October 18, 2012

work-in-progress challenge

I did this before with The Wizard’s Heart, but Peter Smalley challenged me to do it again with my Chroniker City novella. These answers will be interesting, seeing as I’m only in the plotting stage, but hey, maybe this will help me in the process.

1. What is the title of your Work in Progress? 

Eep! I don’t have one yet. I just call it the Chroniker City novella, but a few (crappy) titles have crossed my mind: Clockwork/Steamworks Theater, Delaney Theater Presents, The Clockwork/Steamworks Stage, and any other number of terrible, unimaginative titles.

2. Where did the idea for the WiP come from?

While writing The Clockwork Giant, I had a paragraph from the first draft that I ended up deleting because it slowed the action down. Petra and Emmerich were passing by the theater on Delaney Road, and I took a moment to describe the way it worked:
Petra caught only a glimpse of the flashing electric lights above the theater’s entrance before Emmerich pulled her into the next alley. She had never had much interest in the arts, but Chroniker City’s theater used several mechanical props in their shows—simple automatons, mechanical orchestras, and a moving stage. She had heard that the stage floor was composed of millions of panels connected by rods to cam mechanisms. Depending on the shape of the cam and the type of panel, the floor could transform from a plain, flat surface to a grassy hill, or a river, or the deck of a pirate ship. Only the strip of floor that ran from stage right to stage left did not move, but the theater engineers could manipulate the foreground and background to look like anything. The back wall shared the technology. By flipping a few switches, the wall could be a line of trees, a blue sky with white clouds moving across it, or a tumultuous ocean. Petra never had the opportunity to see the mechanized theater, and she doubted now that she ever would.
I wanted to showcase that theater, but I couldn’t do it within the novel. Coincidentally, Solomon, Petra’s brother, wants to be an actor. It seemed a perfect opportunity to explore in a novella.

3. What genre would your WiP fall under? 

Steampunk, obviously.

4. Which actors would you choose to play characters in a movie rendition?

This question is easier to answer for some stories, but not this time. I have a perfect picture of the characters in my mind. But for funsies, I’ll answer. Possibly…

Solomon: Logan Lerman (Percy from Percy Jackson: the Lightning Thief)
Dahlia: Saoirse Ronan (Briony from Atonement)
Marion: Anna Popplewell (Susan from Chronicles of Narnia)

5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of your WiP?

Inspired by his sister’s determination to achieve her dreams, Solomon decides it’s time to have a go at his own—becoming a paid actor at Delaney theater—but first, he must overcome his own stage-fright, face classist prejudices, and decide which is more important—money or his dreams.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 

I plan to self-publish before the year is up.

7. How long did it take you to write?

Not finished yet. I hope it will only take me about a month. It’s only going to be about 30,000 words.

8. What other WiPs in your genre would you compare it to?

Erm, The Clockwork Giant? I’m honestly not well read enough to make these sorts of comparisons, and even if I was, I’d likely make the wrong comparison.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this WiP?

I feel so self-serving, answering this way, but I inspired myself, I guess. Besides, this wouldn’t even exist if I hadn’t written The Clockwork Giant first.

10 Tell us anything else that might pique our interest about this WiP.

It’s a little different than what I normally write. There’s no save-the-world plot, nothing especially sinister going on. It’s going to be a quiet story, I think. However, it will have all the brass and beauty of the steampunk you would expect from me, perhaps in less detail than Petra might describe, but still very much there.

Finally, tag three other authors and ask them to complete the above interview.

I didn’t tag anyone last time, but I think I will this time:

+ Jason Fisk

It would be super nice if you guys linked to your posts in the comments so that others can find them :)


  1. Here you go;

    My answers to the questions above.

  2. Woohoo!


  3. I am just now reading The Clockwork Giant and have just been introduced to Petra's brother Sol. I thing this is a great follow up idea.

  4. I enjoyed reading Sol's character in The Clockwork Giant. It would be nice to read something centered on him. Very cool

    1. I'm glad you think so, Angela :) It will definitely be something different than what I normally write, in length and content, but I think that's a good thing.