I’ve been more or less planning book two in the Automaton series ever since I finished Automaton, and the past month has been increasingly aggressive. I finally got started today as a part of Camp NaNoWriMo, which seemed only fitting since Automaton itself started as a NaNo novel last November.
So far tonight I have the blurb or prologue (not sure which yet) and a good chunk of the first chapter typed up. I plan to have a draft by the end of the month, and a “solid” draft by the end of August (“solid” means it’s good enough for review copies to be sent out and more-or-less resembles the final draft). I’m not sure about that editing goal, but it’s something to shoot for.
What can we expect in book two? Awesome new characters, for one thing. A British cabin boy named Pidgey made a delightfully unexpected appearance today, and Mr. Price has been planned for a long time. Later I can say that there will be a romantic interest also!
The so-far nameless sequel (running titles are The Flight of The Destiny and Airship Destiny) takes place six weeks after the events in Automaton. Mr. Steele and Ada have arrived at their destination in the Orient and are staying on a European barge along the Woosung River in Shanghai while they await an invitation to see a friend of Mr. Steele’s called Mr. Price. Mr. Price is going to be dead awesome, but he hasn’t shown up yet. He also has a first and middle name, but they haven’t been announced yet because Mr. Steele insists on being so secretive about it. He has reason, but I’m looking forward to getting it all down when the time comes.
How well do I know the story at this point? Pretty well, I think. Except for the basic idea, I came up with much of Automaton as I wrote it. Now I have a better base, and I’ve spent months planning the story. Shanghai is an unusual setting for a Steampunk adventure, but I think it will work beautifully for my purposes. There’s a combination of sights, sounds and smells that are fresh and exotic, but I can say that they won’t at all interfere with some of the nifty gadgets and futuristic technology I have coming.
Stay tuned for more fun updates as I write! Soon I should also have more information on the audiobook of Automaton and September’s Steampunk tour!