You need a story idea and you can’t think of a thing.

Pull a Terry Pratchett and write about today’s problems set in your story world. You don’t think the 1800s had problems with bizarre political actions, you need to read some history. Both US and English history.

This works very well for something you are deeply concerned about, things like; another World War, Global Warming, or Over Population. If you care about these things and put them into your story. Your story will be better because you’re adding things that you care about and the reader may care about.

It’s called social Satire. Years ago I attended a book signing for a murder mystery author. The author was from England. In her talk she mentioned a then current phenomenon in England where the crime rate plummeted. And it wasn’t for a good reason.

The police in England were getting captured criminals to confess to multiple crimes in exchange for reduced sentences. This reduced the number of unsolved crimes and made the police look better, they were catching criminals and reducing crime.

This is straight out of Terry Pratchett’s book. Sorry, I started to look for the particular volume, but kept getting sucked into the books. How did he write like that?

The book featured Captain Vimes and it was after Carrot got his girl friend the werewolf.

This is social satire. Using real events that people may not believe could happen, but did, in a make believe world.

You have to have had something that happened to you that sounds impossible. Like the IRS giving you money back, or getting out of a traffic ticket because it’s Monday. No, no one would believe that, besides it was on a Sunday.

Authors say that they can’t write about true events because the readers wouldn’t believe them and it would throw the reader out of the story. Put those impossible things, world shaking things in your story, steampunk is the perfect place for the world shaking unbelievable.

Stay strong, write on, and write about what concerns you.

Professor Hyram Voltage