Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gaslampery, Or, Fooling Around In a Steampunk World

So, it's no secret I am in love with all that is Steampunk. I think it's the word...steampunk. It seems to encompass all the weird corners of imagination. Nothing is off limits. Pirate air-ships? Yes! Difference machines? Yes! Cool smart chicks with spectacles? Yes! Vampire Physicists? Yes! Technology with social graces? Yes! You get the idea.

I worry I might be taking things too far, at least with my characters. I have a Gas lit world with cool/old/new technology, my characters are teens and more than human, a la League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, they attend school together in an old mansion.  Now, here's where I may be in trouble: I started making these characters more than one weird thing, like, a demi-god/Valkyrie or a werewolf/angel.

Can you say monster mash?

I wasn't sure if it was wicked cool or totally lame. And then the thing happened, you know the thing. You think you have this idea that nooooo one has ever done, like a werewolf/angel, and then you find out an author -- whom you admire -- is coming out with a series of books...and some of the characters are...fallen angels and lycan. Seriously.

Can you even imagine how many times I said "D'oh!" Alright, perhaps it was a different expletive. So, I guess it's probably wicked cool.

The question  is: Do I continue with this idea? Because, clearly, my book will not be her book. And if I do -- will I still feel as if I somehow cheated?


  1. I suppose the questions are when do her books start coming out and when will yours be ready? The smaller the lag time the better and you might even take advantage of some coattails if they're successful. Anonymous thursday library guy.

  2. Hey, library guy, thanks for stopping by. Her first one is out October 4th. Good question on when mine will be ready -- that's always the question. My goal is end of summer...we shall see. I never thought of the coattails approach. Thanks!

  3. I say write you want because it will be the best it can be if you totally love it, no matter what other people are doing. I have got to read something Steampunk because I don't understand this genre yet. Can you recommend something to an outsider? :)

  4. Hey sara, thanks for stopping by. Like any genre this one is wide and varied. There's so many to choose from. Scott Westerfield's YA Leviathon series, Meljean Brooke's The Iron Duke, Cherie Priest's Boneshaker, plus more -- Mike Resnick's The Buntline Special (A Weird West Tale), Leanna Renee Hieber...

    I'm no expert, I just really enjoy the genre, community and the costumes!

  5. Amy,

    I say "carry on!" There's only like six ideas anyway and everyone keeps throwing their own twist on those. No one else will tell YOUR story. (You already know how I feel about this from my blog...which I see you have listed in your sidebar, you lovely writing friend, you :-))

    Speaking of - webinar this Friday?? 12:30 pm ET...can you come? We're gathering the May winners for some LinkedIn fun!

  6. Hey Jenny! Thanks for stopping by -- and thanks for the encouraging words. I'll loop back around to your blog.

  7. Yeah, go for it! Because you thought of this BEFORE you read the other book, and so it's going to feel more natural writing about the characters the way you envisioned them (at least for the first draft) and otherwise you're going to try and force them into being something else and you'll be straining your brain to come up with something hyper-original: Mega-Penguin, or Ostrich/neanderthal hybrid. That can't be good.
    Look at Mrs Whatserface who wrote "Twilight". Vampires and werewolves? Shocking, unheard of, how DID she think of it? Presentation and STORY, much more important than originality of idea.

  8. Oh thanks Damian. I know, I just feel like I'm cheating. Love your blog btw.