Depite its many gleeful anachronisms, steampunk is one form of historical fiction (which is why I wouldn’t recommend it to people who refuse to do research*) – so here’s a post by Glass Cases on doing it right.
The full article is here.
When You Should Go Back to the Future
The triumphs and struggles of human beings on a personal level transcends any decade. When deciding when to set your story, ask yourself if this story could be told just as easily in present-day. The Diary of Anne Frank, for example, cannot. The Vampire Diaries, however, can. It wouldn’t matter if Elena is a young hippie from the ’60s, a tech-crazy gamer in the ’90s, or (as it stands) fairly popular former cheerleader in present-day Mystic Falls. Likewise, it wouldn’t matter if Stefan and Damon were turned into vampires in the 1400s, 1800s, or last week. The plot is independent from personal attributes.
In the next VERY short while (within two weeks, I promise), I have three particularly cool awesomenesses planned:
1. Eurovision party
2. Steam train!
3. Something even more awesome than those two. . . but I’m not telling what it is!!**
*or writing in general, for that matter.
**I use two exclamation points wisely. This awesomeness is the biz, big time.