One of the purposes of this Wiki is to document the backstories for cowford. But what if you have no
idea of who you are in this big little town called cowford.. what then? Well taking notes from the central
florida steam punk society here is some suggestions on building your persona. Additionally There is a persona questionare which may help as well...
Y.O.S Prof Von Ahrent
Character Development Class and Discussion
The following is a list of notes taken from our Character Development Class and Discussion held on July 26, 2011. Please feel free to use this, and any other material that you may find in order to better your character’s appearance and reality. Remember that it is all fun and games; there is no wrong way to do this. If you need any help, feel free to write back and ask questions to any of the CFSA members. You need to get to know yourself a little bit in order to create a better character. Get to know your own personal taste and ideas before you get started. Look at a few books and as many different pictures as you can in order to get a good idea of what you will ultimately look like, or want to look like. This will be a work in progress, and may change from time to time.
Don’t think that you have to “stay” in the Victorian era only. Make a character and play within it. The Victorian Era is not one year in particular and Steampunk does not have a set fixed time in history, so fee free to use Gothic Era clothes, or a little after Victorian Era to get ideas.
Safety First! Have elements than can be added or removed in case of toning down, or dressing up based on event, and/or restrictions that may occur based on where you are. (Say security of a place says no guns, or that all weapons need to be attached at all times.) Be conscious of what your costume has, can it be considered a weapon, make sure that you can remove it in case of a problem.
Places to buy Items for your Persona:
thrift stores, second hand stores, and of course emporiums and Steampunk based stores.
If you cannot find an item, think of making it. There are many sites that will give you patterns. Patterns can be found online, and at stores but since they do not go out of style they may seem more expensive. Look for bargains, and blow out sales.
Don’t forget about the weather where you are going to be using the costume.
Not all places are cool, and layered costumes are hot! Be considerate of the fabrics, polyester while less expensive, are hotter than linen or cotton fabrics. Your storyline may dictate and help create a better portrayal of your appearance. Don’t forget that the patterns can also be altered to better a look or make things more to your personal style. What is in the name? Is there a story behind your name or reason for having it or changing it.
A little about hats… does your character need one. What is the use of it? Male of Female hats are a thing of the past, but they have a “class” and a use. Remember what they are for, and look into the history of the hat and appropriate use. These can be found online, and locally at costume stores. Prices for this can vary wildly and can be very creative. Think about whether or not you want the real thing, this will best determine how much you will spend on your costume and how authentic or real it will look.
Jewelry for the ladies can be very varied also, and will look better if you put it together from your own creations. Some real Era jewelry will be expensive, but you can find inexpensive pieces that you can strip and change up.
Time pieces for men can also be in this same group of look around and find. Also, remember… does your character need it. Clockwork pieces do not make a better Steampunk character, but they look cool.
Consider that your costume will not only be hot, but it can also be very heavy, so be considerate of materials that you use.
Shoes oh fabulous shoes! A very important detail… very important to remember that it can make or break your costume. Online, you will find endless sites dedicated to this.
Is your character based or in the US? Do not forget that characters do not have to be of one culture, or country that is defined by Steampunk. The Victorian Era is your guideline so use the world to create a better character. There are quite a few sites out there which deal with multi-culturalism and steam punk. So don’t limit yourself to strictly Victorian Brittan.
About corsets… ladies… make sure that if you get a corset that cinches, that the corset is made and sized for you. It can be very uncomfortable and will cause more harm than good. The fashion should not kill you. The corsets are also very different for the ages, so do the homework as to how it will fit in order to have all the rest of the clothes fit. A well fitted corset will be expensive, and they will measure you completely.
Try to create a back story:
this can be as intricate as possible or as simple, but this will help you create a better costume and a more formal presentation.
Finally, please remember that Goggles, Cogs and Sprockets are NOT necessary… if your character needs them because of their trade or travels, is one thing, but they are not mandatory. You can use spectacles, or shaded spectacles instead, so do not let anyone tell you that your character is not Steampunk just because you do not have goggles sitting on your head.
Enjoy the creation factor of your character and try to make a personal history out of it. Sometimes just taking your own life, and tweaking it a bit in order to make it more “steamy” will help. Get a friend to help, or another person that is already gotten started and see where the characters meet or conflict. A good alibi is great, a great enemy is better! Some discord and a person to play off of, is good too.
Thank you for your time and attention. We all hope that this will help and make you feel more comfortable with Steampunk.