I’ve been trying to prepare for November, and starting the book, by reading, by looking at art and collecting images for reference photos, and by watching movies. It’s a way of passing time until next next week. :)
Another form of preparation has been to cancel my Warcraft account, so that I am not tempted by timesinks. I plan on pretending that Twitter and Facebook don’t exist during NaNo, for the most part. I mainly use Facebook to keep up with family and friends back home in the US, but Twitter is a huge timesink, as is keeping up with all of the blogs in my feed reader. I’ve re-read Stephen King’s On Writing, which I think is one of the best writing books I have ever read and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Movies: I didn’t have many on hand that were applicable, but I did watch Hellboy 2 (for the Troll Market, and also all of the dark fae gorgeousness), as well as The Golden Compass. Although not steampunk, the fantasy machinery, methods of travel and so on fit perfectly with what I want to do. The Secret of Moonacre, just because I love it so. And that was the end of the movies that I could watch that would apply to this project. I have to include the Troll Market scene video here just because it is so amazing.
I’ve re-read all of the steampunk books that I could, but the ones which were closest to the feel of what I want to do weren’t steampunk: Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun. I’ve always been in love with magic door stories, from the Narnia stories onwards, and I love the idea of alternative cities that co-exist under or alongside our more pedestrian one, which you could (inadvertently or otherwise) just slip into.
Reference images behind the jump (images collected for reference use only, I don’t have rights to these images, which are retained by the original artists/photographers/game designers):
This is Maia, my main character. (Except you have to imagine her in more Victorian garb.)
The Conservator of Time
Some locations are Egyptian/Art Deco, or Art Nouveau – this one would be Night’s Castle.