New Work in Progress: #NaNoWriMo Project – The Adventures of Crackle & Bang

by Doc Coleman on October 19, 2011 · 2 comments

in NaNoWriMo, WIP

I have mentioned in a few places that I will be doing NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, this year for the very first time. I’m stoked at the idea of doing this, just as much as I am daunted by the demands of the writing schedule I’m going to have to follow to “Win” the event. In the past I’ve been trying to write five days a week, with limited success. Between my blogs and my podcast, I can usually manage to write something significant on five days of the week, but I don’t always manage to get around to writing fiction. Or if I do, it might be just once or twice a week. For NaNoWriMo, I’m putting all the other projects aside and just focusing on my fiction.I’ve talked to a few folks about my project for this year, but I’ve never posted any real discussion of the project. This is actually something I’ve been working on for over a year, and characters that I’ve been playing with for several years. I had originally imagined this as a series of short stories in a steampunk setting, but whenever I tried to work on the stories, they just kept getting longer, and longer. I’d write until I got around ten thousand words with no end in sight, and then I’d switch over to something else in the attempt to get short stories out. Now my emphasis is changing. I’m throwing away the words I’ve already written, but keeping the action and the plot. On November 1st I’ll start writing from scratch and see how far I get before the story ends.

The name I’m using for the project is The Adventures of Crackle & Bang. This is the same name I had been using for the short story series I was trying to write, and it is still the name of the overall series. I’ll decide the final name of the book by the time it is finished. Probably by the time I’m a third of the way through. I’m sorry if this is confusing to anyone. This really is a case of a project that has gotten a hold of me and won’t let go until it is really done.

So let me begin at the beginning. Because that is where this story is going to start. The elevator pitch for the series is that it is a steampunk mash up of Doctor Who, the Sherlock Holmes stories, and Around the World in 80 Days. It definitely borrows elements from both. I’ve also come up with a slightly longer radio pitch:

The Adventures of Crackle & Bang

The year is 2010 and it is still the reign of Her Eternal Majesty Empress Victoria the first. Steam power is still ascendant and the digital age has never arrived. While the people feel safe in their homes under Victoria’s Peace, ambitious men and woman plot to gain power without incurring the wrath of the Eternal Queen and her lightning powered armies. Onto this stage comes Professor Harmonious Crackle and his assistant Miss Titania Bang. Exiled for a crime he did not commit, Professor Crackle tries to prove his loyalty to the crown by seeking out those who threaten the empire.

This is a world of steam power and mad geniuses. Queen Victoria never died. Indeed, it seems that she may truly be immortal. She has used the superior power of her armies’ lightning guns to enforce order on most of the known world. Over the last hundred years she has married her children into every royal house on the planet, giving her familial control over their monarchies. Even the independent nations pay respect to the Eternal Empress. As long as they maintain order within their borders, she lets them be. But the peace is only a facade. Power hungry men and women are everywhere, from scientists who are sure their intellectual prowess gives them the right to rule, to heads of state who chafe under Victoria’s yoke, to members of the royal family who yearn for their own chance to take hold of the reins of power. Beneath the veneer of civility, rebellion festers and criminal empires rise and fall.

One way in which this series will be different from other steampunk offerings is that England is the one place where the action won’t be happening. Instead of endless stories in 1890’s London, The Adventures of Crackle & Bang will explore the rest of the world, both within and outside of the Empire proper. The first adventure begins in what is now Czechoslovakia and then moves to India, the Indian Ocean, Austrailia, America, and then back to India. There is a whole world to explore, the question is where I want to go next.

The plan is that there will be further updates as things progress. Both through November and the rest of the writing and editing process. I don’t want to talk about selling the story until I get there, but I do have some ideas on how to get the story out once it is done. Stay tuned.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jamie McCoard October 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

This is my first year and my first time writing. I’ve always wanted to focus on it, but work, kids, and priorities always took the cake. I started writing this year because my mind is overloaded with stories. Lately when I share them with my friends we get confused on which story I’m referring too. I decided its time for me to start getting them on paper. NaNoWriMo is going to be my push. I’ve been warming up this month by working on a short fan fiction and by preparing my outline and notes for my novel for November. I don’t have high expectations, but I’m really excited to push for the win. That being said, I hope we are both ready and can make it through the month with smiles and excitement. Good luck to you Doc Coleman.

Jamie (@Tevyn) (


2 Doc Coleman October 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I think we’ve got a number of us in this year’s Rookie class. I think we’ll be well represented. Of course, when it comes to writing stories, it is more important to finish than to “win”. Thanks for the comment, Jamie, and good luck on your NaNoWriMo push! See you at the finish line!



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