Steampunk Weapons

     One of the many things that sets the steampunk genre apart from straight Victorian novels or from the average Science Fiction novel is the creativity required to place advanced technologies in the hands of people who historically had limited access to anything more advanced than a shotgun.
     Science Fiction allows for advancements based on Technology we have, and is usually set far enough in the future that one does not need to suspend too much disbelief in order to appreciate the technologies that are available.
with Steampunk, a little more effort may be required. You need a pistol for your hero to protect himself from an attacker? No problem, pistols and revolvers were available in the Victorian age? You need a laser blaster for your pirate to protect cut down a group of automatons? it is 1824? No problem, you just need to invent it, and make it feel believable within the reality you are creating.

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This, and a few other photos of steampunk pistols inspired me to create Zeus, an energy weapon used by one of the main characters in my Adventures of Mademoiselle Durand series.

     That is the beauty of the genre – you can make nearly anything you want happen in your story. The only thing that is truly necessary is to justify the existence of each outlandish item.
     I have been a bit obsessed with the weapons as of late, mostly because in Mademoiselle Durand and the Pirates, the main characters are under attack throughout the story, so weapons are necessary. Given the time period, pistols are more prevalent than other weapons, but I must admit I like swordplay as well.   

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   A combination gun/sword for fighting close range or from afar. An interesting idea that I’ve seen mentioned in a few different works.

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     A dagger that could easily be concealed, and looks sufficiently “steampunk”.

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     This combination axe/pistol is a new one for me. I actually like the design. I could easily see a wood cutter fighting off hordes of the undead with one of these. Or, your character can chop down a tree AND participate in a shootout!
     A common theme to many of the steampunk weapons you can see online is combining long range and close range into one item that could, in theory be equally efficient in both situations. While I question how effective they would be in a real fighting scenario, the creators all get an A for effort. Especially the creator of the Axegun.
     Not being much of a physical builder, I find these pieces to be quite inspiring. I wish I had the physical coordination to make some items like these. But I can admire them, and use them as inspiration for weapons in my stories.
     Sometimes, the weapons are more realistic, simply invented in the reality you are creating before they were actually invented in reality. Steampunk machine guns for the war effort, in an American Civil War entering its tenth year would be a bit fantastical, but entirely possible in an arms race to end a war that has torn a country apart. Or maybe a rocket launcher to bring those pesky Union airships out of the sky.

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     So, writers, do you have any fantastic weapons (Steampunk or not), that you like to include in your stories? I’m attempting to become more knowledgeable on the subject, myself. My search history must look awfully strange to the outsider. But, that is the life of a writer.

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NaNoWriMo update: End of Week 1/Start of Week 2; Also, More General Updates

First post on my blog devoted specifically to my writing for the Age of Brass and Steam.

Age of Brass and Steam

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So, the first week of National Novel Writing month is complete, and we are beginning week 2. I am pleased with my initial effort. Week one I finished at 10,631 words, with a little more than that as a possible add-in, should I decide to follow that particular plot thread. Either way, I am excited, the challenge to write the 50,000 word minimum has kept me motivated to keep going.
My usual when writing is to write a few pages, then obsess over them, rewriting and revising unitl I am pleased enough to move on. Knowing that there is a deadline to reach the required word count has left me no choice but to soldier on. But, is this truly a good thing? or does the push to hit a word count goal lead to a substandard end product?
For me, the answer is no, it isn’t going to be…

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Happy November!!!

So, Halloween is over, and now comes a time for careful reflection and pondering the rest of the year – Christmas (I tried that joke at work, and nearly lost it)!     November means a lot of things to a lot of different people. For some it is a time of preparing for Thanksgiving; for others it is the crisp fall weather, attempting to sneak a little more autumn into the calendar year before winter sets in; And for others still, it is a means of raising awareness for men’s health issues.

For many authors, November is the beginning of Nanowrimo. For the uninitiated, this stands for National Novel writing Month. The goal, is to write a complete novel (about 50,000 words) over the course of 30 days. In the past, I was more of a lurker than a writer, but this year I decided to participate. My current work in progress is nearing competion, and my own curiosity over the phenomenon has been growing steadily.

So, last night, as I was finishing up my Halloween movie marathon, I signed up on the official Nanowrimo website, and began to study up on what this movement is, and how I can participate and write and edit a whole novel before the end of the month. It is a challenge, but one that I feel i can accomplish.

Using the provided paperwork, I have done the math, and figured that if I wanted to write between 5-6 days a week, I was going to have to write a little over 2,000 words per day. It is a challenge, but one that I feel I can rise to. So today, I sat down with my laptop and a cup of coffee and started to write. In my mind I had an idea for a grand opus – one that will captivate the hearts and minds of my readers.  But reality sunk in, and I realized that this process is more about showing myself that I am capable, and can write a novel.

Today, being my first day, some of my time was devoted to setting up the story – character names, biographies of the characters, as well as written. So far, I am pleased with the results. Besides information on how to self-publish, ways to track your total number of words as you go are also included. Using my new tracking form, I recorded that I have written 2,229 on my project.

So, writer’s my question to you is this: First, have you participated in Nanowrimo in the past? If so, what are your thoughts on the process? As a newbie to this particular exercise, I was wondering how difficult/easy it was to keep up with the rigors of the project. Also, writers, who is currently participating and writing their Project now: How is this years project going? Are there any surprises or challenges along the way that have caught you off guard.  As always, I look forward to hearing from you.  Good luck to all of the participants, and I look forward to seing how other people’s projects are progressing over the course of this month.