steampunk genre

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!


Steampunk Love

So growing up I read a lot of books, more Star Wars than I probably should have. But while I haven’t read a ton of fantasy beyond Tolkien. I have always loved High fantasy and all associated with it. And I know that I always will, but I have to admit that I am in a polyamorus relationship now with genres.

After discovering the brilliant Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine. And the delightful Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger as well. I have fallen head over heals into this genre of Steampunk. And I know I have barely begun to scratch the surface on this new genre. But it entices me so and stirs my imagination.

I have always been fascinated by old school technology, it can just be very pretty to me. But I love the feel of the mad science in the genre, and the gadgets of course. But also the Indiana Jones like adventure that comes with the genre. Oh and airships, I adore airships!!

All of this combines to create this new genre that can twist and turn into old tropes into new directions. And create all new tropes and experiences as well. Just a fantastic genre that feels fresh or at leash a bit fresher and uncharted territory to explore and create in.

March 15th Recommendation: MapleCroft by Cherie Priest

Genre: Lovecraft Steampunk

My Opinion: It’s steampunk and badass lesbians…I mean if that doesn’t say sign me the fuck-up you are following the wrong blog.

Goodreads’ Summary:

“ The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe. “


thefrayna  asked:

Do you have any resources on steampunk, especially the airship things?

Of course! From what I can tell, airships operate generally under the same idea as a blip–balloon powered, though in the world of Steampunk, these ships can seemingly float forever and hold incredible weights they surely wouldn’t be capable of in real life. Luckily the Steampunk genre is popular enough to have inspired a world of cosplay and roleplaying that includes plans to make airships today, and I’ve included a few of these layouts in the following links. I hope these will help: 

the trilogy of but it’s better if you do/ I write sins/ build god then we’ll talk as the highlights of the weird cabaret baroque steampunk genre patd was trying to get across gives me chills just thinking about it


Time for Friday Reads! Here’s what we’re working on:

Editor Rose Friedman: I’m bringing home the new Michael Chabon, Moonglow. Whether or not I’ll actually find time this weekend to read it is a different matter…

Code Switch’s Kat Chow: I just read Ken Liu’s short story “Paper Menagerie” and teared up at my desk. I’m also trying to push through Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts. Mostly I want to read Sarong Party Girls, by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, but I misplaced my copy.

Critic Annalisa Quinn: Ian McEwan’s Nutshell! It’s great, if slightly weird, to read Hamlet as told by a fetus …

Petra: I’m reading an ARC of Fran Wilde’s Cloudbound, the sequel to last year’s Updraft. It’s a delightful new addition to one of my favorite genres: Steampunk that doesn’t suck. Although honestly, even though there’s goggles and gliders, it’s not really steampunk – it’s much more imaginative and weird.

How about you?

Of all the ridiculous pet peeves I have, the most ridiculous is probably the “people getting Steampunk wrong” one, and also “people confusing sub-genres of Steampunk that nobody cares about” one.

“Are you actually going to buy that thing, like oh my god have you missed the “punk” part in Steampunk, you’re supposed to rebel against mass-produced things, a Steampunk shop is a heresy, love the machine hate the factory, guys, wake up”

“Guys. GUYS. That’s not Steampunk. That’s technically Raygun Gothic.”

“Where have you seen any steam in Mad Max Fury Road seriously don’t you know that Dieselpunk is a thing - and no that’s not the same thing as Vacuumpunk, that’s more like Brazil


A week ago we were in a restaurant and one guy at the table asked if “steampunk” was a music genre, and everyone else instantly looked at me in panic, in a “ho don’t do it” kind of way.

I know it’s just a pet peeve, I know it doesn’t matter in the slightest and it’s ridiculous but I’m still doing it and I keep embarrassing myself.

People of Color in Steampunk

Anonymous said: I wrote a steampunk-fantasy story that takes place in the Victorian era. I’m always attempting to be diverse in my writing, so I made my MC half-Indian. However, most of the books I’ve read during that era have white MCs, the exception being Y.S. Lee’s Agency series. Re-reading it made me realize that my MC might have it too easy considering her race and social standing. I’ve also received criticism for having POC characters in certain roles because of the mass racism during that era.  

The story does contain fantasy races as well, goblins being the most prevalent (and I have read your excellent posts on POC as fantasy races). I thought perhaps the presence of non-humans might have some effect on how humans view each other. However, the more into the story I become, the more uncertain I am. I want to have diversity in my works, but my critics do have their points.

Recently, I thought it might be a good idea to transfer the story to a Victorian-based fantasy setting, bringing in a more class-based hierarchy and differing relationships between countries. I wouldn’t eliminate racism from the story, but I wouldn’t focus on it.

I’d like some opinions on this. Is this a bad move, considering actual history? Where’s the line when basing a fictional country off a real one?  

I’ve also received criticism for having POC characters in certain roles because of the mass racism during that era.  

First of all, don’t listen to the critics. It’s your story. It’s not uncommon to have POC characters in certain roles, even despite the mass racism. Sure, the characters might have a tougher time achieving things that some of us take for granted in the modern day, but it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen. Everything would most likely be segregated, where Black business owners would cater to Black customers, etc… It would make more sense that POC characters would have to own their own businesses and cater to customers of the same background. More often than not, white people wouldn’t serve them, nor would they be likely patrons to these businesses.

I don’t think it would matter whether the story was in a fantasy world or the real world. There is already a class based hierarchy and different relationships in countries in the real world. While in a fantasy story, you do have a little more freedom than you would in the real world, it would depend if this story was just a fantasy world (i.e Lord of the Rings), a fantasy world within the modern world (i.e. Harry Potter), or the real world with fantasy elements (i.e. The Curseworkers Series by Holly Black). I would imagine that humans would still have the same view of other humans with an added issue with non-humans. It would just depend on the systems of oppression in your fantasy world and the type of fantasy world you have.

Racism doesn’t have to be a focus of your story if you don’t want it to be. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist or that you are trying to erase it. In The Agency Series (great series btw), the only reason why race comes up is because it’s important to the character and the roles she takes on within The Agency.

The line is where you draw it. You don’t have to focus on race and it doesn’t have to be “issue” in your book. It can come up, but again, it doesn’t need to be the main focus of your story.

 ~Mod Najela