Steampunk as a termed was first defined as literary genre for modern Victorian fantasy and science fiction. It’s no wonder, then, that the written word in Steampunk continues to be pervasive and influential in today’s fiction.
G.D. Falksen is one of those writers who has crafted some exceptional Steampunk novels. He recently wrote an article on one of the most challenging aspects of writing a Steampunk novel, the necessity for world building.
World building is when a fantasy or science fiction author creates a world for their story to be set in. It sounds simple enough, but the process is very involving. A created world has to have a certain distinctiveness to it that will absorb the reader’s imagination and transport them to a place they can believe in as being real.
To do this, a writer must work out the details of the world, from arts, culture, and language to geography, religion, and technology. And like all worlds, there needs to be a level of believability to the world that is crafted. Just writing anything and saying, “well, it’s fiction, so we can do anything!” usually doesn’t cut it with readers.
There’s certain rules in worldbuilding that have to be answered. In Steampunk the role of history and technology place important roles to give readers a good sense of where they are in the fictional world. G.D. Falksen goes into the details of this necessity in an article posted to Steamed! Writing Steampunk Fiction, which you can read here.