I have evaded the genre for too long. Now, it's catching up with me. I am speaking of...steampunk.
Let me say, I don't read the stories. The closest I've come has been watching Wild, Wild West with Kevin Klein and Will Smith. Oh, and the Castle episode. I'm sure steampunk fans would say that's hardly representative of the impressive world, but there you have it. And although I haven't delved into the genre, I sill like it.
I found out that an upcoming writers' conference I will be attending is having a steampunk dinner as one of the evening events, and costumes are encouraged.
I love steampunk costumes. I have friends who make beautiful costumes. And I know I could never pull together something like that on my own. My problem is similar to that of the Renaissance Festivals. While I would love to dress up, I would want the costume to look authentic. I would want the hair, the dress, the accessories, the accent. Total immersion.
So this idea of a steampunk costume makes me a little nervous. I've done some research. I've pulled out some pieces of old costumes and evening dresses that might work as a base. And thankfully, I have until April to make this happen. The gears are whirring deep within my brain!
I'll share my journey with you here, although this in no way means I am dedicated to the genre. For those who enjoy it, keep on! I'll stick with my fancy, sleek, tech-laden starships. But for just one night, I'll pay tribute to the wild, wacky world of steampunk.
I am probably unlike most people. I know, God made each one of us to be unique individuals. I'm so glad for that! But I have an old soul. I am rather old-fashioned. And you know what? I kind of like it that way.
I didn't used to be like this. I had a dirty mouth and a devious mind. When I worked in theatre, I swore like a sailor. But something often comes along with age--maturity. That, coupled with God calling me to follow Him, changed my perspective on a lot of that.
Now, I'm not standing here in judgment of other people. I know better than that. After all, my Savior said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." But I have made certain choices for myself that allow me to feel safe in this world.
And one of those is keeping private things private.
I choose to reflect that in my writing. I don't care to read explicit scenes. That's why I wrote my novels without them. Certainly, they are implied. I like to leave the details up to the reader's imagination. That way, if a teenager chooses to pick up my book, they aren't getting an eyeful of something they aren't ready for.
Granted, most teenagers probably know more about those things than I do.
I love my story, Outlaw. The characters are a little grittier. More likely to participate in such activity. And yet, if you're reading with a more innocent perspective, you're not missing anything by the lack of explicit material. I never clearly define the relationship between the two main characters for that very reason.
I trust my readers to "get" it.
A few well-crafted lines can show a character to be a lascivious scourge. Or a wanton harlot. (How's that for old-fashioned words?!) Or an inexperienced ingénue. It's not that hard. I know the rules about show vs. tell, but these descriptions can easily be done without describing the act.
I find it disheartening that we, as a culture, are slipping into a place where this borderline pornography is accepted in literature. Yes, there's much worse stuff out there. Stuff even I haven't been exposed to. But I didn't read Fifty Shades of Gray and its series, simply because I've read works like it before. It's nothing new. But I'm tired of that. It's a quick and lazy way to reach an audience.
Of course, my works couldn't be compared with classic literature, but at least I'm going to be able to say they are classy.
All this to say, the art of reading is subjective. Those more explicit scenes may be the ones that really grab you. If that's the case, don't read my books. You won't find them there. But you will find exciting, thrilling adventure stories set among the stars with characters who demonstrate honor and goodness. And a bad guy or two thrown in for good measure.
ADDENDUM: I have a great number of friends who write romance novels and the like. My above post refers to the type books where the reader might not expect explicit material, whereas a romance reader would be aware of the choice they are making.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3