So I Was Asking Myself “What If?”…

A funny thing happens when you ask “What if,,,?” And just let your mind wonder.

I was sitting at my computer thinking about my NaNoWriMo project. I am going to be writing a steampunk story about a laborer that rises up against the system. So I was researching steam power generation and what happened next was interesting to say the least.


What if I were to write a technologically heavy steampunk novel, sort of a Jules Verne meets Tom Clancy. Would this even be possible?

So I spent the next two hours looking up and downloading/ printing steam age technology articles and the more I read and found, the more I was interested in the possibility of this flight of fancy taking off!

Anyway, I know that a novel like this is going to get very complicated very quickly. And I am welcoming it.

I am beginning to see the possibilities of this and its many branches. Best of all none of them are any more or less correct than any others.

I know that I need to develop plot and story arcs, but I am thinking that the steam technology might be an interesting backdrop, if I can write it out well. It could also have the added bonus of a sort of credibility.


Bestest of best luck to my fellow NaNo writers!

T-minus 3 days and counting.




4 thoughts on “So I Was Asking Myself “What If?”…

  1. I’ve never read a steampunk novel, but I know a lot of steampunk authors. I couldn’t tell you how much of the “steampunk” aspect is totally made-up in their books or how much is thoroughly researched and based on real life. Personally, I think it would be really neat if you based most of the technology on real inventions. Even if the inventions were only ever theoretical. I don’t know if you’ve already done this, but pretty much all US patents are free and available online (I have to research dye patents a lot for work). If you find some tech you’re interested in, you might be able to find the patent for it 🙂

    • That is pretty much where I was looking to go with the novel. What a great idea about patents! I wouldn’t know where to start other than somewhere in the USPTO. Is there some sort of string search option?

      I do have to ask though,: What exactly does a dye chemist do?

      Thanks for the tip, Michelle. I’ll get started on that right away.

      • I believe google will bring them up, but you almost have to know what you’re looking for. It might be a good option to continue with your current research, find concepts that interest you and google “that + patent”. I THINK there may be a Google Patent subsearch option as well which may be worth a look. A lot of patents are still scientifically impossible or they never led to actual inventions, so you may actually find some out-there stuff. Someone patented magnetic monopoles a few years back, which are basically the number 1 most impossible concept in physics lol.

        I work in a factory that produces over 60 different dyes for the paper industry. In order to stay competitive, we’re always trying to update our processes for new technology and introduce new/additional products. But dye chemistry is the oldest commercial chemistry and it’s pretty much all discovered. We don’t invent new dyes. Most dyes were actually patented in the late 1800s, often by Bayer. So a lot of times, when I’m struggling with a reaction, I google how they did it 100 years ago 🙂 Often times it’s way more complicated from an equipment standpoint, but the chemistry never changes. Also for my job specifically, I supervise our production operators whenever we’re running a trial of something new outside. On a daily basis I just do lab sized reactions of stuff we want to try outside.

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