Navigating the skies of Steam Punk

Last November I announced my NaNoWriMo novel. I may have mentioned that it was a steampunk story world. Some of you are probably wondering what that means. (Apparently there are many ways to define steampunk.)

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I used to think you can just type Airship and instantly turn any story into a steampunk one. No each steampunk story is unique. Some even have intricate magic systems.

Though it isn’t really steam punk without at least one airship, and Goggles. Goggles are a must. My personal philosophy is the three Gs of steampunk: Gears, Goggles and Grit. Yes Grit, because burning coal tends to make everything dirty.

As a fiction genre steampunk comes across as the mutant offspring of: Historical fiction, Science fiction and Fantasy.

Some advocate for the strict adherence to historical technology. (Do not have your Victorian dandy fire a ray gun.) One author said that steampunk must be an alternate version of our history. ( That means no made up worlds.) Another camp seems to see steampunk as only dealing with Steam power. (Makes sense, but very limiting.) The last camp is an anything goes super-genre mash-up that only requires a pair of goggles and a jolly good time to tell a story. That’s my camp.

 

This visual aesthetic, made up of vintage Victorian designs with industrial embellishments. (Keys, coins, gears, and gauges, to name a few.) Is what I love about steampunk.

This aesthetic is part of what I want to capture in my world building.

As soon as I realized that the rules didn’t matter a new world of ideas opened up to me. I saw a world with gears sown on in place of buttons and where teenagers wore goggles on their heads. I knew that airships were the only way to travel and that keys could be used to accent a hat. The entire story world formed in my head because I figured out the only way this aesthetic could evolve naturally from a culture starting from a Victorian baseline.

See it had to feel authentic to the world otherwise I was just riffing off the current trend.

How would you incorporate such a design choice?

NaNo Anouncment

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It is official. This year I am writing a novel for the month of November. I even registered, and have a Nano profile. If you Nano too, you can follow my progress at Nanowrimo.org.

I am writing under the user name dolphin18cb, naturally.

I have had this story brewing in my head for a few months now and I told my self I wouldn’t commit to it unless I have a solid ending, a decent villain, and a hero with realistic flaws. I think I have all of those so I took the leap and the rest is with God.

Right now it is untitled, but it will be a steampunk story.

The Hero: Jay Becket isn’t concerned with the underground resistance movement. He just wants to keep his younger brother Myles safe. He has absolutely no interest in claiming the throne that could have been his.

The Villain: His great uncle, Robert Nuklare is not so sure. Ever since he led the coup that deposed his niece, Robert Nuklare has not stopped looking for the missing boy that could bring it all crashing down around him.

I won’t tell you how it will end, because honestly it could change while I write the rest of it.

But here’s some back cover copy to get you interested.

The blurb:

Jay Becket longs to be an airship pilot. He would love nothing more than to soar above the mountain ranges that surround the kingdom of Victorica and leave it all behind. The only problem is, a royal can not leave the kingdom.
As the illegitimate son of the deposed Queen, Jay certainly doesn’t qualify as a prince. With his adopted brother, Myles, to watch out for Jay also has little interest in the resistance movement trying to reinstate the queen to her throne.

Rumors start circulating that the queen is close to winning and that she is looking for her lost son. Followed closely by rumors that his Great Uncle Robert Nuklare is close to wiping out the royal line for good. But the rumor that Jay is most interested in is the one about a cure for the genetic curse that keeps him trapped within the kingdom’s boarders.

Secrets have become the glue that hold the fragile government of Victorica together. When the truth gets out, it all starts unraveling.

So would you read it? Let me know in the comments and send some encouragement my way.