Saturday, November 2, 2013

Steaming Up Storytelling: Connecting with Steampunk, Part 2

Sources for suitable stories:
Classic tales:
Jules Verne
Mark Twain'
Edgar Allan Poe
Arthur Conan Doyle
Bram Stoker
Oscar Wilde
H.G. Wells

General -
Victorian Literature
Victorian literature and pre-Victorian written by womenVictorian literary themes

Recent Inspirations:
Graphic novels

Movies: (Wild, Wild West; League of extraordinary Gentleman; The Time Machine; Howl's Moving Castle; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Sherlock Holmes (2009):9; Sleepy Hollow; Hellboy; Van Helsing; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; The Prestige; The Golden Compass; The Brothers Grimm; etc. )

*Here is a list of books, films, and television shows.

Performance Values:

Costume: period or cultural pieces, perhaps juxtaposed with unique or arcane 'gadgets'.  Props can be useful but should be used only with much practice: the umbrella, the cane, the ladies hand bag (a drawstring affair), a "ray gun", or apparatus, etc.

Language: Spiced with the formal language of the Victorian era, delivered in a more precise manner, and utilizing larger more diverse vocabulary.  Too heavy an accent will be defeating to the ease of the audience to actually understand your story.  Too modern a style or vocabulary will negate the suspension of reality required to place the story and the teller in an alternate reality.

Biases: Some of the biases may include presuming audience has a wider knowledge of the literature,  history, time, or customs of the time period.  Another bias can be too narrow an understanding of steam punk as English, European, etc.  Steam punk is a global movement which easily adapts and meshes diverse styles and cultures in the new reality of the steam punk world.

Transition: Current storytellers can ease into steam punk if they have told stories of the old west, of history, of adventurers, of travel, of invention and discovery or human interest tales.   Classic myths and legends can have their essence 're-cast' in a new suit of steam punk - if the teller firmly understands the nuances, diversity,  and motivations found in steam punk.

Sub-categories of steam punk include these groups:

BoilerPunk -blue collar industrial age workers; opposite to aristocratic steampunk
ClockPunk- emphasizing the technologies which augment and replace steam
DieselPunk - A "heresy" where diesel fuel and nuclear power take the place of steam
GaslightRomance - A British term; American steam punk is considered by some to actually be Gaslight romance or fantasy
MannersPunk - Broader category of stories and works which may or may not be steampunk but which focus on hierarchy in society, some emergent technologies, and involve parties, mansions, and the more formal and civilized aspects of society.
RaygunGothic - A more sci-fiction approach with broad application; could also be called Raygun Melodrama.
StitchPunk - A reflection of the crafts, handson, inventing, tinkering, and do-it-yourself elements in steam punk.
---The SteamPunk Bible (2011), pg. 54-55

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