Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NEW SERIES: Development of a Story: An Idea

 Alright, this is a new series I came up with. Instead of simply telling you about the process in which I write a novel, I'll involve you and share it with you step by step. This is for a project I'm currently calling The Steam Man. Part of why I'm doing this is to receive new input and ideas, creating a more varied and rounded story. In return, you'll get a mention on the acknowledgments and a signed copy if gets published.

   It all started with a conversation during chores. It was simply two people trying to out-do each other in a form of verbal combat. One person is tough, the other uses something to defeat it. Eventually, I came up with the idea of fire running through one's veins. Of course, then the person got doused with water. This created steam, and in a flash of inspiration, the Steam Man was forged. It took a little while to apply the finish to the idea.

   The Steam Man has, since the idea was formed, become an android assassin powered by a small nuclear reactor in a futuristic alternate Earth where cyberpunk meets steampunk. In a  country ruled by a despotic and removed government in which the citizen's only dealings with the government are through TV-like transmissions, a rebellion begins. Though guarded and subtle, the government learns of it. In response, they create a mechanical assassin. Its job is to target the rebellion leaders and eliminate them.  As it goes about its missions, unaware of its own existence, something happens. I don't know what yet, but the it becomes a he. The newly aware person has no history of his past, what his name is, or where he's from.

  That's all I have for the plot, and just a little more on the setting. Most of it will take place in a brick Victorian-esque city with levels built on top of each other and smoke hanging in the air. It will be a city under oppression. The place is also grimy, steam-punk style technology run by nuclear reactors, and dark.

Here's the part where you, my readers, come in. Please give your ideas on anything mentioned in this post and I'll give a short list of things that I need help with.

What happened to the Steam Man?
What is the rest of the world like?
Who are these brave rebels?


  1. Clever boy, getting your work done for you while tempting us with a possible free book. :D Cyberpunk meets steampunk, rebellion, assassin. Epic keywords.

    Robots achieving consciousness. Ho boy. I always find this so unrealistic. . . I do not believe consciousness can be created artificially. However, if a human mind somehow was merged... forget the fact that sounds like a Star Trek episode.
    Inspiration Mode
    What if the assassin is caught by the rebels. Whoever catches the assassin has a terminally ill loved one or friend or something like that. They see the assassin as complex enough to pull off a merger that leaves the mind (and soul) of the loved one living inside the assassin's body. Either something goes wrong, or they are interrupted mid-procedure (they're rebels after all - maybe the government hones in on the assassin's homing device and storms wherever they are) and assassin is left with neither human memories (presumable from the interruption or mistake) or robot memories (they were erased before attempting to merge the human's mind).
    End Inspiration

    Whoa. My fingers just go sometimes. . . in weird ways as well. Sorry I kept calling Steam Man assassin. That's what my mind has dubbed him! Anyway, hope that helps. I'll come back with more if I think about it.

    I do have something I'd suggest: think more about the technology level and how that all blends in. Since this is in the future, I'm presuming the government is controlling what level of technology is allowed in what field. Think more about that, and ask why the government would allow that and wouldn't allow this.

  2. I'm thinking kind of a personality programmed into the computer that acts as a brain somehow taking full control over the commands programmed by the builders and government. I guess a better way to put is not really self-aware and human (human is just the easiest way to put it) but rather less machine-like.

    He doesn't have a name yet, and I'm working on a sketch.

    It's going to be part Bourne Identity, part Star Wars, and part I, Robot.

  3. Very intriguing. (Hooray, steampunk!) I don't have any ideas on how the android becomes conscious - Kat's ideas are good - but I do have some thoughts on where the story might go...

    When the assassin becomes conscious, he doesn't have any memories - so perhaps he doesn't remember what his mission is. He ceases to track the rebels, thwarting the government's purpose for him. This will probably put the government on his trail, and they'll want to "reprogram" him. If they talk to the assassin about it, he'll be horrified at what they want him to do. If they successfully reprogram him, he'll lose any humanity (and friends) he gained while conscious, which would be tragic.

    Additionally, as this former-assassin tries to merge into the real-world, he might find that some people distrust him. People recognize him as the assassin and rightfully blame him for past murders, while he has no recollection of his deeds. It will be a struggle to reconcile a past of ignorance with a present of innocence.

    Just some ideas for the drama side of things.

  4. That's a good idea and kind of where I was headed, (sticking to the Bourne Identity's basic plot)that I'll try to make both dramatic and action packed.

  5. Wow! Interesting character!! I will have to think on that for a little bit...I do like Aubrey's comment about the assassin not remembering what he has to do! I think that makes for a great story!

    Elizabeth Dresdow

  6. Thanks. I'll definitely give him amnesia. Cool.


Feel free to leave a comment, I really enjoy hearing what others think about my projects.

However, I do reserve the right to delete any comments I find that do not apply.