Writing Ironmaster – a mosaic novel

Posted on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 at 18:19

I’ve been mostly working on the short stories for the steampunk mosaic novel “Ironmaster“.

Philip James de Loutherbourg's 'Coalbrookdale at night'

Philip James de Loutherbourg’s ‘Coalbrookdale at night’

A mosaic novel is one of those bizarre ways of telling a story where you kind of throw stuff together that tells the story from unrelated points of view, with extras like poetry, images, news headlines, fortune cookie transcripts or whatever really. Usually in most mosaic novels there is a central story, which may stand as a novella in its own right; the other short stories are connected, all be it obliquely, to the central novella.

I haven’t even looked at the main novella concept much, but the planning is done, I’ve just got to turn the rough plans into sketches and the sketches into drafts, and then edit, edit, edit. So far the stories have been a little light on the steam-punk tropes and are closer in tone to dark fairytales or horror stories, but there are only three written so far.

  1. Ginny Greenteeth – Is a dark fairy-tale, plain and simple. It relates to another story later in the Arc and references the ancient shropshire “Mermaid” Ginny Greenteeth (who also made a bit of a cameo in the Harry Potter books as the “Grindylows” who are technically a more northern version of the spirit. I’ve twisted my own way though to reflect the steam-punk vibe of my book. This story is from early in the book, and may actually be the first story.
  2. A Maid’s Tale – This is a fairly simple tale (a little on the dark side, but nothing too terrible) that is told in a series of letters from a young woman who enters domestic service after her Father’s death. It actually fills in some background information around the other stories in the mosaic, and the letters themselves provide a later vital clue for someone. I’m thinking that this story should come quite late, long after many of the events described have happened to other people.
  3. Beneath the Burning Sky of Bedlam – This is a prose picture of the alternate Severn gorge, with some plot points added. It’s quite short, and is from about midway through the novel.
  4. Treatise on the inexplicable ennui inherent in all souls on a monday morning. – A rough poem intended to be a song by the in world Punk-Metal band “Cheirosyphon”. Just another part of the ‘Mosaic’ and features some fruity and ripe language, exactly like any Punk-Metal song from the 80s.

That’s it so far, but I’ll get back to you when I’ve a little more done