Thursday, November 17, 2011
Some of you may not be familiar with my insane, obsessive adoration for the Leviathan series by Westerfeld (who also wrote the amazing uglies series, totally required reading for the YA author). It's more than just the awe-inspiring alternate reality—Georgian England with Darwinist Beasties, the Great War fought with man-made machines and engineered creatures alike—or the heart-stopping adventures. It's the people who inhabit this strange world.
One of my favorite characters in recent years is one of the pov characters of Leviathan, Dylan Sharp. He's the embodiment of the future of British aeronautics, or he would be, if he weren't actually a girl named Deryn. O_o ?
While the idea of a girl masquerading as a boy isn't exactly an original idea, especially for period novels, Westerfeld gives Deryn such a strong personality, and makes you care for her so deeply, that there's no way she could be considered your stereotypical girl playing dress-up. Westerfeld has obviously put a lot of thought into her character, as evinced in a quote from a great article I read this morning on Steampunk heroines:
“The steampunk movement is partly about messing up the stuffy ways of the Victorians,” Scott Westerfeld, author of the popular Leviathan series, said. “Adding anachronistic technology and modern social mores to that very constrained period is a bit like bringing a flame-thrower to a tea party."
That's Deryn all over. I don't want to say to much to spoil the story for those who haven't read it, so why not pick up a copy for your next read? It has pictures! ;)
I also hope you take the time to read the rest of the article if you've never read any Steampunk. Though I'm familiar with Westerfeld's writing and I've read Gail Carriger's Soulless, I've never read Cherie Priest's Boneshaker. It's set in the US, which I love. Apparently, Cherie's philosophy on writing steampunk to is to put your own unique spin on it, and follow your gut:
“There is nothing punk about letting other people tell you about how to participate in your hobby,” Priest said.
Which is exactly the approach I've been using to write the wip.
Are any of y'all steampunk fans? Anyone tried their hand at writing any? Do you stick to real history, or make it up as you go along? (which seems to be my method, lol)
Are you punk?!