Friday, November 23, 2012

Fantasy Feedback: You Tell Me

In the wake of Turkey Day I have a whole day to myself to write. Since I'm 3K behind on my Nanowrimo count my butt will be in the chair most of today.

This is my first foray into the Urban Fantasy genre. I've taken the magical race of people in my fantasy novel and propelled a remnant forward in time, where they struggle to survive in the modern world. One poor human female gets mixed up in their internal affairs and finds herself stuck with magic, unable to go home but an outcast in Hanorjan society.

However, I'm so accustomed to writing epic fantasy that I'm wondering how much these two genres are allowed to cross. I can't help writing magical elements in my stories. They just creep out of my fingertips onto the keyboard. My heroine is resistant to believing the things that are happening to her but gradually has to admit they are real, though she still creates elaborate rational explanations.

So what is your opinion on this, if you read fantasy or urban fantasy? How much are you willing to suspend belief in a modern setting? Would you read something with a strong fantasy element set in the "real" world?

If you don't read fantasy or or don't have an opinion, tell me what you like to see in a good story. What pulls you in most? Characters, setting, exciting action, beautiful writing?


  1. I've heard agents and editors say that if you create compelling characters, everything else is frosting. Meaning you can create whatever kind of fantasy world you want with whatever rules, and even violate your own rules (to a degrees) but in the end it comes down to believable characters. Would the characters act the way they do in whatever situation they are in?

  2. As long as it is internally consistent, I am very generous in my suspension of disbelief. Personally, what can break my disbelief fasted is character related stuff. I had to stop reading a fantasy book yesterday (by an author I normally enjoy) because he just did a really bad job of portraying a character's conversion from disbelief to belief.

    As far as 'strong fantasy element in the "real" world', the biggest thing that can break my disbelief is when there is no explanation for how the fantasy element remains hidden. If you have mages duking it out with fireballs over central park and try to tell me that no one knows magic exists... well, you'd better have a REALLY good explanation. If you have magical creatures who specialize in illusions, or who have built secret societies in hidden in the Rocky Mountains...I can get behind that.

    Some of books are urban fantasy, some including some very impressive effects (Lackey's Bedlam's Bard for instance). Its the explanation of the fantasy that makes it believable.

  3. Thanks guys! That works for me. I try really hard to lay the groundwork for everything and create distinctive characters. It may be my mathematical training, but everything has to be logical and fit together.

    I probably spend too long working out the details, actually. Happy post-turkey writing!

  4. Hi Christine; I hope your writing is going well and you're catching up.

    I have to agree with Andrew and Jessica; just write good characters and build your world, same as any other fantasy. The easy part of a "modern urban fantasy" is that the geographic settings are pretty much already created depending on the location.

    You already build excellent characters and societies, I'm sure you'll do fine with an urban fantasy.


  5. I've read both fantasy and urban fantasy. I think you can pretty much do anything, although a lot of times I've noticed there is a 'passage' to the alternate world that is often crossed to keep the two realities seperate. Good luck!

  6. Thanks, Donna. I've missed you. I don't have time for blogging any more. It's just quick FB stuff.

    How are you?

    I really miss CIC, too.

  7. Thanks, CQG! I do have a barrier and it's kind of fun having them go back and forth. Lots of potential for cool stuff in future books.


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