Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
Even though Camp NaNoWriMo is underway, rest assured that our short story collaborative project is going well.
Well, it would be if I wasn’t worrying so much about what people will think of the next part of the story. When I developed the plot for what happens next, it was a three-way tie for who was going to save Tesla from the Vice-Chief. It got a little crowded in the plotline, but I was able to sort it out. (If the voting poll looks a little different now, I apologize. The only poll settings are one day, one week, or forever. A day is too short, but a week is too long. I usually take the poll results after 2-3 days.)
Trouble with my solution is that Reno, my alpha dog reader, mentioned that people often take character deaths poorly. So… I might be pulling my punch in the next section because I still want you to talk to me after this. Or maybe I’ll find my backbone between now and the end of the week. It is tough that I cannot ret-con foreshadowing into the story that has already passed. We’ll see what happens.
We have worked through the Inciting Action and the Point of No Return . This next section is the Great Big Midpoint Plot Twist where life for the MC is not pleasant. This is when something big happens in the middle of the story that turns everything on its ear. Raise the stakes by putting the MC’s life or reputation on the line, or by setting/shortening a deadline.
I’m expecting to have the next section up for your viewing and voting pleasure by the end of the week.
For anyone who is new to our collaborative short story project, let me explain. Ideally, each week I will provide a section of the story, then there will be a series of options to vote for where the story goes next. Any great comments and suggestions also get added to the poll. I let everyone have 48-72 hours to vote, then I see what the winner(s) are. I spend a few days writing the next installment of the short story based on the polling data. After some feverish editing, I post it for everyone to read and vote again. Rinse, repeat.
Also, I want to mention this will probably end up being a longer short story than I had planned. I had estimated 3500 words total. It is currently at 5000 words. It will be a bit long for a “short” story, but it is still an awesome collaborative project, and I really can’t wait to see how it turns out!
Tesla Spence, an aspiring engineer with dreams of working in R&D, drops her supper tin on Edgar Endicott, a young scientist trespassing and doing research on foundry moths. When she goes to check on him on the South Foundry scaffolding, a foundry moth is flushed out, and Edgar knocks Tesla off the ledge. He helps haul her up with the rope, then tries to kiss her like a hero. She punches him, then makes both of them return to ground level.
Supervisor Nielson is Edgar’s uncle, but even than doesn’t stop him from firing Tesla. She returns her gear, leaves the supper tin that started the mess, and goes to the municipal dormitory to pack up her personal things. Tesla has few friends in Cobblecourt, so she decides to return to her parents’ home in Brighthurst. After posting a message to her suitor Merrick, a City Vigilance officer, she walks to the Handsome Corby to drink away her sorrows.
After some drinks, she is approached by the CPC Vice-Chief, who has the ability to get Tesla her dream job and fix the career-ruining debacle with Edgar. The Vice-Chief is very interested in Edgar and quizzes her about whether or not he has a foundry moth chrysalis. More talkative than normal, Tesla tells him everything she knows. Satisfied, the Vice-Chief ominously offers her a ride home, but their departure is halted when someone comes to save Tesla.
Let me also provide some links for our posts so far:
This Story Needs Your Help – first round of voting (also was Freshly Pressed, which was super cool)
Life of a Foundry Moth – Short Story (Vote for Part Two)
Life of a Foundry Moth – Short Story (Vote for Part Three)