So, it's been a couple of months since I worked on The Chocolate Smuggler's Notebook, and, as I look over various outlines I've done in the past, I can't decide which (if any) to choose. Your help is requested here.
When we last saw our 15-year-old heroine (Olivia, but goes as Oliver), she was pretending to be a boy who was escaping the bad dudes by dressing as a girl (Yes, I know; I stole it from Shakespeare.). When the train is attacked by outlaws hoping to snatch the miners' payroll money, she mistakes them for the bad guys and barricades herself in the luggage car. When the shooting begins, she hides in a trunk, thinking they'll never find her, but she passes out from lack of oxygen. The outlaws will steal the trunk, believing its weight means it's filled with silver and gold coins. These outlaws are rather of the Butch Cassidy sort, and don't like killing -- just robbery. Also, the book is steampunk.
What should happen next?
a) She wakes up in a mining camp because the outlaws have found an ancient motherlode there and have driven off the Natives. (Or is that too Lone Ranger?)
b) The outlaws are attacked by other outlaws, her trunk is stolen, and she wakes up
1) in an airship factory 1000 miles away.
2) with Chinese laborers working on the transcontinental railroad.
3) in a secret submarine laboratory under the waters of the Great Salt Lake.
4) in the Pacific Northwest, with men who poach tree octopi.
5) having been sold as an indentured servant to pirates. Or maybe air pirates. Or maybe gypsy cowboy pirates who do voodoo in Baton Rouge.
6) with a group of scientists on their way to find the North Pole.
c) She wakes up back home, having been rescued by her friends.
d) She regains consciousness during the outlaws' flight from the train and escapes but is left alone in the forest. Or maybe the desert.
e) She is captured by the bad dudes and put in prison, as they have received instruction from the chief antagonist that she is worth more alive than dead. (The bad dudes have already killed someone, believing it was Oliver/Olivia.)
f) She wakes up with the outlaws and decides to join their gang of ruffians as a way to escape the bad dudes chasing her. She becomes a bank robber/train robber.
g) She wakes up to discover the outlaws are actually scientists plotting the overthrow of the local government. She must join them or escape both them and the bad dudes employed by the local government.
h) something else that you suggest.
What's your vote? What story would you most like to read? Comment below or tweet me @lisamshafer.