course there was drinking, but there was also chaperones and gossip to keep the drinking from getting out of hand.
The common people had to work the next day. Remember they worked six days a week. The rich did not get rich by giving the workers days off. Besides it was tradition.
There were no big party in times square until 1903 and they did not drop the ball until 1907.
A farmer had it even rougher. The cows have to be milked seven days a week. The animals have to be feed, morning and evening seven days a week. Wood had to be chopped or food could not be cooked. Water had to be hauled. The evening entertainment would often be reading from the bible or news paper, the family playing musical interments. There was no TV, radio, or iPods.
There was loneliness. Heart breaking loneliness.
The above are all reason your heroine would want to break the cycle work and loneliness. The chance to make the world a better place could drive many different types to step over the bounds of society.
Where are the stories of the mechanical farm hand? The self driving plow? These things, even if they were simpler than what we have now could make life so much better than it was.
I saw an early horse drawn mechanical planter. A framer or boy would sit on this seat, inches away form the ground. He would place a seedling in the mechanical planter. This was very high tech. Each part on the planter had a number molded/cast into it. If a part broke you could mail or telegraph the maker and he would send the part out. Sometimes by rider on horse back. Planting could not wait. It might not be over night express, but have you ever seen a story where parts where gotten to the person who needed it in a hurry. They did not have warehouses all over the country to hold parts (it would be considered a waste of money). But the manufacturers knew that if they got the repair part to the farmer in time the word would get around and they would sell more equipment. Put something like that in your story.

Recipes Black Eyed Peas and Corn Bread
I don’t know where the tradition for having Black Eyed Peas and Corn Bread on New Years day came from, but mother was from Oklahoma and Dad was from Texas.

Corn bread
1 egg
1/3 cup of milk
1 box of mix

Read and follow directions on box. Bake and enjoy. It’s good with a little butter. I like the plain mix. The stuff with honey in it is OK for every once and a while, but the plain stuff is a great way to start the new year.

Black Eyed Peas
1 can of black eyed peas

Open can and dump in pot. Heat and eat.
It’s good and it’s close to magic.

Stay strong, write on. And you don’t have to make all traditions from scratch.
Professor Hyram Voltage

A New Place to Find Brass Gears, Having Your Book Read to You, and a classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipe

I found a where you can get a handful of brass gears that are bigger than wrist watch gears. The timers that control old washing machines and clothes dryers used mechanical timers. Those timers used brass gears. If you can find a shade tree repair guy that fixes old washing machines and clothes dryers you might be able to bum a couple of timers off him. The machines will be fifteen or more years old and may not be worth repairing.

Reading your book out loud is good advice. I do it, but I have a better way. I let the computer read it to me. That way I can concentrate on the sound and flow of the words.

The computer never gets tired of reading. I get hoarse after reading out load for a couple of hours.

I have been using Naturalreaders, but I am using TTSReader more and more. All text to speech programs will not know all the words you use or get tense right (like read and past tense read (red)). It is a little disconcerting when the program sounds the word out. They are getting better, but it’s going to take time. Give these programs a try.

I am not affiliated with the companies that make or distribute these programs. I had problems with the amazon and google text to speech programs and found these program better for my use. I use the free version, which means I break up my book or chapters in to small pieces and feed them into the program. I use the pause triangle at the top of the program to stop the speech and make notes in a hard copy of the manuscript that the program is reading. I have found that TTSReader will back up to where the cursor is and re-read the part it has already read. Very handy.

These programs are not ready to produce an audio book, but that day is not far off.

Self promoting plug to buy my book “The Daemon Boat”.

Classic Thanksgiving side, Fruit salad.

Fruit Salad, from an old family recipe from the 1950s

1 crisp sweet apple
1 orange
1 can pineapple cold
1/2 cup English walnuts
1/2 cup coconut
1 banana reserved


Add pineapple to medium bowl.
Peel and cube orange, add to bowl.
Peel, core, cube apple. Add to bowl. Mix till apple pieces are covered with juice. That will prevent browning of the apple pieces.
Toasting walnuts is optional. Chop walnuts into large pieces. Add to bowl.
Add coconut to bowl.
Mix well. Taste and add sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon if desired.
Just before serving peel banana and add to individual serving bowls, if desired. There were people in my family that were allergic to bananas.
Without bananas the salad will store, covered, in refrigerator for days. It’s good for breakfast with coffee and a piece of pecan pie.

Makes enough for two.
You can add sliced grapes, raisins, tangerines. Do not add great fruit, it is too bitter and will react with heart medicines.
Do not add celery. Celery is not a fruit. Do not add mayonnaise, that’s not a fruit either and some people are allergic to eggs. Do not add pepper, or cream or other non-fruit items.

Stay strong, write on, and read your book, out loud.

Professor Hyram Voltage

Doing Things Differently and A Well Done Turkey Thigh

I watched Mercury move across the face of the sun last week. Yes, it’s a big deal. It won’t happen for another decade.

I got up early that morning and it was cloudy. The event only lasts for a couple of hours. I got on the computer and found a weather site that’s tied into the Los Angeles weather radar. It was clouds for as far as the radar could see. I had the choice of driving up to Santa Barbara or down past Malibu. I could go farther east on the 10 freeway hoping to find clear skies.
The problem is the skies could still be filled with clouds, the weather radar can not see that far.

I got out my homemade solar telescope out. It’s made out of old and new parts.
It’s a mere three inch scope, but the sun is close so it does the job. It has a glass solar filter not one of the cheap plastic things.
The sun started to peek through a crack in the cloud cover. Now the fun began. Looking at the sun is a lot different that looking at the stars. One one thing it’s light out. Stray light from the ground, and any object around you interferes with looking into the eye piece. Also with the solar filter on it’s dark looking through the telescope. At night when looking through the telescope you can see stars or at least the moon. With a solar telescope, it has to be as bright as the sun or you don’t see anything.
Mercury is small, and you need a telescope to see it during the day.
I don’t have a solar filter handy for the finder scope, so I got out my solar finder. The solar finder sits on top of the telescope’s barrel and the pin hole in front of the finder shines a dot of light on the back of the finder. The cloud cover made the sun dim in the solar finder. It also diffused the light. The diffuse light made aiming the telescope hard.

You can’t look down the top of the telescope barrel and sight on the sun like you can for the moon. Looking at the sun is bad for your eyes.
After a lot of fiddling the sun slipped into a clear gap in the cloud cover and I got the scope on the sun. I had to switch to a better eye piece because of the water in the air. Even when it looked like the sun was in the clear I could see clouds moving across the face of the sun through the solar filter.
After much adjusting I got Mercury into focus.

What does this have to do with writing Steampunk? Well take the hero that come to save the day. What if he’s a steam engineer and he needs to get a steam car going. He knows the engines on ships and the big stationary engine used on farms. But those are high pressure boilers. He needs to repair a flash boiler of a car to escape and it’s so different from the big ship boilers.

You may be an expert in your field, but you will not know all the little details of that field.

And now for this weeks recipe

Turkey and Bacon


One stick of butter, half softened and half melted
1 ½ pounds of turkey thigh, skin-on
One package turkey bacon, you only need enough to cover thigh


Brine thigh if you want. Start the night before.
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
Rinse thigh.
Pat dry.
Place thigh in shallow pan.
Lift skin and place half of softened butter on thigh under skin.
Coat skin with soften or melted butter.
Place thigh in over for 30 minutes.
Remove thigh and cover with turkey bacon. Will keep skin from getting to done.
Return to oven.
Cook for another 30 minutes or until quick reading thermometer reads 155 degrees F.
Cool for 15 minutes.
Carve and serve.

Stray strong, write on and don’t eat to much at one time.
Professor Hyram Voltage

Writing Like It’s 1895

My heroine needs a flashlight. And she needs one bad. It’s 1895 and they don’t exist. After 1900 I could get away with it.

Why didn’t they exist. Not because of batteries. Usable batteries had been developed by 1802 and telegraphs had been using batteries since the 1830s. But dry cells, cheap enough for flashlights would not come along until 1910.

Edison had carbon filaments light bulbs by 1880. But they were delicate and not good for banging around in flashlights. They also needed 90 or so volts and that would take a lot of batteries. Edison thought that tungsten would make a good filament, but the equipment to make fine tungsten wire would not be developed until 1906.

Also there was the problem of vacuum equipment. In 1895 it wasn’t good enough. Any oxygen in the light bulb would react with the filament and shorten its life. That equipment would not be available until after 1900.

People were not setting around. Paid and unpaid inventors, scientist and engineers were working on the light bulb, not just Edison and his lab. There was not just one thing for a mad genius to overcome to make a flashlight in 1895.

How about a carbide miner’s lamp? Carbide is made with electricity. Lots of electricity. The power plant at Niagara Falls would have to be finished before carbide became readily available. That wasn’t until after 1900.

So my heroine can’t just cobble a flashlight up out of things lying around the airship. Also there would be patents fights if she did come up with a flashlight. Just because a idea documented on a patent would never work, that has never stopped an inventor and his lawyers from suing, suing, suing.

There were platinum filament light bulbs. They worked, but they were very expensive. Not practicable, but whoever said the heroine had to be practicable?

Stay strong, write on, and have you checked the batteries in your flashlight lately. Replace them once a year.

Professor Hyram Voltage

The Rebel – Out to Save Civilization

Study the past and write about it.

The Romans had a problem with employment, and they came up with a solution.

We call it bread and circuses, I don’t know what the Romans called it. (today we call it the Internet and welfare). One of the reason they implemented this was another law that dictated that the son had to go into the business of the father. That was good if your father was a senator, but not so good if your father was a garbage collector.

I have not read if the Roman people rioted against the son must follow the father law. The law would provide stability. You knew your place. But you could not get out of your role in life. Born a shoemaker, always a shoemaker.

This would lock the society in the past, prevent change. People like that. Who could become the gun maker if everyone could only be what their father was and there had never been guns before?

If someone comes along with guns, the whole society would be in trouble.

That law would make entrepreneurs and innovators rebels and outlaws. The kind of characters I like to write about.

I don’t know if anyone saw anything wrong with it, at the time. But we know what happened to the Roman Empire.

The average person would think they were very smart and except the free bread. Why not, everyone else was doing it. Then she would go watch the Circus. It would take a driven person to start something new. A person that would not except sitting around doing nothing. A true rebel. Stubborn is the word that comes to mind.

This person or character would not look different than anyone else. Can you spot a innovator walking down the street? A used car salesman, maybe. Besides the innovator would be in her workshop innovating not wandering around the streets.

There is no stereotype look for an innovator. You don’t have to be a wild eyed genius, or a nut case to be an innovator. It’s the slow steady, hard-workers, that get things done.

We have become obsessed with the image of Albert Einstein. He maintained his look for a purpose.

Your book’s character may have an unusual look and a reason for that look, but the look would have to make the person money, or do something for the character. Otherwise the character would not keep the look. The reason for the look may be as silly as; that’s the way she’s always dressed (think Mortisa from the TV show Addams Family), but it has to cost the character something and may be a point of change for the character.

Your character may also be trying to save his civilization or it is her drive to make a better world is what makes her overcome the plot obstacles. But to do this, do they have to look or be flamboyant?

Stay strong, write on, and make your hero a rebel out to save civilization.

Professor Hyram Voltage

When a Sure Thing Isn’t

You’ve done it several times before. You read the instructions several times. You follows the instructions to the letter. You work hard, and do it right.

And it blows up. And it wasn’t suppose to.

That describes my weekend.

I need to get rid of a block of concrete. It’s 3 feet by 3 feet and extents 4 feet into the ground. A jack hammer is too noisy and a very expensive piece of equipment to rent. It also very hard on the body. So we used a compound called Dexpan (Expansive Demolition Grout for Concrete and Rock Breaking). You can buy the stuff at the big box hardware store.

All you have to do is drill a one and one half inch diameter hole in the concrete. Then mix the Dexpan powder with water and pour the slurry into the hole. We’ve done this several times.

A roto-hammer-drill with a one and one-half inch eighteen inch long drill is much cheaper to rent and a whole lot easier on the body than a double action jack hammer and the compressor to run it. An electric jack hammer isn’t that cheap either.

Five eighteen inch deep holes will hold a packet of Dexpan slurry. In the first set of holes we used an unused left over packet of Dexpan. After it expanded and cracked the concrete we drilled five new holes, mixed up a new packet of Dexpan to form a slurry and poured it in the new holes.

Approximately ten minutes later the Dexpan exploded out of one of the holes. Seconds later harden pieces of Dexpan fell on the roof. Every one tool shelter. The Dexpan kept exploding out of the five holes.

Thank goodness it is close to the Fourth of July. There are so many illegal fireworks going off that no one complained. Dexpan is not made to explode. It has never exploded before when we used it.

What does this have to do with writing steampunk. Everything. In real life things don’t always work like they’re suppose to. Your hero researches the books. Imagine a hero that doesn’t know everything, but has the smarts to look it up. Or he asks the experts. Then he does everything by the book and it doesn’t work. It’s the wrong time of year, the wrong phase of the moon, the wrong brand of stuff.

The hero hires a consultant. That doesn’t work so he hires an expert to do the job and it still doesn’t work. Been there, done that. These are ready made plot points. The consultant was a fake. The expert was on the take of the antagonist.

When the invention that is going to save the day it blow up and damages the town. The town folks run the hero out of town. They pursue the hero to stop him from doing it again, even when it’s their only hope to be saved.

The hero has to fail before he can succeed.

Stay strong, write on, and have a safe Fourth of July.

Professor Hyram Voltage.

What Happens to the Buggy Whip Makers?

When automobiles took over the roads, what happened to the men who made the wheels for horse drawn vehicles? What happened to the men who installed gas lamps in houses when electricity took over, to the men who built ice boxes (that used large blocks of ice) when ice boxes were replaced by refrigerators?

These were skilled craftsmen. They made valuable items. They often made their own tools. It took years to get to their level of craftsmanship.

It was hard when a job that your father and his father did cease to exists. There was no welfare in the past. You could, and did, starve to death. There were handouts from the church, but when a factory closed it wouldn’t be enough and there was always those that were too proud to except a handout.

Their hardships, their story is your story to write. Being fired in the 1800s and early 1900s could be a death sentence. You’re not writing about everyone of them. You’re writing about the one that did something about it.

What would your protagonist do. Hit the road and look for work? Would he call in favors from friends and family, take a job as a clerk in his uncles store. That would be a big emotional let down, going from a craftsman who spent years learning his trade to a clerk. But it was a living. Would your wheel maker turned clerk start making furniture in his limited spare time using the machines that put him out of a job? Would he improve the machines that cost him his job.

It’s hard to start over late in life. When you think you have it all figured out. When you have started planning for retirement, the bottom fall out and you have to start over. There will always be younger men willing to work for less than you.

Would your protagonist become a communist? A fighter for the unemployed. Would he become harden if he found out that he was working for someone that was interested only in himself and exploited his followers and workers?

A person that doesn’t quite after losing his or her job is the first turning point of a great story. It could break the protagonist out of the comfortable rut they’re in. Get him or her thinking about change. Then get them working for change. And if they succeed they would have little tolerance for ones that would not change or do anything about the situation they were in. The “I did it, you can do it” would run strong in their veins.

Stay strong, write on, and write about the ones that change, work for change, invent change.

Professor Hyram Voltage