Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks

Moderated by: JazzFeathers

8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks is a creative writing exercise for our Storyteller community. The aim of the exercise is to inspire our writers and gather feedback on their work from others in the community.

The rules are simple: everyone interested in 8 Sentence Sunday posts an eight-sentences-long snippet of their writing project right here in the comments. The snippet can be dieselpunk or steampunk, and it can be in-progress or already published. All we ask is you keep your snippet in line with the standard rules on Dieselpunks (keep it suitable for teens and don’t be a dick).

Most of all, you have to engage. If you’re asking for feedback, you have to be constructive about at least one other member’s work as well.

Feel free to post links to your own websites and products on this thread as we hope to keep our corner of the alt-history continuum alive and dancing.



You need to be a member of Authors and Storytellers to add comments!

Comment by lupachi1927 on June 28, 2015 at 1:26pm

Hey everyone. Back to Chapter Five this time. Here, Lou and Ahmed discuss Lamashtu, the evil Mesopotamian goddess whose image is on the mysterious amulet feature earlier:

I chuckled. “She Who Erases? What is she, the goddess a chalkboards?”

Ahmed glared at me for that one. “You would not be so cavalier, my friend, if you had been to one of her temples. Her followers are very dedicated and…enthusiastic,” he said, shuddering. “They, like her, seek to erase the worlds of men forever.”

“Sounds like a real peach.”

@cw - Your snippet seems fine to me, but there are a few small edits I'd make: 1) consider putting a paragraph break after "Then again, it did have a shower." Hart getting ready and Hart dressed and moving are two different things, at least to my mind. I think it'd flow a bit better if you broke it there, since it leads into him meeting the German. 2) You use the phrase "towards him" twice, one sentence after the other. I think you could vary your sentence structure there to good effect. 3) I agree with Jazz that you could consider adding a bit more emotion or reactions here. How does Hart feel about meeting this guy? You said he was "perturbed" about meeting him in your earlier snippet, so maybe he feels uneasy? It also might be good to describe Von Osler a bit more---if he's worried about meeting this guy, wouldn't he take a moment to asses him, perhaps? Anyway, that's just my two cents.  I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in your next bit! :)

Comment by JazzFeathers on June 28, 2015 at 12:20pm

@Cw - I like the snippet, but I think you could show some more. In particular, I'd like to 'see' the moment they meet. Hart would probably pick up some body language from Osler, no? I suppose he's curious to gauge any info, since this seems to be something unusual. 

After reading your article, I have a new appreciation for airships :-)

Comment by cw hawes on June 28, 2015 at 8:16am

Rand Hart has received an invitation to meet with Herr von Osler. Hart has showered and dressed and makes his way to the promenade. Here is today’s snippet:

When done, Hart toweled himself dry, shaved, and dressed. The only downside to flying on the Hindenburg was the low water pressure of the shower. Then again, it did have a shower. Dressed in a navy suit, white shirt, rep tie, Hart made his way to the promenade by the dining area. He spied the German sitting in the far corner and made his way towards him. Von Osler stood when he saw Hart coming towards him. Upon reaching the industrialist, Hart shook hands with him, and the German invited him to sit. Hart did so and von Osler followed suit.

To be continued!

Comment by Alice E Keyes on June 23, 2015 at 11:11am
Welcome to Holly and lupachi1927. Glad you have joined us.

Thanks, JazzFeathers. It's nice to be included.
Comment by Holly Gonzalez on June 23, 2015 at 6:27am

To all who posted...every single one of these snippets are great! I enjoyed the unique flavor and expression of every one. There is some serious talent in here! :D

Comment by Holly Gonzalez on June 23, 2015 at 6:22am

Thanks CW and Lupachi! Glad you enjoyed...Lily is my favorite character in the series, so dynamic and full of life. The antagonist Silas Blane is a second close favorite. I'll try to post something from him next weekend ;)

Comment by JazzFeathers on June 23, 2015 at 1:57am

@Alice - Your blog wasn't on my radar. I've just fixed that. Your snippet goes up on my Google page right now ;-)

Comment by lupachi1927 on June 22, 2015 at 11:45pm

@Holly - Welcome! Love your snippet! Lily reminds me of Texas Guinan, and how she'd rile up a crowd before a show at her speakeasy, calling out "hello, suckers!" ;)

Comment by cw hawes on June 22, 2015 at 7:39pm

Hi Holly! Glad you dropped by! Love your snippet! For me, it presents great atmosphere and enough of Lily to have me asking for more. Good job!

Comment by Alice E Keyes on June 22, 2015 at 5:05pm

@JazzFeathers - I posted my snippet on my blog aliceekeyes.blogspot.com . A day late so I understand if you don't use it. I changed it a bit so here it is again.

If this was a scary-B-movie, the music in the background would be foretelling something awful was about to happen. I walked from the office to my bicycle hoping my bicycle basket would be empty. My bicycle basket was empty when I left it this morning. The music turns into a high pitch dreadful screech to announce, four zucchinis; one very large and three average sized, peared out at me. I do not eat zucchini. This was day three of the siege of zucchinis. Looking down the line of bicycles, every one of the baskets or tag-a-long carriers contained GREEN - zucchini green.

Comment by Holly Gonzalez on June 22, 2015 at 3:16am

Thank you Jazzfeathers! :) Presently I project it to be about 30-ish chapters, give or take a few. I'm trying to get a new chapter up each week, more if possible...kind of like a decopunk space opera with cliffhanger episodes,  ;)

Comment by JazzFeathers on June 22, 2015 at 1:01am

Ah, guys, just wanted to let you know that I'm posting everyone's snippets on my Google page (google.com/+Theoldshelterdieselpunk) if I can find them on a blog. So if you post your snippets on your blog too, them I'm going to repost them :-)

Comment by JazzFeathers on June 22, 2015 at 12:58am

Hi Holly, I'm so happy to see you here :-)
I've only just seen your snippet due to my time zone, and let me tell you, I really like it. It gives a nice impression of the place, if not really of the character. 

Hey, may I ask? I'm keeping an eye on you story 'Beauty in the Bones', but I'd like to read it when it is completed. How many chapters will it be? :-)

Comment by Holly Gonzalez on June 21, 2015 at 10:43pm
This is my first time posting for Eight Sentence Sunday. Here's a snippet from my novel "Perfect World Somewhere". The multi-talented Lily Fairpoole performs for a rowdy crowd of off-world miners aboard the swanky space elevator known as the Ruby lift.

“Good evening, to all you fine, hard-workin’ folks out there,” Lily said, and gave her most beguiling smile. The music continued, a delicious sound that moved her soul. She hummed along, angling a shoulder with flair.
The whistles and hoots were shrill. Someone yelled, “Get hot, darling!”
She and Sammy merged, brass and voice.
“Another day, another drill,
“Much more than time I wanna kill,
“Eighteen months driftin’ out in the can,
“Hope I dig enough to please the boss-man.”
A little blues mixed with signature Hard Knocks jazz surged across the room.
Comment by cw hawes on June 21, 2015 at 3:10pm

@Alice - I LOVE your snippet! I want to see more!
              Von Osler could have that perfect of English. I knew a Norwegian fellow who spoke excellent English, albeit rather formal. From what I've read and from my brother's business dealings with Germans, they are a very formal people. And their English is often very good and correct. Von Osler is a businessman, an industrialist. He is well educated and that is why I chose a formal tone to convey his education and status. While this doesn't come out in the story, he deals with Americans, British, and Brazilians. To be effective, he needs to have good command of language. Since he is a very minor character, I wasn't intending on spending a lot of time giving the reader his background. Unless the note is too unusual and some background info is necessary to make it more realistic.

@Lupachi - The dialogue in your snippet is pretty much perfect. Love the use of the slang. 
                   Thanks for the suggestion about cutting the perturbed look. I'll make a note of it. It has merit.

@Jazz - The reason von Osler didn't say anything at the card game will come out shortly. :)

Comment by JazzFeathers on June 21, 2015 at 2:19pm

Hi guys, and thanks for your suggestions about language. I will remember when I revise this :-)

@CW - I agree with Alice that the note is a bit too informal. And I'm wondering, Osler spoke to Hart (at the poker table) only a short time ago. If he had to say something to him, why not doing then? (I'm just wondering)

@Alice - This sure sounds like a very unusual story. I too have the impression the zucchinis are invading :-)

@Lupachi - Really like the snipet. I can totally visualise it and get an idea of the situation even reading just this passage. 

Comment by lupachi1927 on June 21, 2015 at 1:30pm

Jazzfeather's post today about minor characters reminded me about one of my own. So, for today's snippet I'm going to abandon chapter five for a piece about Rico.

Rico was a minor character who started life as an anonymous voice on the end of a telephone. In that brief phone exchange, he almost got Lou killed, so I thought it'd be fun to bring him back later on as a sort of punishment by his boss, Tony, who is Lou's capo and one of Capone's supernatural lieutenants (he's a vampire, if it matters). Poor Rico is one of the few humans on Tony's supernatural crew, which means he gets the short end of the stick a lot. This time, it's on purpose...

Tony gave Rico a cool look. “Besides,” he said casually, “Lou’s a good boy, ain’t he? You said so yourself…”

A horrible sort a comprehension sprang over Rico’s face. His eyes started ping-ponging back and forth between me and Tony, desperate. “But boss, I—look, I’m real, real sorry—I didn’t mean no disrespect, honest—I never thought—I didn’t mean—I—I—“

“Don’t worry, Rico. You can make it up to him on the drive to Rose’s. Now move over.”

Comment by lupachi1927 on June 21, 2015 at 1:15pm

@ Alice - Are the zucchinis are invading? They sound kind of like aliens. Seems like an interesting story!

@ cw - I like your snippet. The only thing I would consider changing is maybe cutting the "perturbed look" bit, since you're already implying that with your earlier dialogue---but I don't think it'd be bad if you kept it the way it is now, either. Also, I can't believe there's an opera called fedora! Apparently the fedora hat was named after it. How bizarre!

@Jazz - I like your snippet too! It's very interesting how minor characters can change over time. While I understand how you used "sobered up" in your piece here, I think cw might be right in suggesting a slightly different phrasing. Maybe even just "almost let a smile slip on his face, then stopped." Other than that, I like the interplay between these characters. Banter is fun to write, isn't it? :)

Comment by Alice E Keyes on June 21, 2015 at 1:06pm
@Jazz - My son loves to put thens in his essays. I do think two in a small section is one too many. I know a girl named Pasha so I was assuming on first read through that it was a girl. Yes, not very careful reading on my part. The last sentence seems a bit awkward to me- go on - next to - you'll see the use as well- . Go on is very simple language that says the speaker isn't well educated whereas the use of -as well- is much more formal.
The snippet is easy to visualize and I think a little tweaking can make it better.

@CW I wonder at the formality of the note. Would von Osler have that perfect of English? Would he be so polite or more commanding? Does Von Osler really respect Hart?
Comment by Alice E Keyes on June 21, 2015 at 11:45am
Looking through some old stories, I pulled this from a crazy novel I wrote about Zucchini and dragons. The story doesn't have a time period.

If this was a scary-B-movie, the music in the background would be foretelling something awful was about to happen. I walked from the office to my bicycle hoping my bicycle basket would be empty. My bicycle basket was empty when I left it this morning. The music would soon turn into a high pitch dreadful screech to announce, yes in my basket were four zucchinis. One very large and three average sized. I do not eat zucchini. It was day three of the siege of the zucchinis. Looking at the line of bicycles I saw in every one of the baskets or tag-a-long carriers green - zucchini green.

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