At a number of steampunk conventions I attend, my friends David Drake and Katherine Morse run a programming item called the Hot Potato School of Writing. This is a method of collaborative writing where one member of the team writes to a cliff hanger, or a “hot potato,” and tosses it to the other writer to get the characters out of the jam. Unfortunately, I couldn’t participate at this past Wild Wild West Con, but I have used this technique with another writer in a story that I recently learned has been released in paperback.
Four years ago, Kurt MacPhearson and I tried our hand at collaborating on a steampunk tale. I introduced the brave Captain Penelope Todd of the airship Endeavor and immediately thrust the crew into a nasty storm from which there seemed to be no escape. Kurt took the idea and ran with it, sweeping the Endeavor
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