One of the key things in any fantastical novel, be it fantasy or science fiction, is the “laws of the land” as it were.
How does the magic work?
How do the machines/gadgets work?
How does physics work?
These are all questions that a writer must ask themselves when creating these stories. These are questions that I was asking myself while working on the novel. Given that this novel is a sequel to Railroad Rising, I am working in my father’s world. A world that, since he didn’t do a lot of outlining, was in his head.
One of the things I really appreciated about Railroad Rising was the detailed description of the machines and gadgets. I want to continue this, but I do not have my father’s background in having been around engines and early modes of transportation. As a result, I’ve been doing research into early steam engines and machines throughout history.
The thing that has interested me the most was not just the machines, but the machines that almost made it, but for one reason or rather, failed. I want to explore this in the novel. What if with some of these machines, the problem was able to be solved with magic? The closer a machine came to working on it’s own, the less magic was needed to propel it? This ideal fascinates me and will be a backdrop to one of the plots in the novel. A marriage of physics and magic and the resulting world.