Thoughts from an urban fantasy writer’s panel


With electricity prices skyrocketing, solar paneling may be your urban fantasy, but it is not the sort of panel I am referring to…

The Brisbane Writer’s Festival is in full swing, and I thought I would summarise some of the key points I learned from the urban fantasy panel last year:  Nalini Singh, Marjorie M.Liu and Paula Weston.

Nalini Singh – Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series

Marjorie M.Liu – Hunter Kiss series

Paula Weston – Rephaim series

1) Know where you are going with your world and how  it will end.

Some of us are plotters and some are pantsers. Either way, knowing how your world will evolve and how the story will end will help you build the layers through your installments. You’ll know when the time is right for the series to end.

2) Characters need to show light and dark and growth.

If there is nowhere for your character to head to or come from, readers will be less interested as they like to follow a journey.

3) Keep the tone of your series consistent.

If you start your book as one genre, readers will expect that it will stay that way – don’t change it. If your series will head in a different direction, you need to set the expectations for your readers early on.

4) If you are having writer’s block, make sure you don’t leave it too long before you write again.

Marjorie said that she left it two weeks once, and every day she left it made it harder for her to return.

5) Create your own mythology, but keep it consistent and believable.

And when they say believable, they  mean that readers need to be able to accept the mythology you have built, not that you expect to see vampires walking next to you. If you provide limitations on the paranormal aspect, then your magic system/creature will be more believable as well.

6) Don’t write to a trend.

We hear this all the time. Write what you love when you love it even if nobody else does at the time. Your passion will be translated through your words. Chuck Wendig did a great post on his terribleminds blog. Can I just link other peeoples blogs or am I meant to reblog? Hmmm

What will be the next big thing? Urban fantasy. Oh, they didn’t say that? Well, I’m saying it.

It’s on….