Friday, June 11, 2010

New Project (Because I'm Crazy, Apparently)

So as if writing a Steampunk short story, an academic research article on Steampunk, and a Steampunk novel wasn't enough to keep me busy, I've today (upon coercion from L.T. Host and suggestion by Gail Gray) decided that I'm going to write a non-fiction primer for anyone wishing to write a Steampunk story in any way, shape or form.

The primer will contain, but isn't limited to, the following topic areas:
  • Technology
    • Communications
    • Transportation
    • Aeronautics
    • Robotics
    • Weaponry
    • Industrial Equipment
    • Computers
  • Science
    • Genetics
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Astronomy
  • Commerce
    • Major Industries
    • Factory Conditions
    • Trade
  • Fashion
    • Men's Clothing
    • Women's Clothing
    • Children's Clothing
  • Architecture
    • Design of Homes
    • City Layout
    • Factories
    • Slums
    • Mansions
  • Interior Design
    • Furniture
    • Portraiture
    • Layout of Homes
  • Politics
    • Monarchy
    • Republics
    • Treaties
    • Wars
  • Speech Patterns
    • Cockney Rhyming Slang
    • Backslang
    • Slang of the American West
  • Daily Life 
    • Foodstuffs
    • Hygiene
    • Shopping
  • Culture
    • Literature
    • Theatre
    • Music
    • Motion Pictures
I'm planning on using Steampunk novels of all stripes, and the research I've done for this blog, as a jumping-off point for putting this sucker together.

Why am I telling you about this, loyal blog readers? Well, because I'm curious as to what you'd want to see in a book like this. Is there a particular topic area you'd love to see covered? Something on my list you think should be struck?

Truth be told, you're the reason I'm putting this together. I know there's an interest in Steampunk in place, and I want to contribute the knowledge I've gained over the past year to help further the aspirations of Steampunk novelists everywhere.

What do you think?

9 comments:

David J. West said...

I look forward to it.

L. T. Host said...

Under culture, I think you should have a modern day section exploring conventions/ cosplay, that sort of thing. That's where a lot of steampunk has gained popularity among the masses.

Ignore me if you did mention or meant that by something up there.

The Daring Novelist said...

I would love to see something like this.

I'm writing a little later, myself. (I'm thinking of calling it "Jazzpunk.") And I'm not so technology driven, but I would still love to see something like this because it's just plain interesting.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Wow! This is a totally great idea! I bet there are a gazillion steampunk afficianados (sp?) out there who would love a resource like that.

Good thinking!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I agree with Stephanie - I think you will find many people interested in this beyond just writers. In fact, I would consider framing it as a Style Guide or Modern Guide to Retro Coolness or some such thing.

Good luck! :)

Donna Hole said...

I can't think of anything to add; I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of attempting such a venture, let alone that it would be so complete.

Oooh, is it done yet?!

......dhole

K. Marie Criddle said...

Fabulous idea! I'd carry around five in my bag, just so when someone asks, "Now, I know you've told me before, but what's steampunk again?" I can just hand them a Delman.

Gooooood luck, dude!

Andrew Rosenberg said...

Definitely let me know when it's done.

However I feel like such a guide is but a starting point. I'm calling my novel steampunk, but I doubt it's archetypical of the genre. I'm not writing an homage to Steampunk, I writing a story about some characters in a Steampunk-like setting, but sometimes they wear jeans and a tee-shirt and listen to iPods. I think by defining something you're inherently limiting people and ideas. By pointing out what others have done, it then may be the basis for a new creative piece. The trick is to write a good story, not to conform with what other people think comprises the genre.
On the other hand, I agree with the commenters. I'd love a handout that explains the basics. Then I could explain how my story might differ.

Matthew Delman said...

David -- Why thank you.

L.T. -- That's a good point; I might include a final section detailing how this all plays into a maker culture, but that's still amorphous right now.

Daring -- "Jazzpunk"? Ooo ... I like.

Supreme Dictator -- I can almost guarantee there are tons of people who'd love a resource like this.

SKQ -- The working title thus far is "The Steampunk Primer," as I can't yet come up with anything cooler-sounding.

Donna -- Heh. I don't write quite that fast.

Marie -- "hand them a Delman." *snort* That's epic cool, that is.

Andrew -- You've hit on my intent exactly. This work is intended to be a mere starting point; it's decidedly not an instruction manual in how to write a Steampunk story, seeing as I don't have the writers' chops to demand that (and people would ignore me anyway). Rather, my aim is to put into one volume (two if necessary) as much basic information as I can to simplify a Steampunk creative's development of their own Steampunked world.