Writing Update: Steampunk Ahead

music playing:  Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man”

After brainstorming  for my Victorian murder mystery,  “INSIDE THE LANCHESTER HOUSE” for the last few weeks, I’ve decided to put it aside for the meantime to work on this steampunk novel idea that’s been brewing in my head.

I’ve always wanted to try my hands at steampunk, and last night I remembered a very old fantasy novel I’d hidden away.  I took a look at it, and thought, “You know, with some revising (okay, a lot of revising) this could work.”  The writing is hilariously bad (over a decade old so you can imagine.  No.  Please don’t imagine), but the story itself is a lot of fun.

This morning, I revised the first chapter.  Yeah!  My plan is to go through the whole thing, revising the general story, characters, writing, etc.  When that’s done I’ll see about building my alternative, steampunking Victorian world.

As much as I love the story behind, LANCHESTERS, my heart wasn’t presently into it.   Today, working on the steampunk novel, or what shall become a steampunk novel, was fun.  And I realized after finishing, PORTRAITS, which is rather dark, I needed to engage in something more playful.  So, steampunk ahead.

How’s everyone else doing?

Published in: on August 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm  Comments (32)  
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32 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love steampunk. It can be a bit weird for the uninitiated but nothing beats in style and pure whimsy. Good luck on your old/new project.

  2. Thanks Ralfast! 🙂

    I’m really psyched about this. The world building will be a huge challenge, but one can only try.

  3. This might be a good place to start. At least the article is interesting:


  4. And if you need a reference to the steampunk aesthetic this is a good place to look:


    Also check out Girl Genius, it’s all about the steam and the punk!


  5. Ralfast,

    Thanks so much for those links! Mucho appreciated. 🙂

  6. Yay! Full steam ahead! Oh. That pun hurt, but was unintentional. I swear. 🙂

    I’m loving my project currently. I just bought some new little notebooks from B&N. I love the moleskins for writing notes… I know it’s a total gimmick, but they’re small, flexible, strong, don’t crack, and have that awesome band that keeps them shut (and keeps a pen tucked in safely). What’s not to love! 🙂

    Enjoy and good luck! 🙂

  7. Oooo, sounds like fun! I’ll have to look into steampunk more. I have a general idea about it but have not really gotten into it. What fun to have the old story as a starting point, the possibilities must seem endless! 🙂

  8. Good luck! It’s great to be so excited about something, right? 🙂

  9. Hey, that sounds like fun! Glad you’re enjoying yourself. I’ve had a complete mind altering experience with Swimming North. The structure is changing dramatically and I have lots of new words to write. I’m excited about it, and rather frightened. Unfortunately it’s been an extremely busy week and I’m on call this weekend still so writing isn’t happening very fast or very well, but at least my head is still in the story.

  10. Thanks Sput!

    I’ll forgive the pun. 😉

    Speaking of notebooks, I’m totally addicted to the stationary store on my street. The clerks there probably wonder how I go through pens so quickly…

    Glad to hear you’re having fun with your current project, too. 🙂

  11. Thanks DD!

    I must say having this old draft to work from is making things a lot easier for me. Now I wish I’d kept all my old stories. Not only for the laugh they’d surely bring…but the wondering of how I could fix them up.

  12. Thanks Melanie 🙂

    Indeed. It’s a nice feeling to wake up excited to start the day’s writing.

  13. Thanks Uppington! 🙂

    Can’t wait to see those changes in Swimming North…

  14. Writing steampunk seems like so much fun. 🙂

    Good luck with the revisions!

    I’m a literary pack rat; I have the first stories I wrote squirreled away somewhere.

  15. I love Steampunk! One of my favorite movies is “The Time Machine”, the George Pal version that came out in 1960 with Rod Taylor. Good luck with it! 🙂

  16. Thanks so much, Beth.

    Wish I had been a literary pack rat. I bet if you search through, you’ll find a lot of fun things to work with. 🙂

  17. Hey Jenna! 🙂


    I’ve loved that movie ever since I was a little kid. They used to play it a lot on Sunday afternoons.

  18. Enthusiasm definitely counts when it comes to writing.
    Without it, writing is like wading in tar pits.

  19. Tasha, that sounds like fun! I love steampunk.

    And rewriting old stories can be a blast: my old writing makes me cringe too, but there’s something incredibly satisfying about applying novel-writing skills acquired recently to cringe-worthy attempts with hidden possibilities. Enjoy!

  20. Patricia,

    Heh. Very apt description! 😉

  21. Thanks Amy. 🙂

    Hope you’re having fun with your writing too.

  22. I don’t know what steampunk is, but is sounds cool! 🙂

    I have a trunk novel I want to resuscitate, but I am scared it will be too messy of a project. You inspire me to reconsider.

  23. Just follow the links above Jewel.

  24. Here’s some steampunk theme jewelry:


  25. Hi Jewel,

    I think you should. Just think- you get to skip over the, “write first draft”- step, and jump right into revisions. 😉

  26. Ralfast,

    Thank you for the link. I’ve been enjoying all the ones you’ve mentioned. 🙂

  27. Steampunk is hot these days. I love China Mieville’s use of it – the realistic but gritty and grungy feeling it lends to fantasy worlds.

    Glad you’re enjoying it! 🙂

  28. Hi Marion,

    Luckily I am having lots of fun- very important since I can see how much work I have ahead of me!

    The more I read of steampunk, the more I am awed by all the amazing works out there. Such creative minds!

    Right now I’m reading the “Difference Machine” by Gibson and Sterling. I figured I should start with the classics of the genre. I love it thus far.

    As for Mieville, i remember you discussing him on your blog. I have tried to read him- his story and world sound so incredible, but his writing style was so dense that I couldn’t get through Perditio. I do plan on trying it again, though.

  29. Well Tasha, since you liked those links so much, and I also know you like all things 19th Century, I found a few more:

    Gentleman’s clothing and gadgets:


    Somethings for the Ladies:


    Then you have Girl Genius:


    I hope these too are helpful.

  30. Gibson & Sterling’s book is great – sounds like you’re going to have a lot of fun with this project. Ralfast already linked you to Girl Genius, which I love, so let me point you to The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage:


    which is completely barking mad.

  31. Hi Unfocused Me,

    Thank you so much for the link! Very much appreciated. All of them have been wonderful and quite helpful.

    Yes, still loving the “Difference Engine”. I’m forcing myself to read it very slowly and study how they built their world. How they throw in details here and there…

  32. Ralfast,

    You have been such an immense help. :)))

    I found a very interesting steampunk forum that covers everything from literature, music, art, fashion, and daily living: http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php

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