My first books were sheer fantasy and there is a freedom to writing fantasy; if you need a small, venomous fish whose bite triggers hallucinations to waylay your heroine, all you have to do is describe one.
Steampunk though, is altered history, so, while you can imagine that Rufus Porter established the first “airline” in 1848, you have to pay some attention to the reality of the times. If you want his dirigibles to expand service to include a bi-weekly run to Mars, some idea as to how he managed it has to be shoe-horned in without derailing the momentum.
A system for reminding yourself to check whether or not iced tea was widely available in 1893 or what year the Japanese national anthem was composed – incidentally, yes, and 1868 – becomes indispensable.
And while using research as an excuse to read a book you can’t otherwise justify has its pleasures, it is possible to feel a bit “bogged down”, maybe even just a bit tired of it all.
Committing myself to punching through the “bog” has paid off. I’m rediscovering how much I love this story, how utterly insane, fallible, noble and human its characters are.
I’m remembering why I do this. Word count for the day 1070 words.