Thursday, October 11, 2012

Steampunk Storytelling



By Jenny Schwartz


I write Steampunk stories. For those unfamiliar with the term Steampunk, think of the movie, "Wild, Wild West". This is history re-imagined and with a technological twist. If you’re really curious about Steampunk, M. Gabriel Colbaugh has written a great series of introductory posts over at Doctor Fantastique’s Show of Wonders http://doctorfantastiques.com/ .

The interesting thing about Steampunk is that it’s a community, not just a genre. People with a passion for history or making thing or political change, all find a place in Steampunk. There’s a lot of diversity—and that’s a good thing.
Which brings me back to the point of this post: Storytelling.
Being part of a diverse community with very different interests and ambitions has shown me a truth about storytelling that I’d forgotten in my obsession with writing more and better stories.

Storytelling is a fundamental element of being human. It’s how we understand the world and make a place for ourselves in it. Steampunk has a lot of costumes (not just goggles and corsets!) because it involves role playing. People go to Steampunk events in character, and their characters are stories. Mad professors, intrepid adventurers, street urchins. Stories can be told by the clothes we wear.

Music tells stories. So do comics, paintings and graffiti. The food we serve people, the way we decorate our homes and the websites we create all tell stories.

We are the audience for other people’s stories, and that is a liberating, creative and connecting thing to be. We see the world with new eyes. The world is full of possibilities.

So as much as we love writing, remember to choose the method of telling a story that best suits it. If that’s interpretive dance—well, so be it. You’ll return to your writing with new energy, and life will be a bit more interesting because you danced.
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Jenny Schwartz is an Australian Steampunk author.The second book in Bustlepunk Chronicles #2, Courting Trouble released this month. I really like to balance my steampunk writing with contemporary stories, so I’m working on some projects right now with fingers crossed that as they’re submitted, editors love them. My blog is at .http://authorjennyschwartz.com/

 


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