Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Not exactly the best thing to say for my first post. I've been a little intimidated about posting this because it's hard to jump in without looking like I'm the new guy trying to push my own projects on everybody. Don't want to sound like I am.

I've been lurking around this sight for more than a year now, trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can from folks wiser than me, which includes about everyone on here. Really, I'm just some amateur putting words down in the computer.

For the last little while, I've been writing a dieselpunk novel, a war story set in a universe of giant landcruisers, armored trains, and airships carrying fighter planes (it's more complicated than just the background shinies, though). Technically, I've had it simmering for  over a year, but the last couple of months, I decided to buckle down and finish it. By my estimate (and my halfassed plot outline), I've got about two more chapters to go.

But I've reached a point at which I would like some feedback from people who know the genre better than I do. I need someone to tell me that what I've done isn't crap and it's worth finishing. I mean, I'll finish it regardless, since it's a story I feel the need to tell, but I also want it to be something that other people would enjoy. Not sure what form it'll end up published in, because right now I'd rather focus on just finishing the damn thing.

So, if you waded through all my rambling and are willing to waste some time, what's the best way to proceed? Should I just slap the first couple of chapters up on my site and post a link, post a little more about the world and the story to see if people might be interested, or what?

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don't sweat it, and don't read a negative tone in my last reply, ha ha. i'm just trying to help you, help me, help you. if that makes any sense?


Biggest problem being I don't have a lot of specific things to ask about.

in your original post you said "I need someone to tell me that what I've done isn't crap and it's worth finishing."

well, what you've done isn't crap, and now you're finished. so where do you want to go from here?


I'll think of something. Not trying to be difficult, just not sure about specifics.

Howdy Hey,

Sorry, I'm a bit late to the party (as always). Hello, Chef. Nice to e-meet you.
I agree with John. I think this is some pretty good stuff. And my opinion is that a writer can make it if he/she is willing to learn the discipline of rewriting (a strange balance of arrogance and humility that is rare).

I skimmed over the pdf quickly and only have a couple of thoughts to throw out for your consideration:
1.) With stories like this it is always a challange to introduce several characters in a short period of time. I thought you did well with the names. That can be a major challenge (creating names that look different on the page and set characters apart, staying with one name/nic name per character, etc.). It seems that the ploy used most often is to endow each character with some quircky or characteristic bit that sets them apart (the nervous guy, the stoic guy, the Southern or Brooklyn accent, the guy everyone calls Tiny, etc.). Anyway, just a thought.
2.) I'm not totally sure (with just my cursory glance) of how you are wanting to pace the story. But if you are trying to create action scenes then I think there are a few things you could do to create a faster pace and greater sense of jeapordy.

ie. limiting inner dialogue, trimming down discription to the least words possible while still giving the reader what they need to fill in the gaps on their own.

Anywho, that may not be what you are trying to do at all, so feel free to banish all this. Just thought I wouuld throw it out.

But I like what I saw.

Oh, and I think that Orson Scott Card is a great writer on writing. His Character and Viewpoint book is really helpful.


How is your book coming along? 

If you want some help i'm still here for you. I can give you feedback on your story, a copyright how-to, or even roadmap to ebook publishing if you need it. I'll be happy to talk via this forum or directly through email. (takejohn3@yahoo.com)

Just let me know.



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