I think I really need to stop mentioning what I'm working on until it's done.
The more I write, the more aware of my work I become, and the quicker I can smell the garbage when it's coming out. It's happened with a few different works already, so I should know better by now. Maybe I do - I'm going to talk about this project, but only because it is complete, at least as complete as a third draft can be - and I'm reaching out to some beta readers to see if I can get some feedback on it before I send it along to the rest of the wide world.
I really loved working on this one. The characters popped right off the page in ways that they haven't for me before. I found myself writing extra chapters and just imaging things happening to Nonsa and Bevin and the whole cast of characters, and it was so easy, because I had such a complete picture of them in my mind. This book was nothing like anything I've written before either, so it took some time to really submerge myself into the world I was trying to build, but I think that just helped me be more intensely aware of what I was doing and why. I also think I came up with something unique because I was not already steeped in steampunk when I started writing this novel. I scooped up some steampunk while I was working on this one - not too much, for fear those words would start bleeding into my own - and I could see some of the staples of the genre that I came to love (everyone loves when the big gadgets enter), and some that were not at all my thing (the corny dialogue that makes you roll your eyes so often you get a headache).
I think that steampunk is a strong genre though, and has a lot of potential for great storytelling. I sort of skirted around the edge of it myself, choosing to focus more on the interpersonal relationships of the characters and the politics of the world than in the minutiae of gears and levers. I keep calling this a 'Steampunk Sci-Fi/Fantasy' or, for those not familiar, a 'Victorian Fantasy', but I've got a lot of positive feedback just on the concept, so I'm excited to hear what some readers have to say when they get the whole whopping story thrown at them.
I'll have to think about what to work on next while this is out for review. Maybe I'll take another dance with the Ghost Boner (there is no working title, but that's a possibility), or I have got a notion for a fantasy novel that I've been mulling around, one that combines the fantasy novel I never finished and the Neolithic early-man saga that I never got to either...