Why exactly am I writing Urban Fantasy, you might ask, if you were one of the creatures living in my head. (There are many, and they are varied. Some are fanged.) I might have asked myself that as well. It might be that I am a little insecure, and don’t think I can write a good enough epic to get published, not in this bat time and this bat station. It might be that I read too many blogs and see too many posts on Absolute Write from people that don’t want to read about elves anymore. Not to mention the aforementioned notes from all the agents that don’t represent what they call (with a shudder, I imagine) “regular” fantasy. (I shudder too, to tell you the truth. I don’t think of it as regular. Wait, I said ‘not to mention’ and mentioned it anyway. Mah bad!) This perception might be wrong, culled from naysayers and nogooders. Now – that said. The idea of writing an Urban Fantasy seemed quite daunting to me. I am not a creature of the cities. I’ve lived in the suburbs all my life, and longed for the country. I prefer horses to cars. I love a wide open meadow as opposed to a grungy little coffee shop nudged in between a grocery and some import/export depot. I’m not a fan of garage fronts and find fire escapes interfere with the flow of a building.
I came up with what I think is a really good idea for Urban Fantasy. Well, two, actually. The first one I failed at for NaNo, but I have no doubt it will be the next book I write, as soon as I hammer out some plot points. Someone jokingly called this other idea (the one I am working on now) a cross between Chuck and the Dresden Files. I like that. It seems like a good idea makes working on a setting and a person to go in that setting a lot easier. I didn’t think I could build in a city. You know – world build? I look out across a prairie and plop in a castle, a thatched village, a magical ethereal city, or a few outlying farms and call it a day. I didn’t imagine I could do the same thing with a concrete jungle. But holy cow. I’ve already had a battle in a parking garage and followed a Dark Spark down into a subterranean basement laundry, places I know and work with as easily as a fenny marsh or an underground set of lost caves. I guess just because you don’t live in the big bad city, it doesn’t mean you can’t move around in one, using the theatre of one’s mind. And after all, I’ve watched a lot of Friends and Law and Order, SVU. I’m also venting my feelings about modern architecture, which I HATE. And guess what? My MC hates it, too. Take that, post-modern functionality!!
My other problem with a modern setting is my image of a heroine. I like long princess dresses and red hair. Ha! I know. Cliché. Surprisingly, this girl who jumped into my mind has a little pixie haircut (most likely nabbed from Jo on Spooks – a British tv show I am currently obsessed with.) I didn’t want a cliché club girl, either, with big blue eyes and blond hair. She’s short, has brown hair and eyes, a little curvy, and she wears a brown leather jacket. She wears her piece, it’s always her piece, never her gun, in a shoulder holster. (I’m not about to admit I practiced what it was like to pull a gun from a shoulder holster in the mirror. Nope. Not at all.)
So. I have a setting, I have a character. Both fit into a modern, urban fantasy-type setting and story. Said story is chugging along to the tune of 11k. Feels fine. *Looks up at posters of fantasy-type settings.* ...Maybe after the Hobbit gets released….