ask steampunk

Robot ask meme!
  • Motherboard: Who's your favorite robot character?
  • Mecha: Do you prefer huge robots or tiny ones?
  • Android: Do you think machines can have souls?
  • RAM: What's the first robot character you fell in love with?
  • Modem: Do you have any robot OCs?
  • CPU: Do you listen to any robotic-themed music?
  • Chassis: What's your favorite style or kind of robot?
  • Steampunk: Do you prefer old timey robots, or modern sleeker ones?
  • Cyberpunk: Do you own any robot/tech related things?
  • Circuits: Do you think there will be a robot uprising?
  • Automaton: Would you smooch a robot?

writingwithcatears  asked:

Hi,I'm writing a steampunky modern fantasy novel but I don't have any ideas of how to write steampunk even though I love it. Any ideas?

I’m going to be honest here: I know very little about steampunk other than the basic definition of what it is. I think it’s very cool though, and I’ve seen some steampunk art that inspires and haunts me at the same time, so I have much respect and appreciation for the genre. Having said that, my advice would be ill informed.

So I will quickly link you to a Writer’s Digest article that covers many aspects of writing steampunk fiction:

Writing Steampunk: Plots, Characters, Settings and More

But a general recommendation I like to give to someone that is passionate about a genre/sub genre or a basic story concept is to choose one you absolutely love and try to replicate it using your own characters, as a means of practice. And don’t get me wrong, even though I’m calling it practice, it doesn’t mean it can’t someday become a legitimate project that you could one day publish. Stories change and evolve as we work on them, so it might become something completely different.

For example, if I love Harry Potter, and I find the magical education sub genre fascinating, I might start out by creating a school where kids go to learn about magic. I’d write about the professors, the classes, and I might even split the students into four groups, who live together and attend classes together.

Yes, this sounds like plagiarism, and if I tried to publish it, it would definitely be met with a lot of criticism and potentially legal action (depending on how close to HP it was). But I’m not publishing this. I’m writing it because the setup inspires me, and I’m just trying to have some fun here. It’s helping me understand the genre on an intimate level.

But maybe as I’m writing, I come up with the idea for some higher power to close the school. “Magical education is dangerous, and it’s no longer feasible to fund a school where magic is taught.” So then you start thinking about what these practitioners of magic have to do to learn their craft. Secret societies? Homeschooling? Or does magic ultimately disappear?

This concept starts to move away from Harry Potter, especially if your characters grew up with magic, and none of them lost their parents as a baby to a dark evil wizard.

So it’s worth your time to replicate stories that inspire you. Too many times we struggle with trying to make something original that we stop having fun creating it, and we stop. You could spend 6 months trying to plot out an original story, or you could spend 6 months working on an unoriginal story that you’re passionate about. With the latter, you end up with a lot of material to work with, and as I mentioned earlier, the unoriginal idea could evolve into something original as you’re writing it. 

Write what you want. The writing process is not cut and dry - it’s abstract, and it’s subjective to each individual writer, and it can be long. If you don’t know what to write, choose a story you love, and write it your way with your own characters. 

Just have fun and keep writing!

-Rebekah

zannatinuviel  asked:

OKAY SO. Aayla Secura and Quinlan Voss, master/padawan or post master/padawan?

Aayla Secura & Quinlan Vos, Steampunk AU!

Have some of our beautiful, angry, undercover Jedi agents! (I tried, I really did. Just imagine the steampunk atmosphere. I gave Quin a coat instead of a cloak, that’s all I managed.)

***

“You know,” Aayla hissed, her fingers scrabbling to slip her lock-picks out of her headdress and into the lock despite being numb with the cold, “We wouldn’t be in this mess if you hadn’t felt the need to break cover to defend my honor, I’m not your padawan anymore.”

Quinlan snorted disdainfully and threw his heavy coat over her scantily clad shoulders with theatrical flair, “First, our cover isn’t necessarily broken, they just think I’m very possessive; second, who said anything about defending your honor, maybe I just didn’t like his face?”

The mechanism clicked and they slipped out into the corridor.

3

Peter: Actually, I think all the Steampunk dudes can bulid, heck! even Steampunk me can build. They’re pretty cool actually.

((TADAA!! The new AU is the Steampunk!X-Men AU!! I dunno, this idea came out of nowhere :V this is probably one of my favorite out of all my AUs. I’ll be making the askblog for them soon!))

Muslims in a Magic vs. Science Technological World

Hello WWC staff! Thanks so much for running this great resource.

I’m working on a story where magic was ‘discovered’ at the beginning of the 1800s, resulting in a magic-based steampunk (magicpunk?) alternate Earth. Since this Earth shares our history right up until that point, Islam definitely exists, and multiple characters are practicing Muslims.

I have read through your Magic And Islam posts, and found them very helpful! I’d like to ask for a second opinion on what I currently have (especially from Mod Kaye!) if you have time.

For countries where Islam (and/or other religions where magic is forbidden) is predominant, magic-based technology is unavailable, the same way you wouldn’t find a bottle of wine or a ham sandwich in a grocery store. Instead, these countries specialize in science: mathematics, engineering, etc.This results in technology much like what the real world currently has. In countries where Muslims are a minority, non-magical products can be purchased/imported through shops. Or there’s always the internet!

The result is a Mac vs. PC situation, where both science and magic have basic equivalents of everything: phones, automobiles, prosthetic limbs, etc. Each can be made compatible with the other, with a little work, so that no one is living in a ‘bubble’. Just bring your adapters when you travel!

Unfortunately, I don’t know any Muslims to ask in person, which is why I wanted to send the question to you, and your wide readership.  Is this an acceptable treatment?  What can I do to improve it?

Thanks again!

Hi there!

I am honored that you wanted to ask my opinion on this one. In all honesty, I really think this could work, as long as none of the Muslim characters are engaging with the magical technology or activities. Like I’ve said before, the main issue around Muslims and magic is that we actively believe that it exists and dabbling it is not a good idea (backed up by certain related historical events in the Qu'ran and from records in the early days of Islam). Looking at your story, it is the same as Muslims existing and going through life today without engaging in the practice of magic.

Keep in mind, though, that Muslims are science. Like, literally. We invented a ton of stuff that makes this world go ‘round. So rather than saying Muslims had to adapt to magic, I’d say that someone wielding magical technology would have to adapt Muslim inventions to work with it. I wouldn’t want historically documented achievements to be airbrushed away or ignored.

Also, as a general caveat to users, this idea seems fine to me because Muslims are not engaging with magic. Muslims are not engaging with magic. Muslims are not engaging with magic. And I’d still recommend that you tread carefully, make sure you are being aware of inventions and who they are credited to, and generally just making sure that you are keeping this universe as open-minded and respectful as possible.

Thank you for asking and I hope this helps!

-Mod Kaye

Colonization, Resistance, and Racism

@edlynnstheatre asked:

I’m writing a story with a steampunk/magic setting. It’s set in our world in 1901 but things have gone differently throughout all of history. The European tried to colonize and enslave the other continents, but the native populations were able to resist. Some cities founded by colonizers still exist, but the lands are mostly inhabited by the native populations. I wanted to create a world where the dynamics are different from our world, but I also didn’t want to erase the history of racism and suffering that so many people went through. So I describe most European as racist, and still convinced of the superiority of their culture – although in the end they were thrown out of the places they tried to colonize. I also describe the people of the other continents not as racist, because I don’t want to fall into the awful “reverse racism” idea, but, sometimes, a bit suspicious, when it comes to dealing with people from Europe, because of what they’ve suffered in the past. Do you think this could work? Am I avoiding choices which could come out as offensive?

(Obviously, I’ll have to do a lot of research, to determine what to change in the history of this world and I’ll do my best to make a thorough historical research about events and cultures.)

I’ve also read your posts about Muslims and magic. If in my setting magic is just a natural energy like water or winds, used by people since the beginning of the world, and sometimes mixed with technology, do you think it would be ok to have Muslim characters who deal with magic?


Thank you so much for all the effort you put in this blog, for your kind and complete answers and for all the resources you offer! Your work is really precious and I’m very grateful to you all.

Before we Begin

I’m going to direct you to the FAQ that says:

Asks that we won’t answer:
questions about Muslim characters + magic. Here is why

Therefore, you will not be getting an answer on this portion of your question. It is problematic to have Muslim characters use magic. Do not do it. This is very well established here on WWC.

Always read our FAQ in full before submitting or asking. We have it in place for a reason.

I will now address the Native portion of your question.

Colonization, Resistance, and Racism

Colonization

So first off. If you hadn’t noticed, Europe isn’t the only source of colonization, and you’ll have to do more research on this. Not to say Europe isn’t absolutely utterly terrible, but if you’re trying to remove colonialism as a whole then you’ll have to account for other empires. If you’re still going to limit yourself to Europe, then you’ll have to account for other empires going off and colonizing other regions, sometime actually in more recent history than Europe’s efforts. Even if that colonization happens after your planned year, the seeds of genocidal empires are planted in advance.

The reasons for colonization must also be addressed if you’re going to go with this option, as well. This can change depending on the empire and each empire should be researched separately. Spain was very heavily into the idea that they were God’s chosen people and therefore owned everything under the sun, while the British and French had traces of that, but they approached it differently. Other empires can have different reasons, likely still based in superiority and ownership but the manifestations come up from different causes and you have to address them if you’re going to tackle this.

Also, respecting indigenous peoples takes much more than simply letting us keep our land. You’ll have to flesh out every Native/indigenous culture you encounter to the point of respect in order to have solid representation.

Resistance

Again, you’ll need to do quite a bit of research on this. And I’m wary about some of your wording.

You say you want to “respect the struggles” we went through, but you seem to be under the impression it was simply one event? A one off point in history you can erase and change the tide of and it’ll all be better. This is, by far and wide, not the case. 

Colonialism and genocide spanned over four hundred years. It’s still ongoing. With your time period, you’ve either erased or limited residential schools. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I feel the need to point out they started in 1857 in Canada (more officially in 1879) and all the way back in 1640 for the US. This is an independent thing from land stealing and physical genocide, and is more cultural genocide. If your Europeans are still racist and have a superiority complex, they might try these techniques which are much more insidious.

That isn’t to say people won’t see through them, but you have to remember that there were many events and a huge power imbalance happening. Resisting colonialism and succeeding isn’t easy. If it were, then colonialism wouldn’t be successful. You cannot work under the basic assumption that the people in question didn’t resist, which, quite frankly, you seem to be doing.

You’ll have to look up the resistance that already happened (here’s one from my own people: we lost 90% of our population to illness and war, then proceeded to slash and burn our home territory so the Europeans would have nothing more of ours before fleeing to Quebec) and modify colonialism accordingly so those techniques work.

Do keep in mind: resistance is highly cultural. Always assume the peoples resisted as much as they could and went down with a huge fight. If they didn’t resist as much as you think they should’ve, look at the tribe’s culture. Their terms might be different than yours.

Racism

It is not a Europe-only thing. There are empires and countries convinced of their superiority around the world, and it would be a huge disservice to the groups affected by these empires to ignore this.

Look up Japanese Imperialism. Look up the genocide in Tibet. Look up the power dynamics across Africa and notice racism and colonialism are not, by any stretch of the imagination, only European. These are both incredibly recent empires whose attitudes have been festering for generations.

Racism is not just based on skin tones. It’s not “reverse racism” to have Japanese Imperialism/elitism in your work, because it still fits the broader definition of racism: power+ prejudice. There are other ways racism can manifest itself, and so long as one group has the ability to leverage power over another, then racism can manifest.

It’s a lot more complicated than “white people dislike other skin tones.” Treat it that way.

Overall

This seems overly simplistic. You’re taking 300 to 400 years of colonialism and boiling it down to only a handful of events and making a ton of assumptions on how early interactions went. You’re also making a ton of assumptions about the rest of the world, trying to make them more innocent than they are when, in reality, non-Western countries can and have done some terrible things. The power dynamics are different everywhere and you have to understand— and respect— that.

Do tons more research. Learn about colonialism from the oppressed perspective. And most of all, do not try to write a saviour story, where you try to fix something on your terms instead of ours. Learn about power dynamics in the rest of the world and understand the American view of racism is not the only one.

~Mod Lesya

anonymous asked:

I'm writing a steampunk/fantasy YA novel and in my story, my two main characters are a white girl and the boy who is a thief. I would like to make my boy POC but I'm worried I would be stereotyping. He does go through his own character arc (as does the girl) and he's not the only POC character. I also have an Inspector who's a main character with Hispanic features, a Black woman who is a scientist noblewoman and a few others. Do you have any advice for me?

POC-Casts, Thievery and Steampunk

I was curious as to why the main character is white. There’s nothing in your ask that says she has to be white. Have you considered making her a WOC? It’s not like having an all POC cast is that common or a bad thing. In this day in time, it makes more sense to see an all POC cast than it does to see an all-White one. It wouldn’t even be historically “inaccurate” to have an all POC cast in a steampunk/fantasy either. 

My advice for you would be to make all your characters well rounded. Your characters shouldn’t be the POC thief, he should be a fully realized character who happens to POC and steals things. You will not be perpetuating any stereotypes as long as your characters are well rounded and not defined by only their roles and their ethnicity. 

 ~Mod Najela

I could be more helpful if you had a race in mind for the boy, but I find there’s a general depiction of brown and black men as “sneaky” and criminals, even as boys/children. If you can help it, I wouldn’t make him the only Man of Color of his race. If another MoC of his race wasn’t involved in crime, even better.

Giving this character a background and a reason why he steals would also help as well. I mean; even in Aladdin we knew a man (and his monkey) had to eat!

~Mod Colette

A brief attempt at Courting the Queen

Tis is my gift to @teapot-joker for the @usukexchange2016. They asked for spadeverse or steampunk christmas! usuk with maybe some nekotalia. I fulfilled the christmas spadesverse au however unfortunately I couldn’t incorporate nekotalia. Please forgive me! Other than that, I hope you enjoy it and forgive me if it’s a bit shoddy as its my first time writing this type of au. Merry Christmas!

‘And now it was winter. Almost Christmas, to be exact. His kingdom was flourishing, brimming with kindness and excitement as the festivities went into full swing. It seemed like a perfect time.

Alfred was determined to win Arthur’s heart, his Queen’s heart.  Or…at least make their relationship friendlier as he didn’t think he could take another night of this longing.  Asking him on a date might be a good start.’

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