Steampunk list

Here are references to get you into the genre:

English: The Great Wetherell Refractor - a ste...

English: The Great Wetherell Refractor – a steampunk telescope by artist Tim Wetherell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Games – Video Only

All Games – Roleplaying Too

This list includes Space: 1899. The original game is out of print, but I took part in a Kickstarter for the new version. Contact the project runners to find out if you can get it from them.

This is far from a complete list. I’ll likely update it over time. This will, at least, get you started.

An Excerpt

In order to give you a taste for me to get my novel done, here’s a taste:

Tommy brought Alex into his office. No one would suspect something unusual about Rigger going to talk to his partner Shivver.

“You’ll have to be my wingman now,” Tommy said.

Alex frowned. “You’ve been gone for a while, so you don’t know: I’m not just muscle anymore.” Despite saying that, Rigger flexed his arms, stopping himself before he busted his sleeves.

“That’s not why.” Shivver sighed and shook his head. “I…I’ll have some difficulties.”is arm went through the mobile on his desk to demonstrate.”

Alex had seen some strange effects in his days as a wrestler, but this still surprised him. “Uhm… I could see how that could be a problem.”


Arcs, Not Arc of the Covenant

(I’m likely dating myself with a reference to the first Raiders of the Lost Ark…)

I’m currently reading an advice book about writing a series (appropriate. I’m hoping that my Indiegogo project will be the start of one). The portion that I’m currently reading talks about the differences between story- and series arcs.

A story arcs are easy to follow. They are the way that every piece of fiction are structured: a beginning, a middle and an end.

Such an arc can flow through several books if the story calls for them. That’s how I intend to structure my first story: the first book will be the beginning, the second the middle, the third the end.

(This doesn’t mean that each book won’t have it’s own such arc. There will just be one overall as well.)

The words "Bad Wolf" as aerosol graf...

The words “Bad Wolf” as aerosol graffiti on the TARDIS in “Aliens of London”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next is the concept of the series arc. This is a similar concept, but goes through all of the books in a series. It is sometimes just hinted at by subplots until the ultimate payoff in the final book.

This is a concept often used in television series, so it’s a bit easier to grasp using that comparison. Actually, this is used in some of the best series, like Babylon 5.

My overall series is intended to have such a structure, with each individual story inside of it.

In order to sustain it for a while I’m building up a cast of supporting characters, so that I’ll have more to draw on when I run low on ideas for the main ones. These will likely be one-shots, less ‘heavy’ than the main stories, connected by the fact of them working at the same place.

I’m drawing close to starting my project soon, BTW.


My Realizations on Story and Plot

I thought these were interchangeable names for the same thing.

I’m currently reading a book called ‘Steal This Plot’ however and realize I thought wrong: a story is a unique thing to each individual author… but the underlying plot is a different animal; in fact it may have been used before, even in ancient days.

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

Look at Hamlet, for instance.

The example that I read was from the oeuvre by Shakespeare, Hamlet. The story is about succession of royalty in Denmark, but the plot is murder and vengeance.

Depending who lists them, there are a fixed number of plots that can drive a story forward, spice up a narrative, and help to make the story more unique.

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Story vs. Dramatica

I read about Story this morning. It’s by Robert McKee, the author of Chinatown, long considered one of the best screenplays and movies of all time. So, I looked it up on Amazon.

Cover of "Story: Substance, Structure, St...


What was also mentioned was Dramatica, also a book about writing stories, but one with a different approach to them. I researched them both.

My research showed me something very important: Story is expensive. The book is likely out of print, but the Kindle version is even more expensive, over 25 bucks US. On the other hand Dramatica was $7.99.

That made the one to choose an easy choice.

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John Locke’s Fraud

As I was starting to write for the Kindle I often heard author John Locke cited for selling a million books. He did, but what I’ve now learned puts the quality of his books in question:

He paid people – people who never even read his books – to write fake reviews, reviews that spoke glowingly about his work.

Amazon will only display those books that get many high reviews. This gaming of the system prevented books in his genre that may be better quality from being seen. Authors  who actually worked on bettering their craft were penalized as a result.

A few years ago we got a black eye thanks to James Fry (he made a work of fiction about living on the street and lied, claiming it to be the truth). Now this.

To say that I’m disgusted is an understatement.

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On Writing Books

Some people are puzzled by this: I am a writer, yet I still get books aimed at new writers like ones about plot, or creating characters, or on dialogue, and so on.

Some books just make sense; I’m self-publishing on the Kindle, so I’m reading many books about that. In a   few months I won’t anymore.

The books about writing techniques also make some sense. First: any writer who thinks that there’s nothing more to learn is just fooling themselves. You can master what you’ve already learned, but there may be new approaches to elements that you’re not yet aware of.

This too will hopefully too be soon done however!