Saturday, January 16, 2010

Status -- January 16, 2010

Exciting news: Sold “The Identifier” to Psudopod -- the #1 horror podcast going right now. This short story is a personal favorite and I can’t wait to see what they do with it.

No major news on ZPF. I have gotten excellent feedback from beta readers, giving me several ideas to improve the book. No news from agents or editors, but that is a slow process. For now, ZPF is on the backburner (unless I get a call) and I am working a new project.

The new project has gone in an interesting direction. Around Christmas, I had thought I would the start the year writing a novel-length expansion of Doofus -- Young Billy solving the mystery of M.L.B. and finding his shoes. This would be a middle grade story (for 3rd-5th graders) running about 40K words. Then, as happened with ZPF, a completely random idea bloomed into an interesting idea that exploded into a mind-shattering, keep-me-awake-at-night brainstorm--the Cat 5 hurricane kind of brainstorm.

As a result, I have shelved Doofus, shelved another runner-up (about a gang of thieves posing as homeowners in suburbia), and gone to a steampunk story set in Victorian London.

Try this out:

FORBIDDEN: After investing a toy with the forbidden gift of life, Malthus, a tinker’s son, is drawn into a treacherous and secret world of machines, magic and spies in Victorian London.

This alternate past has a 3rd tier of society, the Enlightened Society, made of individuals gifted with Craft and/or Ken.

Craft is witchcraft/sorcery and is primarily found in women. Ken is an intuitive, seemingly mystical, understanding of machines which is primarily found in men. Craft is highly suspect (work of the devil and all) and in parts of the world it is forbidden. Ken is more accepted socially and is the engine driving a fast-forward leap in industry and steam/clockwork technology.

In the last couple weeks I have gone through character and world-building exercises, developed an outline, and researched the period and other steampunk works. The plan is to start the first draft on January 17th and see how far I can get by April (I expect to finish a rough draft). After that, I will shift back to ZPF and edit based on feedback received from Beta readers--though a phone call on ZPF could radically alter my priorities.

1 comment:

Andrew Jack said...

That's a really good idea, really like the gender differential between craft and ken.