While my agent subs my first novel, I'm working on a dark, twisted take on the Industrial Revolution.
The year is 1908 and the Industrial Revolution is going much better than anticipated. Already machines have grown so efficient that the work-force required to run a factory has been reduced by a factor of ten. Once wealthy men are now sultans of once unimaginable wealth. If needs be, hiring a few hundred men for a private security force beats keeping on thousands of vermin-ridden, ever-complaining peasants.
Robert Bexley, scion of the Bexley dynasty is rich and lazy. He shames the family, and is disowned. He can only find work as a night-guard in a factory. One night Robert apprehends Mary Page, a beautiful teenager, as she flees from the factory. She convinces him to set her free and flees after a stolen kiss.
Moments later, the factory is destroyed in a massive explosion. Robert is arrested and pressured into turning Mary in. He does, convinced he's doing the right thing, and that the benevolent powers of Law will not hurt either of them.
He is wrong. Mary is executed for her crimes, and Robert's penalty for lifting his hands against authority is to lose them.
Years later, begging on the streets, cast-off from his family and society, Robert receives an unexpected kindness from a woman he could swear was Mary herself, come back to life.
12,800 words down, 67,200 to go on the first draft.
Not published yet. My agent seems to figure my first steampunk novel, Aetherstorm, is going to do well. She asked me to plot out the sequels in case the publishers want to see where things go from there.
I think the one I'm working on now, working title In Umbra Machina, is even better, though it's different in nature. Aetherstorm is more action/adventure and In Umbra Machina is more thoughtful (although both have plenty of thought and action).
By the way, what do people think of that for a title? In Umbra Machina is the best suited title I've found so far. I know Latin will turn some people off, but Steampunkers move to a different beat and may find a Latin title more intriguing than one in English and at least I don't run the risk of a half-dozen books by the same name on Amazon.
What is the name of your agent? I have a book ready but need to find an agent. That is interesting about needing to plot out sequels. I didn't know they had writers do that.
I for one like the title of your other book. Unusual titles I always find interesting. I have one too and am a little concerned I will have to change it.
Also, I think Latin and Steampunk go together well. I think it would be fitting.
If you're looking for an agent, I highly recommend you sign up for the free membership at QueryTracker. That is a website dedicated to ferreting out information about agents which includes a spreadsheet you can use to track your submissions. There is a forum there as well where you can sharpen your query letter and talk with other writers on a wide range of topics.
AgentQuery is a good site too, with some different search features from QT. You can actually search for Steampunk there, but it only turns up 11 agents.
Publisher's Marketplace and Preditors and Editors are also essential when searching for an agent. You can go there to find out who is for real and who is a scam-artist.
Never give money to an Agent. They should only take a percentage from your royalty. If they ask for money up-front it is a scam.
My agent is Regina Brooks owner of Serendipity, but I'm not sure how much luck you'll have there, she is really swamped with work right now.
I am still working my outline, names etc for my Steampunk novel. Steam powered dirigible, spies and terrorists with just a touch of psychic powers. I had to expand my number of characters as it dawned on me that most novels with dirigibles never had relieve pilots so I had to add at least one besides the main pilot and the Captain. And I had to add a second engineer as any ship of any size would be too much for just one, esp when they ended up in storms of a fight. The crew is all female ( and married ) except the captain who is male, single and older. Takes place just at the end of the steam era and electricity is available.
Ever create a supporting character, or worse a villain, that you fall in love with and can't stand to see them fall? I'm still slugging away at my sequel, Aether Legions. I'm stuck in the middle where several plot lines become fuzzy and tangled.
Yes, I had a few of those types of characters. Some of them even died. It was very sad.
I hope the middle clears up! Middles can be so difficult.