Three years ago, when the Milwaukee Writers Workshop still had all of its groups on one day, I braved the novel critique with a project that was nearly seven years old (at least) and in its fourth or fifth iteration. It was a novel that was (perhaps still is) my former* wife's favorite piece. A colleague in the group, who I thoroughly respect for his critique and his writing skill, offered up the advice to turn what is essntially a pastiche of a Charles Dickens novel into a science fiction piece. At the time, I had no idea how that could be possible.
Over the last two days, though, I think I've discovered how I can make that happen. I'm entrenched in the Steampunk genre now. I love it more now than I did when I first discovered it, than I did when I fully recognized its potential, and than I did when I read "The Difference Engine" for the first time. I enjoy the genre, and I enjoy its capabilities. Now, I believe I have truly discovered the root of the story that began as an attempt to write a Victorian novel.
So, putting most other projects aside, I am going to revisit said project -- which I haven't looked at in nearly two years -- to try and hammer out this new direction. I have it in my head, and also on a ton of scraps in my bag at work, and I think I can really make something marvellous out of it.
Also, in short story news, I completed a brand new story this week that's roughly 4200 words, and it's about cowboys, in the future, in a post-catastrophe America. It's fun.
*I like to use the term former for my soon-to-be-ex-wife because it sounds better. It's like being the former president: the title is still there, because the importance of the position hasn't changed, but there's no real duties that lie therein. We're still friends, which is nice, so she's not really an "ex," just (as I say) former.