Ready. Set. Write! Update1

Ready. Set. Write! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the details HERE.

Last week, I set my overarching goals for the summer. Let’s see any progress:

1. Complete and submit my short story/novella <Unnamed Steampunk>. Also, come up with a neat name for it.

Completed at 13K and through one Beta already! Last week, lots of people commented a) wishing me luck for naming the story, and b) complimenting my other titles, so I hope I don’t disappoint with what I’ve chosen. I’ve decided to name my Steampunk short THE INCIDENTS AT CAVENDISH MECHANICS, as that’s its central location.


2. Finish reading over the summer at least three of the books I’ve started reading this year.

I acquired from home my copy of Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men. I’d left it behind because I do read SP books so quickly and I knew that would hamper my revision. I’m also alternating between Carriger’s Soulless – the steamy scene has stuck in my head and I just want to skip to more 😉 – and Saintcrow’s The Iron Wyrm Affair, which has a similar voice to the one I write in.

3. Complete another round of tightening of NA Fantasy Romance When the Clock Broke and try to make the first three chapters more appealing. Post to Absolute Write for critiquers of world building and the like.

Thought about rewriting the query today. In addition, I intend to get the first chapter to a friend of mine who I recently found out has an eye for writing but her strength is in editing rather than first drafts, so that’s perfect. If anybody else is willing to look over even just the first couple of pages, I’d much appreciate that. 🙂

4. Make progress rewriting YA contemporary mystery, Of Jackets and Phones, to make it Beta/CP-ready.

Writing first; editing later. Sadly, this story gets pushed aside by the above goals.

5. Complete July’s CampNaNo with the first draft of ‘H’ and at least start NA contemporary uni romance, Under the Carrington. These two are itching to be written right now.

Naturally, I haven’t progressed on this.


This week’s goals:

1. Draft new query – anybody want to query critique swap?

2. Send out one or two of June query batch.

3. Send chapter one of When the Clock Broke to Beta4. Write this scene from WTCB3 that is nagging me.

4. Plan integral plot of ‘H’, ready for next month.

5. Survive these next couple of weeks: University of Reading Open Days and the unfortunately-timed Wantage Hall ball (I will have 4/5 hours max sleep between the ball and getting up at 7 to be in the Psych department for 8.30, five hours of showing around visitors, then changing and running to a swing demonstration)… Then, the following day I have a choir performance, and the day(s) after that musical things…..…

(Also: Fix the alt gr key on my laptop. Any ideas?)


A favourite line/bit from my project OR a word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

I surprised myself by pulling out quite a few poeticy prose phrases for Cavendish Mechanics. Whilst I still have love for my MC’s spunky attitude and flintlock pistol wielding, romance is in the air for The Honourable Louisanna, and this paragraph makes me feel like a fluffy cloud:

They processed from Alger Street and the merchant district to Hyde Park. A lazy dirigible drifted through the clement blue sky above, and Louisanna greeted it with a raised hand. Through the neat lawns, a river drifted, and, by wordless agreement amongst light conversation about the asinine hue of rainfall predicted by two standing barometers, they followed its meander until a bridge presented itself as a way to the inner lawns of the park.

The biggest challenge I faced this week.

Time. I knew I needed to finish my editing before I would be able to do any more of my tasks – stubborn, but I was kind of on a roll. I stayed up ‘til three one morning until I was satisfied to change projects.

 Something I love about my WIP.

I hope it fits into my own view of what is Steampunk. There are lots of definitions of this sub-genre of speculative fiction, and, as a NeoVictorian, I am picky. [In my opinion] Steampunk must be set in the rule of Queen Victoria (though, an eternal Victorian era may be acceptable) – as such, the aesthetic is appropriate to the era. My blood almost boils when I see book covers with women wearing skirts so high that I’d give them a disapproving glare even in the modern world! Accessibility is a must, but women ought to also remember their manners – for instance, Louisanna wears a leather pouch containing her pistol, pen-and-ink and gunpowder, but she has been taught that it sits between her petticoats and her overskirt, not on the exterior of her outfit.

A poster from Kate Locke’s steampunk-ish series

Anyway, rant over. Sorry for the longer paragraphs; I’ll try and stick to the rules next week. 😉

There’s always time to join Ready. Set. Write! Just update each week with your progress and goals, and then spend the rest of your time I look forward to reading your posts!


5 thoughts on “Ready. Set. Write! Update1

  1. Hahaha! I love how fiesty you are about the steampunk definition. I don’t really read steampunk, so I wouldn’t know, but it was nice to read your perspective on it! Good luck with your goals this week!

    1. Hehe, thanks. Although aesthetic shouldn’t really define a genre or a story, it’s something about which I am passionate – I guess because I write it, there’s self-imposed pressure for me to get it right not only for myself but also for possible readers. I’ve seen reviews for other books listed as ‘steampunk’ where people have been disappointed because the steampunk was limited to one or two cog-dressed objects.

      And good luck with your goals!

  2. Your excerpt was majestic! I especially love this: “A lazy dirigible drifted through the clement blue sky above, and Louisanna greeted it with a raised hand.” Gorgeous writing! Also, I love all of your titles! Sounds like you are doing great with your goals and I wish you luck in the upcoming week!

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