I’ve been agonizing all day about what to blog about. I mean, it’s Monday! I also woke up with just enough of a cold to feel crummy. So feeling crummy and cleaning house don’t make for great blog posts. The kids are all hacking and sneezing, and I’ve wiped a lot of snot over the last weekend.
This July is also Camp Nanowrimo. I’m working on two stories at the same time–Dragonblood Vampire, and my third complete rewrite of Jake and Revi’s story, which still doesn’t have a proper title. To keep myself on track, I’ve been looking at Three Act Structure and the Plot Clock. James Scott Bell just detailed the Magical Midpoint Moment.
Altogether it’s been most helpful. I’m so thankful for the Internet, where people so easily share their vast stores of knowledge for free.
I’ve also discovered the wonderfulness of Goodreads for finding books similar to what I like. Specifically, the lists. You can start a list of a certain kind of books, and anybody can add to it and vote for their favorites. It’s a really interesting way of comparing books.
From what I’ve seen, Urban Fantasy usually goes like this.
Here’s a snarky dude. He’s usually a detective or a cop of some sort, and he’s always got a supernatural background–angel, demon, mage, druid, monster hunter. Now comes the conflict. Usually he’s been framed for some kind of crime, or his supernatural boss goes missing, or his girlfriend turns out to be a vampire or something. Anyway, now the guy is the only person standing between Earth and the apocalypse.
I’ve been chuckling a lot, because Storm Chase hits most of those high points. I guess it’s urban fantasy! Except Storm Chase isn’t dark and gritty, like a lot of these books. I guess it’s only Modern Fantasy.
Dragonblood Vampire, on the other hand, IS gritty. I feel like I’m writing some kind of crazy fanfic, because it’s just that much fun. And making one of the antagonists a furry was just the cherry on top of a delicious Chinese-flavored dessert. Here’s a sketch and an excerpt:
She began to chant in Chinese. Almost from the first word the foxes came. I sat on the step and watched them, and the hairs on my neck stood up. The hair on my scalp tried to stand up, too.
Some of them looked like actual foxes. Little four-legged things with fluffy tails and little pixy faces. But other ones came with them–things like werewolves on two legs, with slavering jaws and dagger-like claws on their hands. Still more came, horse-sized things with long pointed faces, snake eyes and wavering, flaming coats. Tails waved behind them like hydra heads. All of them had a little ball of light floating over its head or burning on its chest.
As Jia-Li finished her chant, the ranks of fox-monsters parted, and Daji came.
I knew her because she was a furry. I’ve seen tons of creatures just like her on deviantArt. She had a smoking hot woman’s body with no clothing, only tufts of fur in strategic spots. Her face was entirely fox, with a teeny muzzle and nose, and great fluffy fur on her cheeks, and enormous ears. Nine tails floated behind her like a cloud. They changed colors the whole time she was there. Her ball of light was right in the middle of her forehead.
Jia-Li beckoned me forward. I didn’t want to get any closer to those monsters than I had to, and I didn’t like the way they all leered at me and licked their teeth.
When it comes to busting writer’s block, Wikipedia is a quick and dirty way to do it. I don’t trust more than a fraction of what I read on there for history, but for information on gods and monsters, the wilder the speculation, the better! I mean, I’m going to change these stories a lot as I include them in my writing anyway.
So that’s hodgepodge Monday.