Okay, I did it! I promised to post one chapter a week for a short urban fantasy novel until it was finished. And I made it. I posted the last chapter on Friday. Once it was up, I spent the rest of the day, putting all of the images and chapters together into one book, and I’d written over 48,000 words. Not bad.
River City Rumble is the last story, so far, in a series of novellas that I’ve been writing for a long time. When I’m wading deep in middle muddles of other books, I turn to Babet and Prosper to re-energize me, to pull me out of the muck. And they always come through. That’s why I decided they deserved a novel of their own instead of a week or two of my attention in short spurts. They’d earned their own novel.
The thing is, urban fantasy writers–at least, the ones I read–tend to use a big cast of characters, and those characters grow in number with each book they write. Now, don’t get me wrong. I loved writing about all of the people I’d introduced in previous novellas, but it’s hard to keep track of them all in one book. Before, in shorter works, I picked and chose who I wanted to highlight. In this book, I decided to go bigger and better. I wanted someone or something that threatened everyone in River City, so that they’d all have to work together to defeat him/it. The trick was to try to bring each person in and then not forget him when the next person joined the team.
Hatchet and Colleen had to be part of the struggle. Hatchet is Prosper’s partner on River City’s supernatural detective force, and Colleen’s his vampire/wife. If Hatchet’s walking into danger, she’d be beside him. Babet’s mom and Hennie had to help, too, because they’re all part of River City’s coven. And since the villain/antagonist who instigates all of the trouble is a vampire who controls a huge seethe, every vampire in River City will band together to battle him. And those characters are just for starters. By the end of the book, the voodoo community and the shape shifters all joined in, too. But you know what they say–the more, the merrier. So we all just teamed together and did our thing.
The second decision I made while posting my weekly chapters was to include an image with each one of them. I’ve done that with some of the short stories I post on my webpage (all available in its left column, if you’re interested). But I don’t do it on any regular basis. This time, I had to come up with an image every single week. And to my surprise, I found ones that fit my idea of what suited each scene. One of my readers–and I so appreciate this–complimented me on them. That meant so much to me, coming from her. My biggest challenge, though, came when I started to write the last chapter.
Urban fantasies–at least, my favorites–are a string of small battles that lead to a big, final battle, usually to the death. That meant I had to wrap up every small subplot before I stepped onto the battlefield. I’d created an antagonist–and I’m proud of this–whom many people loathed. She wasn’t the main villain, but more than a few readers said they hoped she got what she deserved before the book ended. I hope I satisfied them. Then, I was clear to send almost every supernatural in River City out to meet Zanor. This couldn’t be just any battle, though. The good guys couldn’t win too easily. They had to face near death to overcome their enemies. And everyone had to have a part. That’s when things got tricky. And that’s when I had to bring in more evil reinforcements so that Zanor’s forces gave as good as they got.
My protagonists survived, and so did I. But I really sweated that chapter. Fingers crossed that it satisfies. Now, it’s time for me to move on and concentrate on my fourth Mill Pond romance. A complete change of style. And that’s a good thing for me. I’m a Libra. It helps keep me balanced. Hope you find balance in your writing this week! Hit those keys.
My webpage: http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/
My author’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JudithPostsurbanfantasy/?ref=bookmarks
And FYI: If you’re a fan of epic fantasy, my friend, M. L. Rigdon’s PROPHECY DENIED is FREE thru March 7: http://www.amazon.com/PROPHECY-DENIED-Seasons-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B004S7EQ92/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1457193638&sr=1-1&keywords=m+l+rigdon
2 thoughts on “The Thing About Urban Fantasy”
That’s a lot of ground covered about writing. Laid out like that, it makes me kinda tired but it’s the work we do every day. And thanks for the shout out about PD!
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Doing the week by week serial did take a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun! I always enjoy writing about Babet and Prosper.