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Dark Urban Fantasy – Novel Update – “Shadows Taking Shape”

Writing of the newest novel proceeds apace. I’m still in the first third of the book, but it’s making good headway. I want to reach 30,000 words – a little less than half the book – by June 1. That way I’m on track to finish, edit, get a cover, and publish by end of year.

(Yes, I know that’s a while to wait. Like many of you, I have this pesky thing called a ‘job’ bothering me every day.)

We’re far enough along that I can share some nice juicy details though!

The Notion

When you, Readers of Wrongness, picked “Dark Urban Fantasy” as my next book option, I was going by a simple genre definition: Fantasy-style story, with magic, using an urban setting.
Think cold city blocks illuminated by magic streetlamps. Shadows everywhere. A lot of eye makeup. Characters stopping in every corner to brood as melodramatically as possible.

Okay, maybe not that morose. I should make the story fun to follow at least.

That said, here’s where I want to make a point. Almost all fantasy novels exist within a series. While I’m not against making a series out of the world in this novel, I want it to stand on its own. It will be a complete story.

After you’ve read it, you’ll have to tell me if you want sequels.

As I recently moved to Washington State and have been exploring bit by bit, I decided to set the story here. Its geography lends well – plenty of mountains, lakes, fun little towns, and rivers you can actually see to the bottom. (To a former San Francisco Bay Area dweller, the last one’s a little strange.)

The Conflict

What conflict would do such a story justice? Why, the epic Good vs. Evil of course!

And we’re talking ‘big E’ evil too. For background, I read Goldman Sachs meeting minutes. That’s some serious evil right there.

Lion with Disgusted Expression
Me after I finished reading the Goldman Sachs minutes. Except my beard isn’t this frizzy. Mostly.
Photo by Mikell Darling on Unsplash.

So look forward to some big nasty world-ending, everybody-dies, hobbits-against-Big-Meanie Good vs. Evil.

The Characters

So far I have 7 major characters defined, not including the villain.

  1. Adrian Blacklion – Our main character. A mid-20s college student at Eastern Washington University. Magically adept, though distasteful of magic in general. Magic took away a family member…but magic may also be the key to getting them back.
  2. Meilianna Luo-Chen – Adrian’s longtime friend. A bubbly counter to Adrian’s dour moods. To her, magic is fun!
  3. Qex – A relative of Adrian’s. An old sorcerer who’s learned plenty of tricks.
  4. Hix Cadmael – A stranger encountered in a strange place. Does he possess ancient knowledge vital to Adrian’s efforts?
  5. Oghren Vignor – Think a younger “Ahhnold” with magical talent. Oghren is boisterous, physically imposing, and comes in handy when you need super-powered muscle.
  6. “The Bad Boss” – A type of kingpin in the book’s magical city. Runs a gambling ring that the characters must enter, to find the direction they’ll need to go.
  7. “The Holder” – A shaman still practicing the old ways. She holds something Adrian will need to complete his quest.

What’s this? The last two characters don’t have names yet? Well, I’ll have to take some suggestions on those…

The Villain

Okay, let’s talk a bit about the Big Bad. The villain can make or break a story. So I spent some real time here.

I went into ancient folklore to find a seed (the beginning of a powerful idea). After only a few hours, I found an old legend among a Canadian First Nations tribe. The legend spoke of a goddess, who acted horribly to just about everyone & everything. Her power, immense. Her anger, incredible. Perfect.

For more than that, well, you’ll have to read the book!

The Title

Here it is. The big reveal. Curtain rises, and…!

“The Stiamaq Emerald”

Appetites Whetted? Good!
Got a name for one of those two characters I mentioned? Reply to this newsletter with your suggestions. Or head over to Instagram, where you’ll find a post with the new title, and comment your suggestions there.

Now, to the scribbling for me!

Published inFiction WritingNewsletter Archive