Last time, I spoke of the process I find useful for larger projects. Since NaNoWriMo is getting closer, I’ll share a few of the details.
I’m planning a Steampunk theme tale with the working title of “Cloud Dancer” that is a bit of alternate history combined with a bit of romance in a war novel. A brief back story starts in the glory days of the British Empire and the Victorian age. The main body of the tale will cover the early days of WWII on the south coast of Australia.
Let’s take a look at the characters.
Doktor Burke Kaufmann
German scientist and acquaintance of Einstein, Bohrs, Von Braun and others. He is fed up with the way things seem to be headed in pre-war Germany.
Captain Dieter Kaufmann
Merchant marine skipper and elder brother to Dr. Burke.
Engineering officer and steam pipefitter who escaped Germany with the Kaufmans.
Maria Consuela Martinez de Gonzalez (Tazia Fahn)
Maria is married to Alejandro. She’s a cabaret singer, dancer and photographer. She comes aboard as a stewardess and remains after the bombing since their home was burnt.
Alejandro Martin Gonzalez
Is a gourmet chef, concert guitarist, dancer, acrobat, swordsman and ex-military pilot. He ends up flying one of the seaplanes.
Lord Charles Morgan
An elderly businessman and co-owner of Morgan & Masters. He’s a true renaissance man who’s knowledgeable in the fields of chemistry and engineering. His hobbies include wireless radio, steam engines and dirigibles.
Seen by many as a Poor Little Rich Girl and only child. She is well-educated and fancies herself a modern woman. She is comfortable around the machine shops and the rifle range. She also loves to sail.
Lord Abraham Masters
A boarding school friend of Ld. Morgan, they have been business partners ever since they decided to seek their fortunes in India. Careful investments, a lot of good luck and they ended up owning a lot of land on the southwest coast of Australia. He too, is a renaissance man who’s knowledgeable in the fields of aeroplanes, dirigibles, mining and railroads.
Leftenant Archibold Smythe
An able-bodied officer with dreams of his own command. After the bombing, he is assigned to the Cloud Dancer as XO and (secretly) as military supercargo.
Captain Jerry Simmons
Capt. Simmons was raised by his Aunt and Uncle. Uncle Thomas was a Naval Captain as well. After conning his own ship for several years, he lost most of his foot in an accident and was cashiered from the service. He was Capt. Dieter’s XO when they helped Burke escape the Nazis. On their recommendation, Ld. Morgan offered him command of the Cloud Dancer.
As you can see, these are very rough at the moment. As I write, I’ll add details such as physical appearance, habits, manner of speech and other things that make us care about a character.
Questions are always welcome, although this is a growing project and I have no doubt that the actual writing of the novel will change much of this. I will remind you of the ancient military law:
“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.”
By the way! Now would be a good time to email me with your NaNoWriMo page so I can formally add you to my list of NaNo Challengers. The deadline is fast approaching, so don’t hesitate. The address is MasterAnthonySteves [at] gmail [dot] com.