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Author Topic: Female or Male or Multiculteral Main Character for Steampunk novel???  (Read 1054 times)
jgemoets
Swab

United States United States


« on: April 17, 2020, 01:58:07 am »

Hey everyone!

I am new to steampunk community and wanted your thoughts before embarking on writing a steampunk novel. I know main characters  include a strong female character but is that a necessity? Should i do a different race instead? Would a male work?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
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Mercury Wells
Rogue Ætherlord
*
I insiste that you do call me WELLS. :)


« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2020, 02:51:09 am »

Deleted.
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jgemoets
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2020, 03:34:06 am »

Deleted? Its ok, you can tell me Smiley i havent started writing I am in the outline phase so just getting feedback Smiley
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Sorontar
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia


All ideas should have wings


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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2020, 09:18:46 am »

Are you asking about their sex or gender? What do you mean by "strong"? What do you mean by "race"? I recommend that you think about those questions and make the decision yourself. The suitabilty of a character will depend more on your skills as an author and less on labels you attach to them. In fact, unless the labels make a difference in the story, they can be avoided.

After all, do you prefer people to remember you as jgemoets or an American author?

Sorontar

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Sorontar, Captain of 'The Aethereal Dancer'
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
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United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2020, 10:07:47 am »

Hey everyone!

I am new to steampunk community and wanted your thoughts before embarking on writing a steampunk novel. I know main characters  include a strong female character but is that a necessity? Should i do a different race instead? Would a male work?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts!

Plot? Or at least background story outline? Without context the character could be a 3rd gender Martian! Also, the character needs to emerge from the story itself.
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Deimos
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2020, 10:09:44 am »

... The suitabilty of a character will depend more on your skills as an author and less on labels you attach to them.....
Sorontar


Ditto...A story, play, poem, opera, song are all media, or "vehicles" by which you convey something (ideas, beliefs) that is important to you.
You first determine what you want to say (the message), then choose the "vehicle" that you think would be the best way to say it, or get your point across. Also try to choose the medium in which you have competency.
Example: were I to write something I would not write either poetry or drama because I am really weak in both those genre.
I'd write it in prose.  

Once you know what your message is and the medium by which you will convey that message, the story and characters will begin to form in your imagination.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 10:13:34 am by Deimos » Logged

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"Only the paranoid survive."
jgemoets
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2020, 03:27:26 pm »

Thanks for input everyone! I was doing some research and it was often noted that a "strong female" with struggles was, for lack of a better phrase, "of the essence ( sources words, not mine).

Basically I want to do a Victorian setting with steampirates, alchemy, and a focus on politics. I was thinking young male character as that is what jumped in my head at first. However upon doing research, females are suggested and in some pioneers views, multiculteral/multistage is suggested to break stereotypes (source words, not mine).

So, based on what you all have mentioned, sex/race is not at the forefront of your minds when you read/think of steampunk?
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jgemoets
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2020, 03:31:06 pm »

Multirace* not multistage
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Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2020, 04:29:22 pm »

What steampunk stories have you read and enjoyed?  Why did you enjoy them?  What was the most important thing about them for you?  When you have answered those questions you really should have a bit more idea about what you like in a story - and you really should be writing a story that you like, not one to some 'formula' that you've found after a bit of online research.  If you can also write a story that isn't derivative of someone else in both plot and storyline, then you may have a story that someone else wants to read too (but only 'may' I'm afraid as there are a lot of aspiring authors out there).
Good luck.
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Deimos
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2020, 09:16:02 pm »

What steampunk stories have you read and enjoyed?  Why did you enjoy them?  What was the most important thing about them for you?  When you have answered those questions you really should have a bit more idea about what you like in a story - and you really should be writing a story that you like, not one to some 'formula' that you've found after a bit of online research.  If you can also write a story that isn't derivative of someone else in both plot and storyline, then you may have a story that someone else wants to read too (but only 'may' I'm afraid as there are a lot of aspiring authors out there).Good luck.

Cora says it very well.
It has been said that the number of mediocre novels could fill a [virtual] stadium.
In other words, try not to get lost in the crowd.   
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Deimos
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2020, 09:34:13 pm »

Thanks for input everyone! I was doing some research and it was often noted that a "strong female" with struggles was, for lack of a better phrase, "of the essence ( sources words, not mine).

Basically I want to do a Victorian setting with steampirates, alchemy, and a focus on politics. I was thinking young male character as that is what jumped in my head at first. However upon doing research, females are suggested and in some pioneers views, multiculteral/multistage is suggested to break stereotypes (source words, not mine).

So, based on what you all have mentioned, sex/race is not at the forefront of your minds when you read/think of steampunk?

These character/plot "necessities" that you mention are the Cause du Jour.  
Every era has its own issues that are considered of paramount importance and must be addressed (as the thinking goes) in the arts.  Concerns have ranged from momentous injustices such as slavery to the more prosaic, such as public sanitation.

Such topics aren't unimportant, but their prominence is attenuated once the crisis  has been addressed or remedied.
Also, if the story pushes too hard on current "requirements" (strong female lead/multi-race) it comes across as "preach-y" and you will lose your audience pretty quickly.
Readers don't like being hit over the head with the author's message.  

If your story's focus is driven by a cause du jour your work runs the risk of being ignored or forgotten sooner rather than later, and much sooner if the writing is mediocre.

"Who marries the spirit of this age will find himself a widower in the next."

So, based on what you all have mentioned, sex/race is not at the forefront of your minds when you read/think of steampunk?

Short answer is "No"...longer answer is "No, never."  

Start envisioning your story just with people...humans, even aliens. As you create your story, your characters will "act out" and will become whatever sex/gender/race they need to be in the telling of your story.
That is, your characters will emerge in the telling --altho' you may have to tweak them---which is a more organic way of writing a story.
And  it is the reason that so many good authors will say of their work "the story almost wrote itself."  
 
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 02:45:10 am by Deimos » Logged
jgemoets
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2020, 02:40:59 am »

Yoou all have been great. It all makes sense. I wanted everyones opinion since i am new to steampunk novels and the scene. I read one and it did have a female but of course it does depend on the novel.

All the info is me gathering community thoughts and definitely won't be a "let me shove requirements into a novel and hope for the best."

Thanks again!
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Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Western Sahara Western Sahara


too depressed for words


« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2020, 08:57:04 am »

Greetings-

I must ask, why do you want to write a novel? Why not start with a short story?
Novels are HUGE!

And why steampunk? One can’t just take any old story and  make it  Victoriana Steampunk by
Gluing gears on the characters. Since Steampunk is by definition an alternate reality , one needs to be ready to do some serious “world building” which can comprise quite a few graduate level classes in a college writing ciriculum...

Who is the audience?

Adults?
Mature content ( violence and or adult situations/sexual content) ?
Young Adults? (used to be “teens” )
Tweens?
Preteens?

What Genre? (There are so many)
Science?
Adventure?
Mystery?
Horror?
Political?
Spy?
Alternative Reality?

Do you have a story screaming to get told?
Do you have a character  fighting to get out of your head?

I consider writing to be one of many forms of storytelling. I myself am an amateur oral-tradition storyteller of the American Frontier era, focussing on Native American legends/stories, and fur trade explorer/trapper/trader genre. Writing happens to be a good way to record them ,and also allows a wider audience than storeytelling.

As I collect and tell the many different tales, I sometimes start rewriting some of them in my head.
I may be dissatisfied with either the character or plot development, or different turns the story takes and feel that the story would have been different or even better with changes. That has led me to try my hand on occasion at writing.  If you ever find yourself watching a tv show and start yelling at the screen you may know what i mean lol.

Or have you been given an assignment? As Deimos has pointed out, The Stuff you
have mentioned from your research sounds like  a teacher’s lecture on “how to write a novel”...

And thus we come back to
1) why do you want to write?
2) why steampunk?

If it is *your* story, then *you* need to be defining who and what the characters are, not some “literary formula”. Your story may be inspired by other stories, but as *your* story progresses,
You will find the protagonists, antagonists, side characters, etc begin to define themselves.

“The Experts” say, write what you know.  For example, if you are a guy who has an artistic bent and knows nothing of females or technical matters, it would be really hard to write convincingly about a female electrical engineer.

 As a result many stories are based on characters the writer knows, or the character even is the writer. From that basis, it becomes easier to change things up a bit.

The more you can tell us about your motivations and desires the more we can help you.

Yhs prof marvel
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 09:07:18 am by Prof Marvel » Logged

The world is in Hell and I am too depressed for words
jgemoets
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2020, 05:02:17 pm »

Lol i appreciate your questions. I am a seasoned author with about 10 books written. I am in the concocting phase/figuring out steampunk. I have somewhat been attracted to it so i wanted to embark on a journey and take myself to a place unknown to me.

I have done some research and know you cant put cogs together lol. Thats why i read a steampunk book, bought two steampunk books ive been reading, and will continue to ask questions. No short stories because i can write novels. Smiley hope that helps
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J. Wilhelm
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2020, 11:39:43 pm »

Multirace* not multistage

Why not multi-stage? I kind of like that!  Grin I think you're going to find that multi cultural /multi racial is an "edgy" thing for English speaking nations, but rather normal for some parts of the world, like Latin America.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 11:42:11 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
jgemoets
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2020, 06:02:20 am »

Haha I agree!
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Hez
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Canada Canada


aka Miss Primrose C Leigh


« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2020, 02:45:38 am »

I am curious about what made you choose to build a Steampunk universe for your book.
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Flavius
Swab

United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2020, 04:11:43 pm »

Please write about that of which you knowledge. I observe that you dwell in the United States so be careful if it is about Victorian England of which you write. I have been disturbed in the past by such inclusions as Dr Watson saying to Holmes '' You must get top dollar for that,'' or by a description that '' the Hansom Cab was going so fast it went round the corner on two wheels.''
My advice is that what ever you do, do it for fun, and stop worrying about other people. Choose your protagonist because they appeal to and interest you, that is the most important aspect.
Pick up your pen and write, you can, and should, go over it again later and make changes, but above all enjoy it.
Best of luck.
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