Makers? Writers? Are we the same? Are we so very different?
Kawaii Kon 2014 descended upon Waikiki, HI the first weekend of April and there was fun to be had by all… cosplayers and mundane alike! I was one of the mundane, suffering to walk the halls in everyday dress, leaving the cosplay to my son (Doctor Who 10 & Tulio).
I began the weekend with the ‘Ye Olde Intro to Steampunk Panel’ on Friday night. A number of local Steampunks came together to present a basic user friendly introduction to the Steampunk culture… there is only so much that can be covered in 50 minutes, but we did our best.
My part of the informational section was talking about Writing Steampunk and Steampunk: Hands Around the World.
Two of the other panelists, Abby and Rick from “Ricks Steam Punk Etc,” spoke about ‘making’ Steampunk gear.
Being a costumer/crafter I’ always fascinated by discussions on the subject and squirmed out of my table seat to find a seat on the floor to watch. They talked about three types of Steampunk Making and I thought I’d see how they compared to Steampunk Writing. Why? Cause I’m crazy like that… 😀
Three types – Scavenging * Modding * Tinkering
Scavenging – finding items that have been discarded and using it for your own purposes
Modding – taking an object created for one purpose and making it fit another
Tinkering – taking bits and pieces and cobbling something from the ‘ground up’
Writing as Scavenging – I know I do this all the time.
- Find a starting line I jotted down at an earlier time…
- Find a scrap of paper that I’d stuffed into my handbag with a few lines of dialogue…
- Find a writing prompt or an image that strikes my fancy
Nothing wrong with using what wasn’t needed before and make it useful now… or keep it for another time down the line.
Writing as Modding –
The first thing that comes to mind is mashups & re-imagining & re-setting. We see it all the time,
- a modern retelling of Emma by Jane Austen hits the silver screen as “Clueless”
- Tee Morris’ “Aladdin and his Wonderfully Infernal Device” mixing Steampunk and Aladdin together
- taking a Victorian Era story and setting it in a Steampunk world of advanced steam-driven technology
Writing as Tinkering –
Using the basic building blocks of fiction, but for those new to Steampunk, it might take a little bit of effort.
- Science – using Steam era science can be new to some, but I highly recommend looking for information on what was already in use in the Victorian Era… you might be surprised!
- Multicultural Influences – colonialism/imperialism from the Brit standpoint was to ‘Make the World England!’ but that doesn’t mean that England was isolated while it affected other cultures. The use of Indian silk, Chinese err.. China, etc. What elements from other cultures will transplant themselves in your settings AND characters?
- From the Ether/Aether – who says you can’t just ‘come up with something’ and write about it. Again, my favorite word in writing is VERISIMILITUDE! If you can make it SEEM real… in fiction it IS real!
Part of the fun that keeps me writing is the discovery of new people to inspire me, new ideas to explore, and new concepts to investigate, I hope you find the same things appealing and inspiring…
So… get going and create!
Keep in mind that there are just my thoughts at this moment… if you have other thoughts… please add them to the comments I’d love to discuss this further…
Ray Dean – Living in Hawaii has few perks when it comes to Steampunk – the main idea is the Victorian Era History that is so readily available…
**sorry for the posting delay, had an issue with the laptop… crashes galore.