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Author Topic: Hey! I'm doing research.  (Read 1329 times)
Chamenas
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


« on: July 09, 2014, 04:32:47 pm »

Hello, everyone.

I've always been fascinated with Steampunk culture. However, since I've never been particularly fancy with my outfits or a convention goer, I'm more of an outsider looking in. I'm sure there's plenty of fascinating Steampunk literature, but I've never come across anything. Still, I'm writing a book and, for me, one of its biggest settings is a thriving Steampunk culture. It's important to me to get it right, and not as an outsider.

The story has three settings:
* Victorian (with light Steampunk influences): This is the first setting and the majority setting in the story so far. The world is sort of based around a Victorian setting that has plenty of "Steampunk" conveniences worked in. However, the style of most of the populace is more reflective of traditional victorian culture. (something I still need to do a bit of research on as well).
* Steampunk: This is the setting of the main rebellion movement in the story (including pirates). It has the heavy Victorian influences that I've seen in most Steampunk but with all of the fun little quirks and styling that make something uniquely Steampunk.
* High-fantasy: This setting is a long way off due to.. reasons. Unfortunately, it's the setting I'm most familiar with! Gah!

Basically though, I'll be floating around asking questions and maybe posting excerpts or descriptions and trying to get feedback while I work on pushing the story forward. As of this thread, the story is at 21k words. However, the entire story, I'm hoping, will be in excess of 500k words.

Right now I'm working on the first chapter to heavily incorporate the Steampunk setting called "Pirate Isle". It's a floating island that acts as the main base for the rebellion movement which is filled with "airship pirates" but contains other populations as well. However, the Steampunk influence is heaviest here.

 Smiley
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akumabito
Immortal
**
Netherlands Netherlands


~~Blast from the past~~


« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 06:49:30 pm »

Just a matter of personal preference, but don't overdo the cliche steampunk tropes.. floating isles.. airship pirates.. I bet there's a character with a mechanical arm in there somewhere as well.. and more than a few contraptions that work on steam for no other reason than 'just because'. Am I close? Because if I am, I'm sad to inform you there are dozens of books exactly like it already. Possibly hundreds if you include the self-published works that never sell more than a few copies..
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Chamenas
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 08:19:20 pm »

Just a matter of personal preference, but don't overdo the cliche steampunk tropes.. floating isles.. airship pirates.. I bet there's a character with a mechanical arm in there somewhere as well.. and more than a few contraptions that work on steam for no other reason than 'just because'. Am I close? Because if I am, I'm sad to inform you there are dozens of books exactly like it already. Possibly hundreds if you include the self-published works that never sell more than a few copies..

Not at all.

Actually, the story is fairly early in its development stages, so there's a lot that has yet to be thought of or imagined.

I do love airships and they will play some interesting roles in the story, but I don't intend to overdo them. While there might be smaller little floating islands dotting the landscape. There's only one "floating isle" and I intend to keep it that way. It creates an intriguing setting for a very specific spot in the world that needs it, but the world itself doesn't exist in a multitude of floating isles or continents or the like.

I want to incorporate Steampunk elements, but I will likely be on the "lower" end of the tech scale as far as that's concerned. While there might be some neat gadgets and pistols and the like, no one will be sporting mechanical arms. There won't be any automatons in this story (as of yet, but I can't think of a place for them).

I really want to focus on the story itself and the characters. I don't want to make this a glorified or grotesque setup to showcase or mock what Steampunk is. However, while the Steampunk is a backdrop to the true purpose of my tale, I do want to do it right. I want it to be done in a way that is appealing to fans of Steampunk. I suppose we'll see if I manage to pull that off or not.
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frances
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 08:58:50 pm »

I suggest that you join your most local group and find out what happens there.  That will give you the most accurate description.
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Chamenas
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 09:29:23 pm »

I suggest that you join your most local group and find out what happens there.  That will give you the most accurate description.

Certainly a step to take at some point in the near future.
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Drew P
Zeppelin Admiral
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United States United States


« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 03:37:20 am »

And you might want to move this and post in the Textual area.  Wink
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Never ask 'Why?'
Always ask 'Why not!?'
Chamenas
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 04:14:11 am »

When/if I have something to post there, I will. This was more of an introduction, hence, sort of off-topic.  Grin
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Dr Fidelius
Zeppelin Admiral
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United States United States


Professor of Applied Paleontology, Miskatonic U.


« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 12:43:00 pm »

I suggest that you join your most local group and find out what happens there.  That will give you the most accurate description.

When we get together casually we often drink tea (and beer) in the afternoon, gin (or beer) in the evening, show off recent art projects and play Cards Against Humanity. Except for the hats and walking sticks it is almost indistinguishable from any other group of friends hanging out.

At an event we may play a living chess match or do a fashion show, but that is more to entertain the mundanes than for us.
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The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not represent any other persons, organizations, spirits, thinking machines, hive minds or other sentient beings on this world or any adjacent dimensions in the multiverse.
Drew P
Zeppelin Admiral
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United States United States


« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2014, 01:16:14 pm »

Ah, see, we have one of those as well. Grin
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Abracabella
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


All stars are there to shine!


WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 01:20:53 pm »

I like the sound of this! As a self-published author I'm always trying to stay away from cliches (even though it can be hard in this genre).

I am currently writing a scrapbook detailing the history and development of my fictional utopian city. People have already said my character's goggles are too cliched - it is so hard ensuring it remains Steampunk and original!

Good luck - just be yourself and enjoy the ride - it will be great! Grin
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Cogs and wheels and sprockets and springs
Metal and leather and beautiful things
Brass sculpted treasures, copper and lead
Your ideas are alive, though your century's dead

Chamenas
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 05:26:00 pm »

I also think it's important to realize that some people consider certain things "cliche" even when they may not be. I won't be able to please everyone. However, if by the end of my project, I am not run out of the community as a heathen, then I've probably done okay.  Wink
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Dr Fidelius
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Professor of Applied Paleontology, Miskatonic U.


« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 07:05:02 pm »

I also think it's important to realize that some people consider certain things "cliche" even when they may not be. I won't be able to please everyone. However, if by the end of my project, I am not run out of the community as a heathen, then I've probably done okay.  Wink

If you handle the ideas with flair, you are utilizing well-established tropes.

If you handle the ideas badly, you are resorting to tired, recycled cliches.

Good luck!
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2014, 06:41:13 pm »

I also think it's important to realize that some people consider certain things "cliche" even when they may not be. I won't be able to please everyone. However, if by the end of my project, I am not run out of the community as a heathen, then I've probably done okay.  Wink



I can agree here, 'to a point,' I suppose one might say. The whole "put some gears on it, and call it steampunk" thing gets my dander up every time I see it. There's nothing wrong with gears (or any other "common" or "standard" form or idea) as a design or ornamentation motif, its just (to me) a matter of how tastefully or well-executed it is. The idea that something that has gears on it is just a hack job, because it has gears on it, is ridiculous. Gluing them willy-nilly on a keyboard is tacky and tasteless in my view (no pun intended). Designing an ornamental motif and creating it in place (i.e., carving it in or like at least one dress I've seen, sewing in the design) on the piece shows creativity and tends to look like somebody actually tried, at least, to impart quality to the work.

The same would go, I suppose, for a written work. Successful use of an established or less-well-known trope would depend largely upon how it is used and how often, and whether one creates the object of the trope, or just 'glues on,' so to speak, one that was just lying around (pardon the example).

The above is meant with the best will in the world, and not intended to offend. It's just my two cents.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 09:59:10 pm by MWBailey » Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Chamenas
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2014, 10:38:42 pm »

I also think it's important to realize that some people consider certain things "cliche" even when they may not be. I won't be able to please everyone. However, if by the end of my project, I am not run out of the community as a heathen, then I've probably done okay.  Wink



I can agree here, 'to a point,' I suppose one might say. The whole "put some gears on it, and call it steampunk" thing gets my dander up every time I see it. There's nothing wrong with gears (or any other "common" or "standard" form or idea) as a design or ornamentation motif, its just (to me) a matter of how tastefully or well-executed it is. The idea that something that has gears on it is just a hack job, because it has gears on it, is ridiculous. Gluing them willy-nilly on a keyboard is tacky and tasteless in my view (no pun intended). Designing an ornamental motif and creating it in place (i.e., carving it in or like at least one dress I've seen, sewing in the design) on the piece shows creativity and tends to look like somebody actually tried, at least, to impart quality to the work.

The same would go, I suppose, for a written work. Successful use of an established or less-well-known trope would depend largely upon how it is used and how often, and whether one creates the object of the trope, or just 'glues on,' so to speak, one that was just lying around (pardon the example).

The above is meant with the best will in the world, and not intended to offend. It's just my two cents.

Writing requires a thicker skin. If I allowed myself to be offended by alternative viewpoints, I'd shrivel up.

However, I will say that I think, personally, that my membership here, shows at least in part that I am trying to do it the right way. It's going to be slow going and it will be awhile before I really have a lot to share for comment. That being said, if I do see persistent hostility that isn't based on anything aggressive on my part, then I may have to try my research elsewhere. I'm not saying that I've noticed a lot of (or any) hostility, but I do know that some communities can become very defensive towards people they lavel as not being a part of them, which makes it difficult to weave the values and such that make that community what it is, into a story.

For my part, I don't want the Steampunk setting to be an afterthought. It should be a catalyst for my main character's progression into the sort of person she is by the end of the story. Furthermore, I want to be able to present problem solving that uses the concepts of imaginative engineering as a part of the approach. We'll see how it goes.
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von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
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Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2014, 12:00:10 am »

I will say that I think, personally, that my membership here, shows at least in part that I am trying to do it the right way. It's going to be slow going and it will be awhile before I really have a lot to share for comment.

I believe you've nailed it, sir(?). We regularly get "researchers" who breeze in, post a questionnaire and an æthermail address, and breeze out, never to be seen again. You have approached us with respect and have shown a willingness to communicate, to learn and to put in the time and effort to do so. I suspect you are already one of us, even if you do not yet realize it. Wink

That being said, if I do see persistent hostility that isn't based on anything aggressive on my part, then I may have to try my research elsewhere. I'm not saying that I've noticed a lot of (or any) hostility, but I do know that some communities can become very defensive towards people they lavel as not being a part of them, which makes it difficult to weave the values and such that make that community what it is, into a story.

As a community we try not to behave like that; we generally quite enjoy sharing our interests with newcomers in hopes of spreading the Gospel of Saint Frederick of Bolton and Saint Nicola of the Lightning, among others. If you do encounter persistent hostility from an individual, don't hesitate to ask a Moderator to mediate. Also, please remember that as a group we are rather fond of both puns and sarcasm, so if someone like me snarks at you, it's far more likely to be meant in fun than in anger.

For my part, I don't want the Steampunk setting to be an afterthought. It should be a catalyst for my main character's progression into the sort of person she is by the end of the story. Furthermore, I want to be able to present problem solving that uses the concepts of imaginative engineering as a part of the approach. We'll see how it goes.

Again, you clearly already understand. To me, and I think to most of us, cohesiveness is far more important than any individual trope or cliché.

Welcome to Brass Goggles, and we look forward to learning what you make of us.
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By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
By the Beans of Life do my thoughts acquire speed
My hands acquire a shaking
The shaking becomes a warning
By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics is 5838 km from Reading
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2014, 07:02:06 am »

I did not mean to be personally critical of you or to imply that you might not be "doing it right," or exhibit hostilty; I'm sorry if it came off that way.

My comment was actually meant to serve as an example of the difference (to me) between products that seem (to me) to be acceptable and those that are not (to me). It's also a sort of rant, I guess, about an issue that has been developing over a couple of years and is beginning to irritate me, that being the idea that gears (as an example), or in fact anything perceived as a cliche' by one group or person, should not be used by another group or person just because the previous group or person sees such as cliche'; one should be able to use whatever device or item or trope that one wants to use, regardless of whether someone else likes it or not, in other words.

Whether or not it sells better to use one thing or another is of course of vital concern if one wants to achieve large sales volumes, but whether or not an individual approaches the issue in that manner is up to, or should be up to, that individual. Unfortunately, Reality and editors are not always interested in such ideals.
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Chamenas
Deck Hand
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United States United States


« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2014, 06:19:06 pm »

On the upside, why I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't want my story to become a publishing success. I'm also a realist. I'm investing time into this as a labor of love as opposed to a labor of profit. So I won't be adding anything simply because it "sells"  Wink
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GCCC
Zeppelin Admiral
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United States United States


« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2015, 03:28:55 am »

This has been a valid discussion and deserves to be more visible. I am submitting a request that this thread be moved to Textual.
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Augustus Longeye
Moderator
Rogue Ætherlord
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2015, 08:46:55 am »

When/if I have something to post there, I will. This was more of an introduction, hence, sort of off-topic.  Grin

Should the op change their mind I'm happy to move it. Otherwise I feel the logic of "it's not YET about a book it's about getting feelers out there" makes sense....
~Longeye~
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