Registration Deadline: June 06, 2012
STEAMPUNK: FIND YOUR NICHE
Sampling Victorian, American West, American East, and Dystopian Steampunk Styles
Beth Daniels, aka Beth Henderson, J.B. Dane
Come aboard the airship! Cuppa tea or a shot of whiskey suit you best? If you haven’t brought your own goggles, not to worry. You might not need a pair. After all, this workshop is about figuring out which of the various styles of Steampunk suit you best, and if you won’t be airborne or strapped to the cowcatcher of a rocketing train, well, goggles would be nothing more than an unnecessary accessory. Best to spend your guinea or gold dollar on what you need most, be it a satchel of tools and spare parts for your automaton or a steel boned corset.
Steampunk is alternative history, and while there are certain things that NEED to appear or be used, there are far more things that can be incorporated. We’ll be looking at them all, though we’ll do it by sectioning things down so that we spend a week looking at settings in Victorian England (and the Empire, if that suits you best), then steam across the “pond” to travel west for a look at Weird West tales, then a shuffle back East of the Mississippi River to consider Gilded Age city style Steampunk scenarios, and will end the month with a depressing tour into the dystopian worlds so beloved by some.
These are wide territories to cover so we’ll be hitting the high points, talking about Steampunk novels written in each of these niches, what you might dream up based on your historical strengths and interests, and on the last day take a quick look at the publishers in search of Steampunk tales. There will be Challenges (aka Assignments) that nudge you to warp, contort, break, reassemble, morph, and otherwise change history to your liking within the Steampunk world, so you’ll be “sampling” what would suit you best, trying things on for size. And we’ll do it all in four meager weeks!
Anything, or nearly anything, is game in Steampunk, so pack up your historical know-how. Unfurl your parasol, give that walking stick a twirl, and settle your bustle (if they are being worn in your chosen time period) in a comfy overstuffed armchair. Do open the window should you feel the need to enjoy a cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, pipe, or hooka, and please aim to hit the spittoon if you gotta.
Beth Daniels is the author of 28 published novels written under a variety of pseudonyms for a diverse number of publishers (Harlequin, Leisure, Berkley, and others). She has been translated in a dozen languages and published in two dozen countries. While she has written a number of non-fiction articles for e-zines about writing fiction, and has been teaching online workshops for over two years for various writers groups, many of them RWA chapters, she only launched into book length non-fiction in the spring of 2011 with the release of WRITING STEAMPUNK. That hasn’t slowed her fiction output much for LOVING TRIXIE FINE, written as Beth Henderson with co-author Letty James, and AUNTIE MOMMIE, written as Beth Henderson, were released in 2011. Beth is still polishing her own Steampunk novel…well, NOVELS. Nothing is finished because she keeps dreaming up new ideas and diving into them. Steampunk, she maintains, is just too much fun to have only one manuscript in progress.
Visit her at www.RomanceAndMystery.com.
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