Kay Patterson dabbles with steampunk

Gearing Up For Steampunk

Switching gears for my next project , I went retro.

Steampunk retro. 

Since my thrillers blend reality with elements of science fiction, fantasy, and the supernatural, I decided to dabble with a bit of science fiction. Steampunk offers that.

Steampunk screenplay by Kay PattersonI like the look of it. The mechanical gears, gadgetry, machines. The Victorian era setting. The mystique of it.

I know the story I have in mind to write. I have my title: Rhenium. Have m cast of characters. But before I start to sketch out my scenes I immerse myself in the genre of Steampunk.

I gather my collection of Steampunk anthologies: Steampunk, by Ann& Jeff VanderMeer, volumes I, II, III. I read two stories from each volume – by the flip book open and choose a story at random method. I jot notes of what I liked about the character descriptions, settings, gadgetry used.

Then I make a date to settle in with a large bowl of buttered popcorn and binge watch my favorite Steampunk movies.

On a Friday night I start with:

  • Van Helsingborg, 2004
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 2003
  • Hellboy, 2004

Saturday, bright and early, I continue with:

  • Hellboy II, 2008
  • Sherlock Holmes, 2009
  • The Prestige, 2006
  • The Golden Compass, 2007
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, 2012
  • Brother Grimm, 2005

I save the last two for Sunday:

  • Series of Unfortunate Events, 2011
  • Wild Wild West, 1999

steampunk screenplay by Kay PattersonSunday afternoon, I scourer the web for Steampunk was additional images of inspiration. I print those. Pin them to the bulletin board in my office.

Now I’m pumped. Ready to flesh out my characters and initial scenes for Rhenium. This is where the fun begins!

Sometimes it takes a second sitting on a movie or two to keep me in sync with the era. But with Steampunk the gadgets and mystique are key.

I let you know how it all works out.

In the meantime, if you’re not familiar with Steampunk, I suggest you watch one or more of the movies I listed above. They’re classics – and so fun to watch.

Don’t forget the popcorn!