Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Writing Steampunk

As the mists of October roll in, there is no better time to curl up with a good Steampunk novel.

My love of steampunk started with Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel series, continued with Susan Kaye Quinn's bollypunk Sisters of Dharia series, The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, and the Lady of Devices by Shelly Adina to name a few.

I have added to my toppling to be purchased list with these titles from Best Sci Fi Books.com.

Initially a combination of Victorian steam age and futuristic mechanics, the genre has expanded to cowboy punk, spacepunk, cyberpunk, bollypunk, elfpunk, mythpunk, and atompunk.

The story skeletons are firmly rooted in Science Fiction and Fantasy, sometimes with a little Romance thrown in. Westerns also get a retool with cowboy punk. Some could be considered alternate history. Others have a literary feel.

In steampunk, world building is a unique mixing of old and new worlds in the costuming, settings, vehicles, and props. The only limits are your imagination.

There was a Steampunk'd decorating competition show with a brief run in 2015 where tinkerers and makers created steampunk themed sets and costuming. It is well worth a look for inspiration.

You can hobnob with Steampunk lovers at themed conventions, fairs, and local events.



If you would like to try your hand at the steampunk genre, which comes with a built-in fan base, here are some articles to get you started.

1. Writing Steampunk ~ Writers Digest

2. 8 Tips and Tricks Every Steampunk Writer Should Know

3. Better Steampunk Secrets

4. Girl Goggles Tips for Writing Steampunk

5.The Joys and Perils of Writing Steampunk

6. Geared Up Steampunk

7. Hustlers, Harlots, and Heroes in Regency Steampunk

8. Writing Steampunk

9. Beyond the Goggles, Writing Steampunk

10. Writing Steampunk

Diana Hurwitz is the author of Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict, Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict, Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers, and the YA adventure series Mythikas Island. Her weekly blog, Game On: Crafting Believable Conflict explores how characters behave and misbehave. Visit DianaHurwitz.com for more information and free writing tools. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. It's definitely a hot genre right now. I have a Steampunk YA novel (potential series) in the works, too - after I fell in love with a stock image that I just had to have for a book cover! Great way to get a story prompt :-)

  2. I haven't read a published steampunk novel yet. Is there such a thing as a steampunk mystery series?

  3. I have not read any steampunk, but I did enjoy the old Wild, Wild, West TV series. It was set in roughly 1869 to 1977, and the two central characters were secret service agents. To me, it was sort of a steampunk "Bond."

  4. Among the things I love about BRP are the wonderful learning experiences. I had never heard of steampunk, but now I have a good idea what it is. I can see why Maryann was reminded of the Wild, Wild West TV show; it seems like a good fit to me.

    1. The setting is fun, but the stories are solid fantasy or thriller/suspense. So give them a try.

  5. The Robert Downey Sherlock Holmes movies were definitely given a steampunk look. Quite a few erotica novels adopted steampunk as a sub-genre. I noticed that when my alter ego was writing for two different publishers. I really wish I were more eclectic in my reading. I'm probably missing out on a lot of fun reads. Nice post, Diana. I knew it was yours the minute I started reading it because you are eclectic in your tastes.


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