How to Write Steampunk

October 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm (Daily Awesomeness, Steampunk Earth Day info, Writing Advice)

So, you wanna write a steampunk tale? I recommend you start by researching Victorian times – my favourite book is “Victorian London” by Liza Picard. Her section on bathing is hilarious.

You can also go here, for some of the most beloved bits and bobs of steampunk compositions:

You can read Richard Harland’s “Worldshaker”, “Girl Genius” online comics, or anything by Philip Reeve (keeping in mind that “Larklight” is G-rated and hilarious, but his Mortal Engines series is MA). The genre is flexible enough that the Girl Genius creators and Philip Reeve both say they’re not steampunk. (Whatever. . .)

Here are some examples of people who dressed a little steampunk by accident (one is from a wedding, and the other a pirate ball). Note the vests and/or cravat.

Today’s awesomeness is S#47: Participate in Operation Beautiful. You can find details at I posted these notes on my mum’s bathroom mirror:

This time it’s super easy to play along at home. (Although I don’t recommend gentlemen readers post anything in ladies’ bathrooms.)


  1. Nick said,

    Waistcoats are steampunk now? I just thought that a man was simply not dressed without one. Eddie’s wedding was morning dress, by the way (like this fellow: ) – definitely appropriate for the Victorian Era 🙂

    • twittertales said,

      Thanks Nick. I think waistcoats are beginner steampunk – something most people can manage (should they choose to). I’ll be posting a pic or two from that link very shortly. Fob watches are a must to reach intermediate steampunkery (assuming one doesn’t distinguish between steampunk and clockpunk).

  2. Nick said,

    I see…though the waistcoat on it’s own does not constitute steampunk, surely – 😉

    On a related note, I spent much of Inception eyeing off Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s array of wicked single breasted w/lapels waistcoats –

    I myself enjoy wearing a waistcoat at any available opportunity –

    • twittertales said,

      Nick: Agreed. Your waistcoats definitely have a more early 1900s gangster feel about them. Thanks for another tvtropes moment (and by “moment” I mean “day”).


  3. Steff Metal List. . . completed « Louise Curtis said,

    […] 47. Operation Beautiful (and how to write steampunk) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: