Urban fantasy is a genre where fantasy creations, such as witches and monsters, exist within our normal mundane world. Sometimes these magical creatures are known about, such as in The Nevers, and other times they’re kept hidden, such as in Harry Potter. When you’re writing urban fantasy, it’s likely that your fantasy characters will need a private space within their urban community. This often takes the form of magical schools or other training facilities. I’ll explore things you need to consider when creating that environment.
Planning your story well can make the writing process easier. You won’t wander off on side adventures or get muddled as you build to the climax because you’ve already decided where you’re going. A story plan can make sure you go in with characters already developed and ready to move, and plot twists ready to construct. However, even the most carefully built story plan can become more of a burden than an aid. I’ll be exploring reasons why you should be willing to follow your story as it develops, rather than stick rigidly to a pre prepared story plan.
The inciting incident of your story is the moment that triggers the start of your story conflict. I’ll explain how to write one well so …
Your story follows your Protagonist on a journey to achieve a story goal, and your Antagonist trying to stop them. As long as these characters are motivated, your story conflict is active. I’ll explain why an active story conflict is essential to keep your story moving forwards and entertaining.
Keeping your audience caring about this story, these characters, is essential. It means they’ll finish this story, then trust you enough to come back for more.
The pace of your story is how quickly it moves from one plot point to another, and is controlled by the details between the plot points. A slower paced story will include more thoughts, feelings and descriptions. A faster pace will use fewer.
One of the most important ways to write a story that is entertaining is by keeping the stakes high. If your story doesn’t have high stakes, it implies what’s going on doesn’t really matter. If it doesn’t really matter, there’s no real reason to follow that journey and it feels boring. In this post I’ll be explaining how to give your story high stakes by implementing time-locks.
When you’re writing your story, it’s a good idea to write from the perspective of one of the characters. It allows your story to feel more real and personal to your readers, and they will connect to your character as they share their experiences. However, sometimes you’ll want to hop perspectives to see the story through different eyes.
The belief that in a Universe so huge, so vast and undiscovered, that some huge power would choose to change and shape the world to tell your story is cosmic narcissism. It’s the over inflated sense of self importance that comes with classic narcissism, but without the need for validation or tendency towards bullying. Of course, a cosmic narcissist could also be a toxic narcissist, but not always.
For a successful series, you need more than just the long form conflict. Something needs to happen each episode to tell a short mini story, a mini conflict. For this, you need a conflict engine. In this post, I’ll explore what one is, why it matters, and how to create one.