1. Zombie_Chinchilla
    Offline

    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mechanic Character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Zombie_Chinchilla, Sep 28, 2010.

    So, in the novel I'm working on, one my main characters is a mechanic in a fantasy/steampunk environment. The fact that she is a mechanic plays a big part in the story, and I was wondering- do you think I should research mechanic stuff in order to write it? Should I make it up as I go? Or should I just not mention what she's working on?
     
  2. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    Shuold do some research and get yourself familiar with a engine. That is if you plan to have her talking and working. You could make it up as you go, but mechanics and people familiar with mechanics might be a bit annoyed if you got someting completely off.

    So I would suggest that you do research.
     
  3. Quorum1
    Offline

    Quorum1 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    On my couch
    I'd say it's always better to research, it will help you get inside her head if nothing else.
     
  4. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Depends - if it's real, do your research.

    If it's fantasy, you can get away with making it up, BUT make sure you're consistent! Sloppily done fantasy is never acceptable, esp. when you use "it's just fantasy" as an excuse.

    I'm curious, Zombie_C....is your avator inspired by the horror movie Eraserhead?
     
  5. IVIilitarus
    Offline

    IVIilitarus Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Africa
    Good to do your research. Have a few diagrams of engines of the type you're working with nearby. Google does good things. Referring to general parts of an engine like pistons can give the impression that you know stuff, but don't. You can't do that forever, though.

    Not mentioning what goes on works if it's a major thingy that you wanna keep secret. If the readers find out that the thing they've been longing to see is mundane, they'll be disappointed.
     
  6. wavodavo
    Offline

    wavodavo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    Z_C, do you mean by this that her being a mechanic is central to the story because she employs her mechanical skills to resolve the conflict? Or, she's a mechanic in grease smeared overalls and grimy nails at a well-heeled debutante ball?

    If she's fixing things and inventing things and you have no idea how steam made pistons move and how pressure gauges work and what made the old style speed governors work--you might consider changing her occupation to something you do know. Or, as others suggest, start reading steam punk and going to railroad museums to see how locomotives were put together. Watch "How To" automotive TV shows or YouTube videos to see how mechanics talk to each other. Any research/experience will make your writing ring more authentic.

    If she's a mechanic at a frilly ball and your point is she holds her own somehow against the finest flowers of society, I say you can get away without knowing squat about bearings, grease zerks or belt drives.
     
  7. Zombie_Chinchilla
    Offline

    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    In my story, an enemy army storms the main characters' small town, and kidnaps her because the army's mechanics have been killed in combat. So it's basically the reason she's in the situation she's in. If that makes sense. :\

    Anyways, I think I will research the basics of steam-powered engines, just so I have an idea of what she's doing.

    Thanks everyone for the tips! :]
     
  8. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Your story sounds awesome.
     
  9. Zombie_Chinchilla
    Offline

    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ha ha, thanks. :redface: :love:
     

Share This Page