Trains are pretty amazing, when you think about it.

You’ve got several tons of steel on a couple of rails, and be it through steam power or electricity, this monstrosity of metal can speed along at quite a good clip. It carries quite a few people from one place to another, more directly than some other means of transportation, isn’t as costly as air travel and, in the case of electrics, is better for the environment. Back in the days of the coal-powered locomotive, getting a decent pace going required building up what was called ‘a good head of steam.’

I feel like I’m doing that with the novel.

I have a little notebook from the Writer’s Museum in Edinburgh, and it’s slowly getting filled with the ongoing adventures of Asherian and his friends. I’m currently tearing through one of the action scenes in the story, down in the dark dwarven tunnels. Character and world building has proceeded better than I thought it would so far, and hopefully the fact that none of it has felt boring to write will mean it’s not boring to read, either.

It’s due in no small part to this train, right here.

Courtesy Wikipedia

Even if I don’t transcribe my jotted narrative scribbles right away, I still have that big of internal knowledge that I’m writing every day, making progress. As the train pulls into the station, I’m building characters. As it hurtles along to its destination, I’m debating the morality of and impetus for open warefare. The train takes on more passengers as I describe subterranian spiders and the efforts of Asherian and his companions to stay alive and uneaten. It’s a lot more than I ever got done with my commute while sitting in traffic.

I hope i can keep the head of steam up for the foreseeable future. It’d be nice to finish the first draft before the Philly Writer’s Conference in June.