Thursday, September 29, 2011

What you always wanted to ask.

Okie dokie.

In this writing blog world of ours, there are many hmmm, how shall we say this... Know-it alls? I tend to be more of a know-it-nothing.(Like the grammer there?)

And sometimes when I'm out perusing blogs, I feel like I better be in tip top form. I better not let anyone know that I am still learning. I mean really learning. Sometimes I feel I'm at the bottom of the learning totem pole.

And guess what? I've been blogging for two years. I've been writing for ten years. I have a writing related degree. And I have a published novel!

But in the vast world of what-I-feel-I-need-to-know, I have only scratched the surface. I've only scratched the surface of the surface. I've only.... Okay, I'll spare you.

But all that aside, I decided today is the day you can let your faults be known.

Are there terms your fellow bloggers use that you just don't understand? Do you nod your head and smile thinking "what the heck is she talking about?" Are there topics you read about again and again that are failing to sink in?

Today's the day. ASK AWAY! There will be no judging of you (or me) for what you do NOT know. In fact, I think it's refreshing to admit we're still learning.

So, here is what I have been wanting to know (and of course, I could find the answer to this via Google in five minutes, but that wouldn't be fun now would it?)

What in the crap is Steampunk?

Go ahead, hit me with the answer. And while you're at it, please leave a question you've been wondering about. We'll all try to answer each other.


E.R. King said...

I have no freaking clue what Steampunk is. I see it as useless information because if it hasn't come up yet, it doesn't apply to me. Ignorant, right?
My question is: Why do people dislike adverbs? A well-placed adverb rocks. I don't get it. I attribute not using adverbs to telling a woman not to wear make-up because she's pretty enough without it. I'm sure she is, but if she thinks the make-up makes her look beautiful, let her wear it. As such, if a writer thinks adverbs make their story clearer, use them. I don't understand why people hate them. Why do you think they do?

Jolene Perry said...

Remember that Wild Wild West movie that Wil Smith did a long time ago?
That's Steampunk.

The new Sherlock Holmes?
Half say it's steampunk.

It's a genre of speculative fiction where you use alternate technology for the time period. The hot thing now is London, victorian. But that'll change. I think.

Here's the wikipedia:

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s.[1] Steampunk involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually Victorian era Britain—that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc. This technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne.
Other examples of steampunk contain alternative history-style presentations of such technology as lighter-than-air airships, analog computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace's Analytical engine.

The thing that's making me CRAZY right now is "high-concept" especially since i write contemporary. It's like the situation needs to be close to life and death for anyone to want to look at it anymore.
It took me a long time to find a home for a book I wasn't willing to change. All the publishers came back saying that they loved the story, loved the writing, but not enough commercial hook, or not high-concept enough. AAAAHHHHH!!
Makes me crazy.
So, I guess that's more of a rant than a comment, but so is the novella I just wrote in your comments ;D

Melanie Stanford said...

Since Jolene very thoroughly answered the your question, I won't. But yeah, think Wild Wild West. Or better yet, since that movie sucks, read Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan. Awesome book.

My question: what's a meme?

Melanie Stanford said...

Oh, and I don't get all the adverb-hate either.

Julianna said...

Goodness, what I don't know is A LOT. I've just joined the writing bloggy world and have just begun my novel. I'm not even on twitter... which I guess is a big problem if you are in the writing world. Thank you for this post. I am sure to have many, many questions in the coming months and I know just who to ask now! ;)

Abby said...

I don't know what steampunk is either! And I'm still not sure I get it, even after Jolene's answer. Yeah - I'm that slow. There is another one that I wonder about but I can't remember it now. UGH! I'm so glad you shared this tho. I am definitely on the learning end. In fact, I'm still thinking about scratching the surface!

Kasey @ The Beautiful Thrifty Life said...

I had the SAME question! And I totally googled it. I kept seeing all this "steampunk" jewelry on etsy and I kept thinking it was a brand name or something. Glad I wasn't the only clueless one!

Okay, here's my question. I'm kind of figuring it out, but I need more direction: What does it mean when an editor tells you to "show, don't tell." I keep thinking, I'm telling a story, how do I tell a story without telling it?? I get the idea of using more descriptive terms, but I still feel like I'm not quite understanding what's being asked of me! Any guidance would be appreciated. :-)

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

Maggie, What a good idea! I'm confused all the time. Here's one I don't get. Didn't Deseret Book buy Covenant? Do writers submit to them separately? Yeah, I'm ignorant.

Kasey, I can explain show don't tell. Basically, it means you should describe actions. So instead of saying, "he was angry," you say "he clenched his teeth." Another good way to "show don't tell" is to use dialogue.

Maggie said...

This is so fun! I can't wait to use my next blog post to tackle all these questions!

Deana said...

Okay, steam punk was answered throughly and thanks because I had no idea either. To show you how much I don't know I was at a writers conference a couple weekends ago and talking to someone about my novel. She kep shooting me with all these questions which I answered pretty easily, but the she asked something and I was like....uhhhhh.
Oh well:)
My question is what is a timeslip novel. I know it is about time travel but is it only a romantic kind of time travel novel? I just don't know.