View Full Version : Attempt at becoming an author, help needed.

C. Langana
10-02-2006, 02:46
Just for the fun of it I have decided to write a novel. I have started on a basic plot and so on and would like any comments and advice the forum can offer.
I thought that I might post it here chapter by chapter to let anyone with too much free time see how it goes (and also as a motivation to write).

The plot:
Set in some indeterminate future, I was thinking post nuclear war or somesuch allowing for confused reference to be made to history. The general tech. level would be a sort of steampunk 1917, allowing for tanks, battleships and clockwork whatsits.
I have decided to have a war, of two sides, (to be named later lets call them side A and side B) fighting along roughly WWI lines i.e. stalemated.
The story will deal with finding someway to break said stalemate, I was considering the design of a wonder weapon pulp sci-fi sorts (giant clockwork robot of doom!).
This new device will push side A onto the defensive and an end to the war looks as though its in sight. Side B then proceed to develop their own wonder whatsit which restores the balance and the war continues as it did previously but with a new dimension.

The characters: I felt four was a good number.
-C. an older man (55?) has a desk job at side A's HQ. Rarely sees the lines, extremely war weary and cynical, spends a lot of his time thinking about 'what if there wasn't a war' and that sort of thing. I thought most of the backstory could be revealed through his musings. I liked the notion of his job being similar to an imperial commissar - arranging firing squads and wearing a hat. A character not unlike Graham Greenes 'Scobie' in the heart of the matter. Average height, build, grey hair, duelling scar, smokes, tea drinker, carries a cane (limps).
-Joseph Pepper: Young man (20's) works in a large office in 'tech support' (except for the book we're using clockwork ala the difference engine, so pc becomes desktop cogitator) vaguely satisfied with how things are, is a small cog and likes it. Then as the super weapon is pressed into service, side B attempts a huge offensive, and Joseph is first conscripted and endures the mud and blood before a chance meeting puts him on the crew of the super weapon. Tall, sparse, unremarkable features, spectacles. mid 40's.
-Stanley Morrison: A proffessor challenger type of scientist. except a man of faith (which means inventing a religion) perhaps feels that he is doing gods work or something, he is the inventor of 'the superweapon.' I thought he might make for an interesting study of blind faith and scientific reason.
Short, beardy, beer bellied, big booming voice, bombastic, extremely devout.
-Katarina Folsom: I know I should have a female character and I was thinking of her being the secretary to Stanley. Maybe a love interest for Joseph. Not the most confident of people, but bright in her way. (needs some fleshing out). (20's) pretty in her own way.

Right, see what you think of that and if you have any thoughts feel free to throw them at me.
Thankyou for your time.

p.s. Here's a sample of my writing and coincidentally the fragment that started me off.
C. having a free afternoon went to sit among the trees and watch the war.
It had been a good one so far at least as wars went. He leant against the trunk of a oak and watched the shells fall on the horizon. He lit a cigar and compared the present conflict with those he had read about. The records were confused but he liked to imagine himself as Churchill leading his forces, mounted on a fine white steed and swinging an axe. To think we've come so far and war has only gotten more complex he mused, but then few things get simpler with time.
He stretched langurously and smiled as he heard the 3 o'clock gun, right on time and in thirty eight seconds that shell would fly over ten miles of trenches, fortifications, mud, and bodies; dead and those who were 'future casualties.' It would then land somewhere behind the lines and well, no one ever knew what happened then but there was going to be a satisfying bang in half a minute.
It being three o'clock also meant it was time for high tea, so C. stood, adjusted his coat, patted the oak tree in a friendly maner and walked back to the office swinging his cane, behind him earth fountained into the sky. He began to whistle, the sun was shining and the war was being won.