Tag Archives: Scott Westerfeld

Writing Excuses 5.15: Steampunk with Scott Westerfeld

Brandon and Howard are again joined by Scott Westerfeld, again in a boomy room in the Provo Library, this time for a discussion of steampunk.

What is steampunk? Basically, it’s Victorian-era science-fiction as written by non-Victorian-era writers. Why do we write it? We talk about the way it lets authors bend some science-fiction rules, and how the sensibilities of an era a sesquicentury past inform the plot, prose, characters, and (of course) setting.

How does one go about writing steampunk? Scott offers some advice on the approach, from idea synthesis to world-building,. His books Leviathan and Behemoth are both great examples of the genre, though they might fit the “diesel-punk” label a little better.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld, narrated by Alan Cumming.

Writing Prompt: It’s 1912, and Nikola Tesla is the President of the United States…

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Writing Excuses 5.14: Visual Components of Novels with Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld joins Brandon and Howard for a discussion of the visual components of novels. His novel Leviathan is set in an alternate history 1914, and is designed to look like a book from 1914, complete with illustrations. Keith Thompson designed the art to look like period art, and it adds a significant dimension to the book.

Brandon talks about how he employed these same principles in The Way of Kings, which has in-world maps and in-world illustrations throughout its thousand pages. And of course Howard points how these things apply in the illustration-dependent Schlock Mercenary.

We move into a discussion of how the illustrations affect both the publication process and the storytelling, and how things like deck-plans and engineering diagrams feed back into the story.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld, narrated by Alan Cumming

Writing Prompt: Draw the floor plan of the house or building you’re in. Knock out a wall, and write an action scene involving that.

This episode of Writing Excuses has been brought to you by Audible.
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*Note: From the Audible website, here are the terms of the free membership. Read the fine print, please!

Audible® Free Trial Details
Get your first 14 days of the AudibleListener® Gold membership plan free, which includes one audiobook credit. After your 14 day trial, your membership will renew each month for just $14.95 per month so you can continue to receive one audiobook credit per month plus members-only discounts on all audio purchases. A very small number of titles are more than one credit. Cancel your membership before your free trial period is up and you will not be charged. Thereafter, cancel anytime, effective the next billing cycle. Any unused audiobook credits will be lost at cancellation.

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