Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Letting the characters define the story

This Sunday, my steampunk novella, Iron Eyes, comes out at Amber Allure. I'm both excited and nervous about it. Excited, because I really adore these characters, but nervous, because it was my first attempt at steampunk, and at the end of the day, it focuses far more on the characters and their relationship rather than the steampunk world around them.

I did that on purpose. 90% of the steampunk I've read has been mostly forgettable or something I couldn't finish, because I found the world-building too boring to slog through. Not that the worlds themselves are boring, but so much focus is placed on creating them that the story and characters ultimately become lost.

When I set out to write a steampunk, I wanted to turn that around. I wanted to write about seemingly normal people living in a steampunk world, people who take this technology and lifestyle for granted, people who used the technology when it was necessary but weren't ruled by it.

Ultimately, I wanted to write about the romance, not the gear. The gear is just window dressing for me.

So...I'm a little anxious. This story is exactly what I wanted it to be, the romance between a brilliant engineer and a lonely ex-soldier, both of whom have benefited from technology in a steampunk world. For me, it's about them defining the story rather than the technology doing the job.

After all, for me, that's what this particular romance is all about.


Clare London said...

Congratulations on the release, and I heartily agree with your approach. For me, it's always about the characterisation, and I like it when the steampunk background, however fascinating, is woven thorugh seamlessly, rather than being a character in itself :)

Carolyn said...

I think you have hit the nail on the head as to why Steampunk doesn't appeal to me like it should. Characterization sacrificed for wow cool steampunk objects! doesn't endear me to a work of fiction. It is cool window dressing but... gotta make me love the characters. Happily, your characters are very lovable :)