Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Take a look at yourself. Oh wait! You can't, I forgot, your eyes are sucked inside your head. What was that, Flat Face?"

 Last week I got two requests to do another World Building post on the Haphazardly books. I've decided to do a little bit on something I had a lot of fun with.

 I wanted to do something fun with each of the countries, but when it came to America I couldn't think of anything. (Or maybe I thought of too many things.) Either way, it took me a long time to settle on something.
 For awhile I tossed around the idea of doing something like Mr. Westerfeld did in Goliath. I'd fill America with nosy reporters, reckless people, and gangsters. (He just did the nosy reporters and recklessness. But reporters make me think of gangsters and I couldn't do one without the other.)

 However, a long time ago, I nearly wrote an American Western about a doctor, a sheriff, and a girl who went from being an orphan to a reformed salon girl. I never made it far with this story, but the characters refused to leave and stayed in the back of my mind waiting for the book they knew they belonged in. When they learned of my debates with the Haphazard book they began giving me suggestions, and slowly, America began to take shape.

 The first thing I did was I divided it. I decided to keep the Civil War, but instead of it being fought between the South and North it was fought between the East and the West - and nothing was ever resolved. Therefore, America was divided with each side making their own government. (I won't go too much into that as it is explained in the book and would give away some spoilers.)

 In the East, it is more of the gangster era - or the time period when Newses was set. (If you haven't seen that movie go watch it. Now.)
 In the West it is very Cowboy-ish. (Very Old West, think Western movie and you have it.) Of course, making it like this meant I needed a train - so that the outlaws could rob it. But, since it is Steampunk, I wanted to come up with something other than the trains one finds in the history books.

 To begin with, I gave the train a caterpillar design. Instead of being cars hooked together by latches, it is all connected but is jointed all throughout the cars. (Kind of like an accordion.) It doesn't run straight on a track but snakes over it - exactly like a snake moves as a matter of fact. The train, likewise, isn't straight but weaves through the land. 
 The train holds on to the track by thousands of feet. (Again, think caterpillar.) These shuffle over the tracks, moving the train forward.

 There are other inventions in the Americas as well, but the train was the one I had the most fun creating. In fact, it is the machine I like the most, next to the airships and the Marchers. And the parts in the book where it appears were a great deal of fun to write.

 And that is about all I have - my attempt at a spoiler free sneak peak. 

 For next Wednesday, which book would you like to heat about? And what is something you'd like to hear about from said book? (People, land, or some other thing?) 

 Also, I am going to try and answer comments tomorrow. I don't want all of you to think I've been ignoring you, things are very busy here, but I love hearing from all of you and I love reading your blogs and have been disappointed I've gotten behind again.

 The quote is from Epic, another time when the slug is insulting Nod. 




  1. Oh my word that train sounds AMAZING! That is so cool! I can't wait to read that part, whenever it comes into the story. You are so creative, I don't think I could come up with anything like that ever.
    Like last time, I think it would be cool to hear about the elves in Nightshade.

  2. I LOVE the idea of your train! Is it still called a train in your world, or does it have another name?

    I like the idea of the gangster-era and the western-era sitting side-by-side. Those are two of the coolest seeming eras, don't you think? (As an aside, have you seen the Star Trek where Kirk, Spock, and Bones get beamed to the gangster era? That one is funny! I forget what it's called, though. That episode.)

  3. Civil War between the East and West instead! Clever! I love it. Especially when one side is the Newsies era (love that movie) and the other is still in the old West. :) The train sounds pretty neat too.

  4. After reading some of these 'world building' posts I sort of feel like I should do a story in 'my own' world. I tend to write more historical fiction, action-y fiction, or family life fiction. I don't know why really. I read a lot of fantasy and I love how their's so much freedom with creating a world. I've just never done it.

    The wild west is one one of the most exciting bits of American history and I LOVE those sorts of settings! Cool. (I'm glad I'm not the only grow-up-ish person that hasn't out-grown newsies. :)



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