Posts Tagged ‘urban fantasy’

If you will remember, back in January, I wrote a post about a dream that I had that turned into a story. For those that don’t remember, this was a story about demons and faeries. Anyway, I wrote a bit on it, worked on some character write-ups and then promptly set it aside when everything got crazy-busy during the moveandworkonthehousewhileignoringeverythingelse time.

Anyway, last week I realized that I really needed to get back to writing and trying to get in some paid work as well, as the budget has dwindled down and that’s no good since we have so much left to do…

So I spend my days looking at all my different job sources, sending out resumes and cover letters and when that is finished, I get back to my writing. While the job searches have been coming up empty currently, my writing has been flowing. I went back to my demons and Fae story. I figured this would be a short story. Something that could stand alone, but could also become bigger if I ever decided to continue writing in this universe. Well, this short story is not all that short. In the last week I have added about 7000 words to this story and I am still building up the story and adding characters.

There’s Asmodei, the loveable lust demon (ok, so loveable is definitely not the word to describe him, but I do happen to like him for all his evil ways).

There’s Titania, queen of the Fae on a self-imposed exile to the human realm. Selfish and in need of human adoration, her and Asmodei have a running rivalry related to human souls.

Enter Maggie, young, human, and directionless. Titania introduces her to the world of the Fae and throws her whole life into turmoil, and Maggie fights back every step of the way.

There’s also Bernie, a stupid human minion of the demon Belial who I was planning on killing off but now I’m not so sure. He annoys the hell out of me, but I’m not sure that it is reason enough to kill him. He may still have a bigger part to play in the story.

I find this story just keeps telling itself to me and is surprisingly effortless. Maybe I have finally found a long story I will stick with to the end? See, I don’t have a problem with short stories, flash fiction or even longer comic stories, but novel length stories have always floundered after awhile. I even tried NaNoWriMo to no avail. I get to a point where I want to change the story, or something I write just doesn’t gel with the rest of the story, but I think it really belongs with the rest of the story, which would require a huge rewrite. Sometimes I just hate the world I have built up, or as in the world-building post, I just get stuck on the world.

I have tried outlining, but that hasn’t really worked for me. Generally, I find that if I start writing and then outline when I get stuck, it helps to get the story moving again, but outlining the whole story does me no good when I end up changing the direction halfway through. But I am enjoying this story immensely, and writing more on it every day, so maybe this is THE ONE.

Besides writing and job searching and house stuff and yard stuff, I have been trying to fit in a few moments here and there to read. I get really, really cranky if I go too long without a decent book. But it’s hard to fit in reading time, especially with the long, epic fantasy books that I usually read in which I get totally absorbed in the world and just can’t put the damn thing down until it is finished. Which is where Vaginal Fantasy books come in. A few months ago, Felicia Day (awesome geek goddess extraordinaire and kindred spirit) came up with this book club idea and called it Vaginal fantasy. The books are all in the fantasy/sci-fi/steampunk/paranormal genres and have strong female characters at the forefront. Sometimes there’s romance and sometimes there’s smut, but there’s always a kick ass female main character. She gives a main book and then a back-up book. Overall, I have enjoyed the selections because they are not so serious and time consuming and in depth as epic fantasy. I read the book without needing to finish it IMMEDIATELY with what time I am able to eek out to read. When I finish the book I generally don’t feel the need to download the next in the series to my kindle because I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. Instead, I enjoy the book as I read it. This may not be what the authors want to hear, I know, but it is great for me.

So after having this discussion a few times that goes something like this:

Me- “I have been reading vaginal fantasy books lately.”

Giggles

Them- “Wait, what’s that?”

Me- “You know who Felicia Day is?”

Them- either yes or no, to which the no gets  a long list of things she has done to which the non-geeks among them still don’t know who I am talking about to which I respond with “anyway, google her when you have a chance. She is awesome.”

Me- “Anyway, she started this Vaginal Fantasy book club…”

Them “Oooh that sounds cool. I might like to read those books.”

Me-“Well maybe I should start a local chapter of the Vaginal Fantasy book club…”

Them- “Yes! That would be awesome!”

I have decided to actually do just that starting next month. We may or may not follow Felicia’s picks for the month and we may or may not meet up every month, but I think it will be a fun way to spend some time talking about books, which I love, and hanging out with my girls that I don’t get nearly enough time with, which I also love.

There will probably be some good discussions that I may or may not blog about, and probably some drinking moments that I probably shouldn’t blog about.

Reading, writing and making my house wonderful are all coming along nicely. Now if I could only find some paying work, I will be happily crazy busy!

Speaking of shameless plugs, if you are a knitter, and in the market for a new pattern that’s cheap, check out my other blog, Brigid’s Knits,  where my sister and I  blog about craftiness and knitting and have patterns on sale until the end of the month!

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They called me a hero. They thought I would save them. They watched me go mad, and reign over their destruction, and still they looked at me with hope and trust. Always believing that what I did was to save them. They were fools to trust me. I was a fool to believe them. When the end came and they asked my “why?” all I could do was laugh and cry. The sky turned black and the seas boiled. Mountains fell as the earth cracked and everywhere was blood and death. and me. I was the sole cause of it all. I was supposed to save them. How could I when I couldn’t even save myself? I don’t even have it in me to destroy myself as I deserve either. Or maybe I don’t. Maybe this is what I deserve. To live out the rest of my life alone, surrounded by the ruin I have made.

 

I came across this beginning part of an old novel today. I had written a few chapters of it, fleshed out some of the characters and set it aside to work on something else. Why? Not because I lost interest in the tale, but because of world-building. Whenever I sit down to work on the world, I get stuck . And being pure fantasy, well, I need to know the world. I need to know things that won’t ever make it into the story. The kinds of things that readers would take issue with, scoff at, call out as too much detail, in love with her world, and on and on. But it doesn’t change the fact that I need to know the world these characters live in. I need to know the rules of magic, the terrain, the races, the hierarchy and social systems. All of it has to be outlined in order for me to write the story I want to write. When I write urban fantasy, the world-building is much less important. I take from reality and mythology with a good dose of whateveriwant thrown in for good measure. It gives me time to focus on the story and the characters instead of the world. I get why epic fantasy writers always have to add more books as their readers sigh and complain, always waiting for the next book. It’s because this whole world all of a sudden becomes so much more complex than you thought it would. Characters become more involved and the story starts to take on a life of its own while you shout at it to wait for you. So what is it about world-building that makes me abandon a tale I want to tell? I really don’t know. I’ll sit down and start fleshing out details and hit a block that doesn’t coincide with what I have written or doesn’t work with the other structures I have set up.  I’ve never had to build an entire world before, the closest I’ve come to god-like qualities is growing babies. A world is a hell of a lot more involved (and takes a lot more thought) that something my body does naturally. (Notice-raising those babies into decent human beings? Much harder than building a world. It also takes years and years and you still never know how its going to turn out and you never get to hit delete and take out chapters you don’t like either.) Now before my digressions go too far, I’ll get back to the point. Which right now happens to be digressing. When unfocussed, world-building jumps all over the place, taking me from magic, to social to government, back to the actual story and over to characters. I have a hard time sticking to one topic, fleshing it out and moving on to the next, building off of whatever system I have already developed. Or some part of what I have actually worked on and developed inspires me to get back to the story until I realize that once again, I need to get back to my world-building in order to continue. Frustrations occur, another idea pops in my head and off I go to write a simpler story, while the novelIalwayswantedtowrite sits and waits patiently, popping up every so often to remind me of its presence. Do I have a solution? No. Do I have a point to this post? I guess not really, because just like my world-building, I have rambled all over the place trying to get an idea fleshed out and never really achieving what I set out to do. I am inspired though. I am motivated (today) to try my hand at building this world that starts with its destruction. Today I am beating this world into submission, making it obey me and be what I want it to be. At least until it hits me back. I never quite know what to do at that point. Just ask my little brother.

 

So speaking of world-building, are there any tips or tricks you employ in your own writing to actually flesh out a world so that the writing flows easily? Or do you let it all just come to you as you write?