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30 Steampunk Writing Prompts

Steampunk Writing Prompts

Steampunk is all about that awesome blend of Victorian flair and crazy sci-fi gadgets, right?

And who doesn’t love a good story with airships and goggles?

The problem is, even the biggest steampunk fan can get stuck staring at a blank page.

That’s where these prompts come in!

We’ve cooked up a bunch of ideas to jumpstart your imagination and get you writing about a world where top hats meet test tubes.

So, buckle up, unleash your creativity, and get ready to steampunkify your writing!

Steampunk Writing Prompts

  1. Temporal Locket: Lilia finds an intricate locket at a flea market which turns out to be a steampunk time-travel device. Every time she opens it, she’s sent to a critical moment in history, only to realize that changes in the past can drastically affect her present. The locket’s origins and its previous owners become the center of her quest, as she tries to set right what once went wrong.

  2. Mechanical Menagerie: Dr. Octavius Grey runs a circus of mechanical animals, each with its unique behavior and personality. When a mysterious saboteur starts tampering with the creations, turning them against their human companions, the circus crew must unveil the person behind the attacks while discovering Grey’s hidden blueprints for a mechanical human.

  3. The Steam-Powered Heist: The Royal Steampunk Bank holds the most precious gem in the empire, The Crimson Heart. A group of thieves led by the elusive Nightshade plans to rob it using steam-powered gadgets. As they infiltrate the bank, they find themselves in a much deeper conspiracy involving the royal family and the origins of steam technology.

  4. The Inventor’s Tournament: Every decade, the great city of Ironhold hosts an inventor’s tournament. The challenge: create the most innovative, beneficial machine for the city’s populace. Young engineer Clara enters with her invention but realizes the competition is more cutthroat than she expected. Amidst sabotage and industrial espionage, she uncovers a plot to take over the city using the inventions from the tournament.

  5. The Labyrinthine Library: The grand library of Etherium is known for its endless maze of bookshelves and ancient tomes. When a librarian discovers that books are disappearing and being replaced by counterfeit versions, she stumbles into a hidden world within the library where stories come alive. To save the world of stories and the real one, she must decipher the ancient prophecies hidden within the books.

  6. Bionic Buccaneers: Pirates in the steam age have evolved, with bionic limbs, airships, and cannons powered by compressed steam. Captain Alaric, a pirate with a steam-powered heart, finds a map leading to the Isle of Ethers, a legendary place said to hold technology beyond imagination. As he sails in pursuit of the treasure, rival pirates and empires chase, all wanting the power for themselves.

  7. Clockwork Constellations: In a world where the night sky is dominated by steampunk celestial bodies, astronomers are mechanics who adjust the clockwork stars and planets. Orion, a young mechanic, discovers a forgotten constellation hidden in an old workshop. As he begins to restore it, strange occurrences start in the city below. He must unravel the myth of the lost constellation and its effects on their world.

  8. The Steam Scribe’s Scroll: Manuscripts are written using steam-infused ink that animates the stories on paper. Elandra, a scribe, accidentally creates a tale that begins to influence reality, intertwining fiction with real events. As boundaries blur, she must find a way to rewrite the ending before the narrative reaches its climax, a disaster that could consume her city.

  9. Ironbound Island: An isolated island houses a prison for the most dangerous inventors, whose innovations threatened the empire’s status quo. When an inventor inside the prison creates a machine that can manipulate time, prisoners and guards alike are thrown into past and future timelines. The race is on to find and control the time machine before the island’s existence is wiped from history.

  10. The Cogsmith’s Daughter: Anabella, the daughter of a renowned cogsmith, crafts a humanoid automaton named Lucius to be her companion. When Lucius starts to develop human emotions and memories of a life he never lived, the duo seeks out the reason for his unusual evolution, uncovering an ancient guild of sentient machines plotting to reclaim their place in the world.

  11. Beneath the Steam Seas: Deep below the ocean’s waves is a bustling steampunk Atlantis, powered by thermal vents and protected by a colossal dome. A rift appears in the dome, and marine engineer Riven is tasked to repair it. However, in doing so, she discovers an ancient oceanic race and a secret the city’s founders have kept hidden for centuries.

  12. The Dirigible Detective: Private Investigator Maxwell Brass, aboard the floating city of Aeropolis, is known for solving cases using his intricate steam-powered gadgets. When the mayor’s daughter goes missing, all signs point to a mythical creature from old tales. As Maxwell digs deeper, he realizes that the crime is just the tip of an iceberg of political intrigue and rebellion against the city’s elite.

  13. The Etheric Explorer: Lorne, an adventurer, sets out on his airship to find the fabled “Fifth Element” or Aether, a substance believed to give unparalleled power to steam technologies. As he journeys through uncharted territories, he faces sky pirates, ancient guardians, and rival explorers. The real challenge emerges when he must decide what to do with the Aether, as it possesses the power to either elevate or destroy civilization.

  14. Gilded Gears Gala: The annual Gilded Gears Gala is a prestigious event where the elite showcase their latest steampunk fashion and inventions. This year, however, a rogue inventor plans to unleash a device that will incapacitate the attendees and rob them blind. Amidst the glitz and glamour, undercover agent Isolde must unmask the mastermind and prevent the heist of the century.

  15. The Nomadic Nebula: This vast desert is no ordinary wasteland; by day it’s sand, but at night it transforms into a sea of intricate gears and cogs. Nomad tribes navigate using steam-driven sand-skiffs, uncovering buried cities as the desert shifts. Kael, a young nomad, discovers an ancient mechanical oracle in the sand, propelling him on a journey to uncover his tribe’s true origins.

  16. Radiant Rails: The intercontinental railway, known as The Radiant Rails, connects various steampunk metropolises. Unknown to most, it’s powered by a captured phoenix in the engine room. When engineer Lorna learns of this, she partners with a group of rebels to free the mythical creature, while battling the corporates wanting to harness its eternal energy.

  17. Warden of the Warped Woods: Deep in the mechanical forest, where trees are made of metal and leaves of fine copper, there exists a mythical creature that has been corrupted by a mysterious force. Forester Adair, the warden of the woods, must embark on a quest to restore balance, realizing that the key lies in rekindling ancient guardian spirits that once protected the land.

  18. The Tinkerer’s Twin: Inventor Malcolm creates a mirror using rare crystals, which showcases an alternate steampunk reality. Unexpectedly, his reflection steps out, revealing a twin from a parallel world. As the boundaries between the two worlds blur, they must work together to prevent a cosmic collapse triggered by their invention.

  19. Skyward Sanctuary: High above the clouds, there’s a hidden sanctuary where old airships go to “retire.” This celestial junkyard is a treasure trove of forgotten tech. Avery, a young scavenger, stumbles upon it, awakening ancient defense systems and uncovering the sanctuary’s secret role in a long-lost steampunk war.

  20. Ballad of the Brass Bard: In a city where music melds with mechanics, the Brass Bard is a legend, turning songs into steam-powered wonders. A young apprentice, Faelan, is chosen but realizes that each invention extracts a memory from the bard. To save his mentor, Faelan dives deep into the music, finding a rhythm that can reverse the mechanic memory drain.

  21. Mystic Mechanical Museum: Curator Elowen inherits a museum where each exhibit has a life of its own. By night, the exhibits replay tales from the steampunk era. One evening, a shadowy figure starts altering exhibits, changing history in real-time. Elowen must navigate the changing tides of time to restore the true chronicles and unmask the intruder.

  22. The Great Gear Games: Every four years, athletes from different steampunk cities compete in the Great Gear Games, showcasing their strength, agility, and innovative tech. This year, however, an underground group plans to sabotage the games to send a message against the ruling elite. Security officer Lana, while ensuring the safety of the games, stumbles upon a deeper conspiracy, realizing the rebels might be fighting for a just cause overshadowed by the games’ glitz.

  23. The Wandering Workshop: This isn’t your regular workshop; it’s a moving entity, spanning several carriages of a never-stopping train. On board, inventors and artisans collaborate to create marvelous inventions. But when the workshop’s steam engine, a relic said to be built by the gods, starts to falter, a group must venture off-train into unknown territories to find a legendary fuel source said to power the heavens.

  24. Harmonics of the Heliopolis: The city of Heliopolis thrives on harmony between its citizens and their steam-powered creations. At its heart is the Grand Organ, an instrument whose notes maintain this balance. When a malevolent entity tries to play a discordant melody, Caden, a mute boy with a deep connection to the Organ, emerges as an unlikely hero. He communicates using steam-powered sign language gloves and must restore the harmonious heartbeats of Heliopolis.

  25. Pneumatic Post-Pandemonium: The Royal Pneumatic Postal Service guarantees mail delivery within hours using an intricate system of tubes and steam-powered capsules. But chaos ensues when letters start arriving from the future, causing panic and disorder. Mail sorter Iria teams up with an eccentric inventor to trace the source and prevent the time-disrupting postal paradox.

  26. The Draconian Dirigible: A massive airship, shaped and powered like a dragon, patrols the skies to protect the realms below. Piloted by elite air-knights, they guard against sky pirates and rogue states. Sir Alarion, a young knight, stumbles upon plans for a more massive, deadlier Draconian Dirigible, one that could tip the balance of power. He embarks on a mission to uncover the puppeteer behind this potential war machine.

  27. Chronicle of the Chimney Sweep: In a steampunk metropolis, the city’s stories are told by the patterns of soot in the chimneys. Lark, a young chimney sweep, starts reading these tales and discovers a pattern predicting the city’s doom. As he tries to warn the city leaders, he’s caught up in a whirlwind adventure, racing against time to decipher the sooty signs and save his home.

  28. Guardians of the Gear-Grave: An underground catacomb exists, where outdated and broken machinery are laid to rest. Legend says these ancient tech spirits can be summoned in times of need. When the city above faces a colossal threat, Mechanic Myra descends into the depths, hoping to awaken and seek help from these forgotten tech titans.

  29. Voyage of the Vapor Valkyrie: The Vapor Valkyrie is an airship said to appear during storms, helmed by Captain Lyria, a ghost seeking to complete her final voyage. When engineer Nolan miraculously survives a crash during a storm, he finds himself aboard the Vapor Valkyrie. He’s thrust into the ethereal realm, helping Lyria in her quest to find peace while looking for a way to return to the land of the living.

  30. Sovereign of the Steam Sanctum: Hidden in the snowy peaks lies a monastery where monks master the art of steam-bending. They live in harmony with their environment, using steam to heal and create. However, when an outsider arrives, seeking to harness this power for warfare, young monk Elandril must protect the secrets of the sanctum and prevent the sacred steam from being weaponized.